Thursday, April 29, 2021


Tennessee Right to Life - Today, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Unborn Life and Liberty Act in both the House and Senate. This bill, which is now headed to Governor Bill Lee to sign, has a two-part purpose. 

In Tennessee law, a person can be charged with fetal homicide for killing a woman and her unborn child regardless of the child’s gestational age. This would mean they would face criminal charges and face those penalties if convicted. However, for a civil lawsuit, Tennessee law currently only allows for wrongful death claims for unborn children past the point of viability. 

The first part of this bill would allow wrongful death claims to be litigated against someone who kills a mother and her unborn child at any stage of development, matching the criminal and civil elements across the state law. The second part of this legislation would also prohibit lawsuits against doctors who fail to discover or disclose a child's medical condition prior to the child's birth. These "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" lawsuits occur when the parents argue that abortion would have been preferable to birth and life and then seek monetary damages claiming the doctor's breach of duty and omission. 

\“This has been a tremendous year for further defining the humanity of unborn children,” said Will Brewer, lobbyist for Tennessee Right to Life. “Pro-life legislators voted to require the burial or cremation of unborn children, expand the definition of wrongful death victim to include all unborn children and prohibit lawsuits against doctors when parents claim they would have rather aborted their child than give birth,” said Brewer. 

In addition to passing the Life and Liberty Act today, the Tennessee General Assembly also passed the Unborn Child Dignity Act a few weeks ago. 

“We continue to move the needle forward on recognizing unborn children as human beings with these types of bills,” said Stacy Dunn, President of Tennessee Right to Life. “Futhermore, discussion of these bills allowed for educational debate and powerful testimony on the dignity and humanity of unborn children,” said Dunn. “We are grateful to the elected representatives of this State who once again made strong pro-life stands with common sense, effective and constitutional legislation,” said Brewer. 

“We are especially grateful to the bills’ sponsors: Senator Mike Bell, Senator Janice Bowling, Representative Tim Rudd and Representative Jeremy Faison as well as all the co-sponsors and supporters of these bills,” said Brewer.

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