October 2, 2020

Tennessee Abortion Pill Reversal Law Temporarily Blocked by Federal Court

On Tuesday, Federal Judge William Campbell temporarily blocked a Tennessee law that required physicians to inform patients about abortion pill reversal (APR) before administering abortion pills.

Gov. Bill Lee signed this legislation into law this July, thereby requiring abortion providers to inform patients that abortions attempted via the abortion pill regimen can be reversed. Pro-life doctors can reverse the effects of mifepristone (the first drug in the abortion pill regimen) by prescribing progesterone. It is most effective if done within 24 hours of the mother taking mifepristone.

According to CNN, the Tennessee law required abortionists to notify women about APR 48 hours before they begin the regimen, again in writing after the first pill is administered, and on "conspicuous" signage in clinics that have provided more than 50 abortions during the previous calendar year.

Five Tennessee abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU filed suit against the APR notification law in August.

In his decision to temporarily block the law's enforcement, Campbell wrote that he was “unable to assess fully the competing expert opinions as to whether the mandated message is 'truthful and not misleading,' in the absence of the experts' testimony.” He also wrote that he believed the pro-abortion plaintiffs had demonstrated, “a strong or substantial likelihood” that the mandate violates the First Amendment.

The judge's temporary block on the law will last until Oct. 13.

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