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Tennessee governor signs narrow abortion exemption bill

Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed off Friday on including an extremely narrow exemption to Tennessee’s strict abortion ban, carving a narrow option for doctors to use their “reasonable medical” judgment in deciding whether providing the procedure can save the life of the pregnant patient or prevent major injury.

Lee signed off on the bill after repeatedly arguing that the state didn’t need to tweak its abortion ban even as medical experts warned the statutes failed to protect doctors and pregnant patients.

The law goes into effect immediately. However, even under the new exemption, Democratic lawmakers, reproductive rights activists and health care officials have warned that what Republican leaders came up still didn’t go far enough.

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