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Tennessee criminalizes mail-order abortion pills

Abortion Pill
Posted at 1:29 PM, May 06, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation that would criminalize a person for obtaining abortion pills via a mail delivery service.

The law would mean a Class E felony charge with the potential for a fine. The original bill had up to a 20-year prison sentence, but it was taken out.

The law won't criminalize a physician providing an abortion pill to a pregnant woman.

"A qualified physician providing an abortion-inducing drug must examine the patient in-person and, prior to providing an abortion-inducing drug verify and determine certain information, as specified in this bill, and inform the patient that the patient may see the remains of the unborn child in the process of completing the abortion," the bill states.

Abortion has been at the center of political debate following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that shows the Roe v. Wade decision may be overturned.

Tennessee has a trigger law if Roe is overturned, meaning 30 days after a reversal, no one can get an abortion in Tennessee unless the pregnant woman is in danger of losing her life. There are no exceptions in the law for rape or incest.

This bill criminalizing mail-order abortion pills will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

This story was originally reported by Emily West on