Media Contact

Breana Staten, 

April 29, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, the ACLU of Tennessee urged Governor Lee to veto SB 1971/HB 1895, which creates a new felony offense for anyone who “recruits, harbors or transports” a minor for the purpose of obtaining an abortion without the parent or legal guardian’s notarized consent. 

“We need to protect the rights and well-being of Tennessee’s young people. SB 1971/HB 1895 betrays that duty by isolating and targeting their support network and discouraging their communities and loved ones from helping them for fear of legal consequences,” said Bryan Davidson, Policy Director at the ACLU of Tennessee. “We urge Governor Lee to veto this bill because politically motivated restrictions like SB 1971/HB 1895 are not about making young people safer — they are about pushing abortion care out of reach.” 

ACLU-TN's letter asserts that this bill is “cruel” and “absurd,” as it harms young people by forcing them to disclose their pregnancy status in potentially unsafe home environments and limits their ability to access the support of those they trust when they need it most.  

The letter further urges Governor Lee to veto SB 1971/HB 1895, citing studies that this bill ignores the will of Tennesse voters and would further exacerbate Tennessee’s maternal health crisis and infant mortality rate, while doing nothing to address the lack of access to obstetric care facilities in rural areas. 

If Governor Lee signs this bill into law, Tennessee will be on track to become only the second state in the nation to enact this type of legislation.