On August 12th and 13th the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a Summer Study Hearing on SB1236. This legislation is also known as the “heartbeat bill.” This bill was sent to Summer Study during this year’s session. This hearing was held to receive expert testimony for and against this legislation. The goal was to provide respectable information to the committee members, as well as other members that were in attendance, on the merits of this legislation. No voting took place during these hearings. This legislation will be heard following the start of session in January 2020. I was a co-sponsor of this legislation last session and I plan to continue my support of this bill to prevent abortion and protect the unborn.

    Human Life Protection Act – Legislation that I co-sponsor was passed this year to protect Human life. The Human Protection Act was passed this session to proactively trigger the restoration of Tennessee’s abortion laws prior to the Roe v. Wade ruling, if and when the power to regulate abortion is returned to the states. Restoration of state power over abortion would occur in one of two ways under the legislation: The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a decision overruling Roe v. Wade, or an amendment could be adopted to the U.S. Constitution that returns the authority to regulate abortion back to the states. 

   When the United States Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, it rendered Tennessee’s strong abortion laws, which prohibited abortion except when the life of the mother was at risk, null and void. Since then, Tennessee Republicans have worked diligently to prevent abortion through the passage of numerous laws.  

   The Human Life Protection Act requires the Attorney General and Reporter to notify the Tennessee Code Commission in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned or a U.S.  Constitutional amendment is adopted. Then thirty days following either event, Tennessee’s abortion law would be restored to its 1972 statute. Since then, Republican legislatures have worked tirelessly to pass legislation to prevent abortion.

    In years past we have passed legislation, which I sponsored, to defund Planned Parenthood in Tennessee and require abortion clinics to be certified as ambulatory surgery centers. One of our most important duties as legislatures is protecting human life, especially those that cannot protect themselves. I look forward to continuing to support legislation this year that will protect the unborn and prohibit abortion.

You May Contact Senator Hensley at

425 5th Avenue North, Suite 746

Nashville TN 37243


Toll Free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100

Fax 615-253-0231

855 Summertown Highway

Hohenwald TN 38462

Phone 931-796-2018

Cell Phone 931-212-8823

E-mail: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov