Tennessee Bans on Abortion Partially Upheld

Last week, a Tennessee law banning abortion for a number of reasons was partially upheld in the appeals court as debates concerning this law continue. According to CNN the “6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted part of a lower court’s preliminary injunction that blocked the law from being enforced, allowing a portion of the law to take effect while the case continues to be litigated between the state and abortion rights groups.”

This law was originally a “heartbeat ban,” which means that abortions would be banned as soon as a heartbeat can be detected: as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Abortion activists are suing over this law that  abortions are illegal after the heartbeat can be detected, and litigation in court continue to take place.

Besides this “heartbeat ban,” CNN goes on to state that “Tennessee’s law also prohibited abortions if the doctor knew the patient was seeking an abortion because of the child’s race, sex or a diagnosis or screening that indicated Down syndrome, a genetic condition that affects cognitive ability and causes developmental delays.” Violating this law in Tennessee would result in a class C felony, which could include up to 10,000 dollars in fines and 15 years in jail. 

How is this looked at by abortion activists? Most are not happy and are doing what they can to get this law overturned. Many argue that the part of the law which prevents patients who are seeking abortion because of the “child’s race, sex, or diagnosis,” from having abortion, are “unconstitutionally vague… because it requires a physician to discern her patient’s motivations.” However, despite their best efforts, the court ruled 2-1 in favor of Tennessee’s right to keep their law.

Pro-life governor Bill Lee praised the court’s ruling in a tweet on Friday commenting that “Every life is precious and every child has inherent human dignity. Our law prohibits abortion based on the race, gender, or diagnosis of Down syndrome of the child and the court’s decision will save lives. Protecting our most vulnerable Tennesseans is worth the fight.”