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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 39 Criminal Offenses

Chapter 15 Offenses Against the Family

Part 2 Abortion

39-15-201. Criminal abortion and attempt to procure criminal miscarriage - Penalties - Lawful abortions and attempts to procure miscarriage - Requirements.

(a) For the purpose of this section:

(1) “Abortion” means the administration to any woman pregnant with child, whether the child be quick or not, of any medicine, drug, or substance whatever, or the use or employment of any instrument, or other means whatever, with the intent to destroy the child, thereby destroying the child before the child's birth; and

(2) “Attempt to procure a miscarriage” means the administration of any substance with the intention to procure the miscarriage of a woman or the use or employment of any instrument or other means with such intent.

(b) (1) Every person who performs an abortion commits the crime of criminal abortion, unless such abortion is performed in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c). Criminal abortion is a Class C felony.

(2) Every person who attempts to procure a miscarriage commits the crime of attempt to procure criminal miscarriage, unless the attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c). Attempt to procure a criminal miscarriage is a Class E felony.

(3) Every person who compels, coerces, or exercises duress in any form with regard to any other person in order to obtain or procure an abortion on any female commits a misdemeanor. A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) No person is guilty of a criminal abortion or an attempt to procure criminal miscarriage when an abortion or an attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed under the following circumstances:

(1) During the first three (3) months of pregnancy, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and pursuant to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician who is licensed or certified under title 63, chapter 6 or 9;

(2) After three (3) months, but before viability of the fetus, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and in a hospital as defined in § 68-11-201, licensed by the state department of health, or a hospital operated by the state of Tennessee or a branch of the federal government, by the pregnant woman's attending physician, who is licensed or certified under title 63, chapter 6 or 9, pursuant to the attending physician's medical judgment; or

(3) During viability of the fetus, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and by the pregnant woman's attending physician, who is licensed or certified under title 63, chapter 6 or 9; and, if all the circumstances and provisions required for a lawful abortion or lawful attempt to procure a miscarriage during the period set out in subdivision (c)(2) are adhered to; and if, prior to the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage the physician has certified in writing to the hospital in which the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is to be performed, that in the physician's best medical judgment, after proper examination, review of history, and such consultation as may be required by either the rules and regulations of the board for licensing health care facilities promulgated pursuant to § 68-11-209, or the administration of the hospital involved, or both, the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother, and shall have filed a copy of the certificate with the district attorney general of the judicial district in which the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is to be performed.

(d) No abortion shall be performed on any pregnant woman unless the woman first produces evidence satisfactory to the physician performing the abortion that she is a bona fide resident of Tennessee. Evidence to support the claim of residence shall be noted in the records kept by the physician and, if the abortion is performed in a hospital, in the records kept by the hospital. A violation of this subsection (d) is punished as provided by subdivision (b)(1).

Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. In Planned Parenthood of Middle Tenn. v. Sundquist, 38 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2000), the Tennessee Court of Appeals held that a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution, and accordingly, portions of Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-15-201 and §§ 39-15-202, subjected to a strict scrutiny analysis, are unconstitutional.

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