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September 15, 2021

6th Circuit Blocks Enforcement of Tennessee Pro-Life Law

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling on Friday, Sept. 10 blocking the enforcement of pro-life Tennessee law.

The law takes several steps to reduce the number of abortions in Tennessee. Except in cases where abortion is deemed necessary to save the mother's life, the law bans
  • discriminatory abortions due to race, sex, or Down Syndrome diagnosis
  • abortions after the unborn baby's heartbeat is detectable
  • abortions for juveniles currently in the custody of the Department of Children's services. Additionally, the option to receive a waiver from a judge was removed for this circumstance
The law also requires abortion clinics to provide information to women informing them about abortion pill reversal.

The law further includes tiered bans on abortion. If the courts conclude that the six-week ban (the heartbeat portion of the law) is unconstitutional, "cascading bans" can go into effect. The law automatically enacts abortions at eight, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 weeks of gestation in the case that courts strike down bans at younger gestational ages. While courts have enjoined the law pending decisions on its constitutionality, none of these bans are enforceable.