Court Rules Tennessee’s Six-Week Abortion Ban Can Take Effect Following Roe Decision
Bill Lee, governor of Tennessee, smiles during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2021.
Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal court has allowed Tennessee’s ban on abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy to go into effect following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision came after the state’s Republican Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed an emergency motion on Friday following the Supreme Court’s announcement. Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee released a statement regarding the state’s pro-life plans on Friday shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Today’s landmark Supreme Court decision marks the beginning of a hopeful, new chapter for our country,” Lee said in a statement from his office.

“After years of heartfelt prayer and thoughtful policy, America has an historic opportunity to support women, children and strong families while reconciling the pain and loss caused by Roe v. Wade. We have spent years preparing for the possibility that authority would return to the states, and Tennessee’s laws will provide the maximum possible protection for both mother and child. In the coming days, we will address the full impacts of this decision for Tennessee,” he added.

In addition to the new six-week abortion ban, the Tennessee legislature has a trigger law in place that will “criminalize performing or attempting to perform an abortion, except in cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother,” according to the governor’s office.

The law is expected to go into effect on the 30th day after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The law does not apply to the person receiving an abortion.

Tennessee also previously passed a law that prohibits abortion on the basis of “sex, race or Down Syndrome.” The state also requires a physician to perform an ultrasound for a pregnant woman considering an abortion.

Ashley Coffield, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, spoke out against the measure.

Her statement noted that the new abortion law will “rob people of their ability to make the decisions that are best for themselves, their lives, and their futures,” according to The Tennessean.

“It is unconscionable that Tennesseans will lose access to abortion in their communities because of this decision,” she added. “Planned Parenthood remains committed to helping people in Tennessee and Mississippi access abortions outside our state, and our doors are open for non-judgmental information, resources, and financial and logistical support.”

The Tennessee law adds to a growing number of conservative-led states that have enacted laws limiting abortion following Friday’s decision. Missouri became the first state to effectively ban abortions within hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Oklahoma and South Dakota had already effectively ended abortions in their states ahead of the court’s decision. South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem celebrated the closure of the last abortion clinic in her state in a Twitter post that included a link to the news of her state’s abortion-free status.

“Abortions have stopped in South Dakota. We have prayed for this day, and now it is here,” Noem wrote in mid-June.

“Now, we must redouble our focus on taking care of mothers in crisis. Help is available for you. Adoption is an option. You are never alone,” she added.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Court Rules Tennessee’s Six-Week Abortion Ban Can Take Effect Following Roe Decision