2017 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 15 - Offenses Against the Family
Part 2 - Abortion
§ 39-15-201. Criminal abortion and attempt to procure criminal miscarriage -- Penalties -- Lawful abortions and attempts to procure miscarriage -- Requirements.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-15-201 (2017)
  • (a) For the purpose of this section:
    • (1) "Abortion" means the administration to any woman pregnant with child, whether the child be quick or not, of any medicine, drug, or substance whatever, or the use or employment of any instrument, or other means whatever, with the intent to destroy the child, thereby destroying the child before the child's birth; and
    • (2) "Attempt to procure a miscarriage" means the administration of any substance with the intention to procure the miscarriage of a woman or the use or employment of any instrument or other means with such intent.
  • (b)
    • (1) Every person who performs an abortion commits the crime of criminal abortion, unless such abortion is performed in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c). Criminal abortion is a Class C felony.
    • (2) Every person who attempts to procure a miscarriage commits the crime of attempt to procure criminal miscarriage, unless the attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c). Attempt to procure a criminal miscarriage is a Class E felony.
    • (3) Every person who compels, coerces, or exercises duress in any form with regard to any other person in order to obtain or procure an abortion on any female commits a misdemeanor. A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • (c) No person is guilty of a criminal abortion or an attempt to procure criminal miscarriage when an abortion or an attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed under the following circumstances:
    • (1) During the first three (3) months of pregnancy, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and pursuant to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician who is licensed or certified under title 63, chapter 6 or 9; or
    • (2) After three (3) months, but before viability of the fetus, if the abortion or attempt to procure a miscarriage is performed with the pregnant woman's consent and in a hospital as defined in § 68-11-201, licensed by the state department of health, or a hospital operated by the state of Tennessee or a branch of the federal government, by the pregnant woman's attending physician, who is licensed or certified under title 63, chapter 6 or 9, pursuant to the attending physician's medical judgment.
    • (3) [Deleted by 2017 amendment.]
  • (d) No abortion shall be performed on any pregnant woman unless the woman first produces evidence satisfactory to the physician performing the abortion that she is a bona fide resident of Tennessee. Evidence to support the claim of residence shall be noted in the records kept by the physician and, if the abortion is performed in a hospital, in the records kept by the hospital. A violation of this subsection (d) is punished as provided by subdivision (b)(1).
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