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August 13, 2019 / Press Releases

NARAL Condemns Tennessee Lawmakers’ Push to Completely Ban Abortion


Tennessee bill, which would effectively ban abortion in the state, is the latest in the unprecedented wave of extreme bans on abortion sweeping the country

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2019
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

In response to the Tennessee Senate Judiciary considering a draconian total ban on abortion this week, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell issued the following statement: 

“Tennessee politicians are working to ban abortion outright in their state, following in the footsteps of Alabama and putting anti-choice politicians’ cruelty on full display. Anti-choice lawmakers are determined to gut Roe v. Wade, despite Roe being more popular than ever with the American public. As out-of-touch lawmakers follow Donald Trump’s lead to criminalize abortion, the vast majority of Americans believe that abortion is a matter of personal freedom that should be free from political interference.”

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting for a summer session to discuss this bill to ban abortion outright in the state, after the General Assembly earlier this year tried unsuccessfully to pass a ban on abortion before many women even know they’re pregnant. If lawmakers decide to move forward with the bill this week and pursue a total abortion ban, it will be up for consideration in 2020 when the legislature reconvenes. Anti-choice politicians have signaled that the intent of the bill is to challenge Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court precedents enshrining the constitutional right to abortion. 

Tennessee’s bill is the latest in a wave of extreme bans on abortion restricting reproductive freedom and restricting a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about pregnancy. It comes on the heels of a total abortion ban being signed into law in Alabama as well as bans in Georgia and Lousiana that make abortion illegal before many women even know they’re pregnant. Overall, thirty states have introduced, passed, or signed into law bans on abortion this year alone.

New research from Avalanche—a research firm using artificial intelligence to generate deep and accurate insight into the values, emotions, and beliefs that drive behavior on key issues—confirms that a strong majority of Americans support reproductive freedom and agree that regardless of one’s personal feelings about or comfort with abortion, protecting reproductive freedom is paramount. Strong supporters of reproductive freedom and abortion rights, as well as those who may personally feel conflicted about abortion, share the view that the government should not prevent a woman from making her own decision.

According to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, while less than a fifth of Americans strongly support Alabama’s new total ban on abortion, 43% of Americans strongly disapprove of this ban. And less than a quarter of Americans support making it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion, according to the PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll.

Proposals to ban abortion are non-starters across the electorate. A recent Change Research poll showed that less than 10% of voters support banning abortion outright, and Reuters/Ipsos polling found that a strong majority of Americans, including over 80% of Democrats — believe that abortion should remain legal in all or most cases.

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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