KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – People around the nation are talking about the state of Alabama’s new abortion law, the most restrictive in the nation.
The bill passed Wednesday night, signed into law by Ala. Gov. Kay Ivey, making it a felony for doctors to perform abortions with only a few exceptions and cases of rape and incest are not among.
In Tennessee, our legislature debated abortion bills again this season, and passed a so-called “trigger” bill.
WATE 6 On Your Side looked into how the two states compare, and what neighbors say about the issue.
The Tennessee abortion bill basically says ‘if” the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, then most abortions in the state would become illegal. It would be allowed in a medical emergency.
Alabama’s law bans doctors from performing abortions, unless it’s for the mother’s health or a lethal problem with the fetus in the womb.
Neither Tennessee’s bill or Alabama’s law permits abortions for victims of rape or incest.
Because Alabama’s law calls for an end to abortion now, many lawmakers expected a legal battle.
For that reason, it could be their state that causes our highest court to revisit the issue of abortion.
Tennesseans speak on abortion
For local preacher Jeremy Weekley, abortion isn’t a legal debate, it’s a fight for children. It’s why he hopes to see the Supreme Court decision allowing abortions overturned.
“Elective abortions, they’re not something God is pleased with because he is the creator of life and he is the one who created this life and he expects us to consider it to be precious, to consider it to be special,” Weekley says.
Jaxx Fox volunteers for Planned Parenthood and believes strongly in a woman’s right to choose.
“I believe a lot of people fall much more in the middle than being extremely pro-choice or extremely pro-life and it’s important that the government is not involved in things that should just be between a woman and her doctor,” Fox says.
Though the preacher and the pro-choice advocate may disagree, fundamentally, about abortion, they do agree Alabama’s recent law not to allow abortions in the case of rape or incest…goes too far.
State Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, believes the move is an attack on women.
“When you give a violent rapist the right to choose the mother of his child and you don’t give the victim of a violent rapist the right to choose whether she has our rapist’s baby, we are going down a horrible, horrible path,” Johnson says.
It’s a debate she believes won’t stop at the state line.
“If that passes in Alabama, trust me, they’ll have it in Tennessee next year.”