Tennessee is now the second state in the nation to prohibit abortion trafficking of minors, and it is a welcome development.

Abortion trafficking occurs when an adult assists a minor in obtaining an abortion without the consent of her parents.

Since August 2022, following Roe’s reversal, Tennessee’s trigger law went into effect, protecting preborn babies from abortion beginning at the moment of fertilization.

This pro-life law permits exceptions, including to save the life of the mother and “to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

Despite the illegality, abortion rights groups exist inside the state and across the country that offer assistance to Tennessee women and underage girls in procuring abortions in other states.

On their website, Planned Parenthood tells teens, “If you live in a state where abortion is illegal, you may have to go to another state to get an abortion.” Then Planned Parenthood offers to help “make an appointment and pay for travel or other costs.”

This new abortion trafficking law, SB 1971, makes it illegal for an adult to recruit, harbor or transport a minor in the state to obtain an abortion, give them abortion pills or assist them in procuring an abortion outside of the state.

The penalty for abortion trafficking is a Class A misdemeanor offense, which requires 11 months and 29 days in jail.

The measure passed in the state Senate by a vote of 26-3 and in the state House by 74-24.

The impact of this new law could save over 500 babies per year.

Filing documents submitted by the Tennessee General Assembly Fiscal Review Committee reveal that “between 2019 and 2020, there were an average of 507 abortions per year in Tennessee for residents under the age of 18.”

Proponents of the new law say this measure is about protecting minors.

Statistics on abortion and human tracking demonstrate that there is a concerning connection between the two.

An article released by Loyola University addressing the consequences of sex trafficking noted that out of more than 100 women who survived sex trafficking, 66 women reported having 114 abortions. More than 70% of the women who reported getting pregnant said it happened while they were being trafficked. Almost 30% said they had more than one abortion.

In a report on the state of abortion in America, Heartbeat International cites Charlotte Lozier Institute data that suggests as many as one in four abortions is coerced or unwanted by the female. These organizations contend that the ease of access to the abortion pill empowers abusers to take advantage of women. They say that these pills are forced upon women without their consent.

Advocates for the new law also say it is necessary to preserve parental rights. They contend that abortion rights groups are trying to usurp the authority that parents rightly hold to direct the medical treatment of their minor child.

Opponents plan to file a lawsuit against the measure before it goes into effect on July 1, 2024.

Last year, Idaho became the first state in the nation to ban abortion trafficking. Abortion activists immediately challenged the law, and it is now blocked until the matter can be fully litigated.

Let’s pray more states have the courage, like Idaho and Tennessee, to protect women and girls from the harms of abortion trafficking.


Original image from Shutterstock.