Nashville, Tenn. Doctors performing abortions on girls younger than 13 years old would be required to preserve a sample of the fetal tissue for law enforcement under a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation could use those samples for DNA tests to help prosecute rapists, said Sen. Roy Herron, the bill's sponsor.
"Whoever has sex with a child 12 years of age or younger is committing rape, whether force is involved or not, and they ought to be prosecuted," he said.
Herron said most of these rapes are committed by those who know the victim, often go unreported and are not discovered until days, weeks or months later.
The Child Rape Protection Act of 2006 passed on a 29-0 vote. A companion bill has lingered in a House subcommittee for a month and is not scheduled for discussion until April 4.
Similar legislation was signed into law in Kansas last year.