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Federal judge blocks Tennessee’s Abortion Counseling Act



Under a July law, Tennessee abortion providers were required to tell abortion seekers that abortion from medication – a non-surgical procedure that works until about 10 weeks after pregnancy and typically takes two drugs several days apart – may be reversible can be made. The law also required that information about the procedure be made available on the website of the state’s Department of Health and that providers notify patients.

Such requirements have been widely criticized by medical groups, and researchers in California abandoned a 2019 study to investigate early on “abortion reversal” treatment for safety reasons.
The American Medical Association ̵
1; the premier physician industry group sued North Dakota in 2019 over similar law – has called such drug-abandonment reversal claims “completely unsupported by the best and most reliable scientific evidence.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found “claims about drug reversal” unsupported by science and criticized “legal mandates forcing doctors to lead women to this unproven treatment method”.
This victory for abortion rights advocates comes as both sides of the abortion rights debate prepare for a Supreme Court battle over candidate Amy Coney Barrett to replace the vacancy of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Acknowledgment from Barrett, who has voiced views contrary to abortion rights and which would cement a conservative majority of 6 to 3 in court, could have profound implications for the future of abortion rights.
Tennessee law would require such warnings from the doctor at least 48 hours prior to the abortion, rewritten after the first pill was administered, and on “suspicious” signs in private offices, outpatient surgical treatment centers, facilities, and clinics for more than 50 abortions in the previous calendar year. A violation of the law could penalize abortion providers with up to six years in prison and fines health centers up to $ 10,000.

Abortion providers in Tennessee, along with Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Tennessee subsidiary, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the law in August, suing Tennessee Republican Attorney General Herbert Slatery and other Tennessee officials because they were forced to make “false”, misleading and irrelevant information. “

Judge William Campbell wrote Tuesday that unless the experts testify, “he has” been unable to fully assess the competing expert opinions as to whether the mandated message is “true and not misleading”, but noted that “another Aspect of the mandate “Message is” misleading “. “”

He noted that since abortion providers are required to post abortion reversal information on the Department of Health’s website from October 1st, the deadline for the Department of Health to publish the information is January 1st, “such information and assistance may Not.” be available “so that” a patient who wants to access such information cannot. “

Campbell noted that “Plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong or significant likelihood of success in relation to their allegations that (the requirements) violate the First Amendment by requiring abortion providers to deliver a mandated message that is misleading.” The blockade will last until October 13, the date Campbell has scheduled a hearing on the case.

Slatery’s office said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday that Campbell’s order “merely maintains the status quo until the district court can hold an injunction,” adding that “we look forward to providing evidence to support that at the hearing.” To support the constitutionality of the statute. “”

Ashley Coffield, CEO of plaintiff Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, hailed “Victory in Blocking Another Failed Policy” and proposed “How Anti-Abortion Politicians Implement the Trump Administration Agenda Against Our Rights and Freedoms – without public contribution and against. ” the will of the people. “

Tennessee hasn’t been the only one pursuing such a law lately. Arkansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma all codified measures in 2019 requiring abortion providers to notify patients that drug abortion could be reversed. A federal judge blocked the North Dakota law last year.
And reversing drug discontinuation isn’t the only facet of the process the state has sought to regulate. The law, which makes reversing abortion mandatory, also saw a ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat was detected, which can occur as early as six weeks after pregnancy and before many people know they are pregnant. Campbell also temporarily blocked this provision in July.

CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.




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