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Tennessee House OKs ban on some abortions after 20 weeks

Photo: Getty Images

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks if a doctor determines the fetus is viable through required testing.

The legislation that includes felony penalties for doctors cleared the House in a 68-18 vote Wednesday. The ban wouldn’t apply if the mother faces risks of death or serious damage to a major bodily function.

The bill by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough heads to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. It passed the Senate earlier this week.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has said his office would defend the measure if it were to become law, despite previously calling it “constitutionally suspect.”

Haslam said he would talk with Slatery before making his decision.

The House Republican majority voted against including exceptions for rape and incest proposed by Democrats.