“Does the speaker consent to a series of questions?” Throughout the first legislative session Thursday, Nov. 21, Representatives asked this question to the sponsor of the bill before entering into a period of debate. The first bill recognized on the House floor was Bill 10, which called for, “An Act to Amend TCA 39 Relative to Nonconsensual Pornography.” After a few minutes of explanation from Representative Richter, the bill was briefly
discussed and passed with a majority vote. The next item on the House’s agenda was Bill 21, which called for, “An Act to Amend TCA 39-15-201(D)In Order To Allow Women Without Tennessee Residence to Receive Abortions.” This bill was the most highly-debated bill of the afternoon and touched on various topics including abortion, taxes and the legality of women’s healthcare. Representatives wondered, “Would Tennessee taxpayers be the ones responsible for providing compensation for non-state residents, and, if so, is this fair since it will be primarily to support those whom are not under the residency of Tennessee borders ?” and “If women in need are not allowed access to abortions, then, don’t they run the risk of turning to more dangerous methods? So, isn’t this bill important because it will allow women a safe and healthy option?” This bill failed at a split vote of 37 aye to 41 nay.