MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee was in Memphis on Wednesday, a day before Tennessee joins other states that ban abortions at the stroke of midnight.
Two months after the highest court in the land overturned Roe v. Wade, Lee said the state’s Human Protection Act is designed to protect both mom and unborn child.
“Our law is designed to allow for doctors to perform procedures and dangerous maternal health situations,” said Lee, speaking during an economic development conference at the Renasant Convention Center. “It will protect the life of the unborn, which is incredibly important. It’s also incredibly important we protect the lives of mothers.”
However, some fear the strict abortion ban, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, could result in victims being victimized for a second time.
The near-total abortion ban ushers in uncertainty for those in the health field. With so much gray area, some health professionals are concerned they could face the felony charges.
“I think the most important thing is we do protect those lives,” Lee responded to a question on the issues facing doctors. “The legal issues will be worked out in the process,” Lee said.
Lee said no one will be above the law, and he expects state prosecutors to hold medical professionals responsible if they break what will soon be the law of the land.
“We expect the law to be followed, we expect prosecutors and members of the legal profession and the justice system to follow the law in Tennessee,” he said.
The newest restriction going into effect means doctors who carry out the procedure in Tennessee could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of violating the ban.