NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some Tennessee police departments say they won’t be focused on making arrests in abortion cases once the state’s trigger laws go into effect.
So who is responsible for enforcing them?
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade returned power to individual states to set their own abortion laws, and in Tennessee, almost all abortions will be illegal by the end of July.
The only exception will be in extreme cases where the procedure is necessary to prevent death or serious injury to a mother.
Many in opposition fear this decision won’t leave options for women who are victims of rape and incest, and that some women will take extreme and unhealthy measures to get access to an abortion.
However, the Metro Nashville Police Department released a statement Tuesday that said they won’t be focused on arresting health care providers who perform the procedure.
“We are not abortion police. We are focused on safety and quality of life in our city through community engagement, precision policing, and organizational excellence. There are other entities in government, particularly at the state level, that are more equipped to address issues such as this.”
When asked how the new abortion laws will be enforced, Governor Bill Lee said he wasn’t sure, and it could vary by county.
“I think that will have to be determined. It may be different locally and the state may weigh in on that. But that’s clearly something that will have to be determined moving forward,” Governor Lee said.
Tennessee’s laws will make performing an abortion a felony and subject doctors to a maximum of 15 years in prison. Mothers will not face penalties.