Current through Acts 2023-2024, ch. 437
Section 39-15-213 - [See Note] Criminal abortion - Affirmative defense(a) As used in this section: (1) "Abortion" means the use of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with intent other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, to terminate an ectopic or molar pregnancy, or to remove a dead fetus;(2) "Fertilization" means that point in time when a male human sperm penetrates the zona pellucida of a female human ovum;(3) "Pregnant" means the human female reproductive condition of having a living unborn child within her body throughout the entire embryonic and fetal stages of the unborn child from fertilization until birth; and(4) "Unborn child" means an individual living member of the species, homo sapiens, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal stages of the unborn child from fertilization until birth.(b) A person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion commits the offense of criminal abortion. Criminal abortion is a Class C felony.(c)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), a person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion does not commit the offense of criminal abortion if the abortion is performed or attempted by a licensed physician in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical treatment center and the following conditions are met: (A) The physician determined, using reasonable medical judgment, based upon the facts known to the physician at the time, that the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman; and(B) The physician performs or attempts to perform the abortion in the manner which, using reasonable medical judgment, based upon the facts known to the physician at the time, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive, unless using reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death to the pregnant woman or substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.(2) An abortion is not authorized under subdivision (c)(1)(A) and a greater risk to the pregnant woman does not exist under subdivision (c)(1)(B) if either determination is based upon a claim or a diagnosis that the pregnant woman will engage in conduct that would result in her death or the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function or for any reason relating to the pregnant woman's mental health.(d) Medical treatment provided to the pregnant woman by a licensed physician which results in the accidental death of or unintentional injury to or death of the unborn child shall not be a violation of this section.(e) This section does not subject the pregnant woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to criminal conviction or penalty.(f) While this section is in effect, this section supersedes §§ 39-15-211, 39-15-212, 39-15-214, 39-15-215, 39-15-216, 39-15-217, and 39-15-218.Amended by 2023 Tenn. Acts, ch. 313,s 3, eff. 4/28/2023.Amended by 2023 Tenn. Acts, ch. 313,s 2, eff. 4/28/2023.Amended by 2023 Tenn. Acts, ch. 313,s 1, eff. 4/28/2023.Added by 2019 Tenn. Acts, ch. 351, s 2, effective the thirtieth day following the occurrence of either of the following circumstances, the public welfare requiring it: (1) The issuance of the judgment in any decision of the United States Supreme Court overruling, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), as modified by Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), thereby restoring to the states their authority to prohibit abortion; or (2) Adoption of an amendment to the United States Constitution that, in whole or in part, restores to the states their authority to prohibit abortion. As to the effective date of this section described in the note above, see Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, 597 U.S. __ (6/24/2022), overruling Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).