Lawmaker sues over Tennessee law banning non-parental adults from taking children for abortions

pro-life, abortion pill, Tennessee

A Tennessee law protecting children from being trafficked into other states for abortion by non-parental adults is now the focus of a lawsuit.

Democratic Rep. Aftyn Behn and Nashville attorney Rachel Welty filed the lawsuit on Monday, the anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. They argue that the law, which makes it illegal for a non-parental adult who “intentionally recruits, harbors, or transports” a minor to get an abortion without parental consent, is “unconstitutionally vague.”

“The law was intended to scare Tennesseans from helping each other when they need it the most,” Behn and Welty said in a joint statement. “It’s not working. We’ll still be here supporting each other, loving folks who’ve had abortions, and providing people with key information about their options.”

The duo contended that the word “recruit” was not well defined within the law, and that it could violate First Amendment freedom of speech. However, according to Fox News, the bill’s sponsor, Tennessee Rep. Jason Zachary, did try to clarify during debate on the House floor by pointing to a social media post Behn had previously made, in which she promised to help take any young person out of the state for an abortion, even if it “lands me in jail.”

READ: Judge allows abortion trafficking lawsuit against Planned Parenthood to move forward

“Unfortunately, there’s even a member of this body that recently tweeted out, ‘I welcome the opportunity to take a young person out of state who wants to have an abortion, even if it lands me in jail,'” Zachary said in April, adding, “That is what recruitment looks like.”

James Bopp Jr., the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, called the First Amendment concerns “a complete lie.”

“There’s no confusion about that,” he said in an interview with The Tennessean, adding that “nobody thinks” that the word “recruit” means “just speaking” about abortion. “There are all sorts of words that are used in statutes that are not defined,” he said. “If their argument is there’s not a definition in state law, then you look to the common dictionary definition. … The Supreme Court, most of the time, is looking at dictionaries to determine the meaning of words that are in statutes and have never struck down a statute based on vagueness, because a word was not defined in a statute.”

The abortion trafficking law is currently slated to go into effect in Tennessee on July 1.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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