Two abortion measures are now headed to the governor’s desk after the Tennessee House voted 79-18 in favor of requiring a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion after in-person counseling by a physician and 79-17 for new regulations of abortion clinics, USA Today reports.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam said he anticipates the governor will sign both abortion bills into law.
On the floor of the House, efforts to amend or challenge the bills by Democrats — who at times argued passionately for a woman’s right to choose and detailed the impact of adding hurdles to accessing an abortion for poor or minority women — were handily defeated, with the Republican majority voting down an amendment that would have allowed women to receive counseling over the phone or by a non-physician and an amendment to exempt victims of rape or incest from waiting period requirements.
But Republican backers of the bills asserted the measures were designed to protect the health and safety of women, to better regulate abortion and reflected the desire of a majority of Tennessee voters for “common sense” abortion regulations.