Tennessee Attorney General Working To Quickly Implement Abortion Ban
Image: Sonogram showing heartbeat at 8 weeks Image Credit: Eric Danley / CC
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery got to work within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning two abortion rulings on Friday and asked a federal appeals court to lift an injunction thereby allowing Tennessee’s heartbeat law to go into effect immediately.
An emergency motion was filed by Slatery’s office in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The legislation in question faced challenges almost as soon as Governor Bill Lee signed it in 2020.
The court was asked to grant the motion “as soon as possible.”
If the court refuses to do so then Tennessee’s “trigger” law, The Human Life Protection Act, is set to go into effect 30 days after the Attorney General notifies the Tennessee Code Commission. This 2019 law criminalizes “performing or attempting to perform an abortion, except in extreme cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother” making it a Class C felony for physicians. Women seeking to end a pregnancy are not subject to prosecution.
In the motion, Slatery argued, “As the Supreme Court recognized in Dobbs, the State has a valid interest in protecting the lives of unborn Tennesseans.” Slatery continued, “Those lives are at risk each day the preliminary injunction remains in place, so this Court should grant the State’s motion as soon as possible.”
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Slatery praised the Supreme Court’s decision to send the issue back to the states at an afternoon news conference on Friday.
“The people of Tennessee, for the first time in 50 years, will have a chance to weigh in on this issue through their elected representatives,” he said.
Over the weekend, protestors in downtown Nashville called on Governor Lee to stop the state’s abortion laws from going into effect. Governor Lee is on record for saying, “If the federal courts return full authority to the states, Tennessee’s laws will automatically provide the maximum possible protection and offer a glimmer of redemption as America reconciles our troubled past.”
Governor Lee, who publicly signed the heartbeat law in 2020, said during the signing, “It’s our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
Dr. Nikki Zite, a Knoxville OB/GYN and professor at University of Tennessee was one of the plaintiffs to sue Tennessee over the law. On Friday she said that it was “devastating” that doctors may not have “time to process or plan for how these bans impact care.”
Zite also said she was “worried” about patients dealing with miscarriage because physicians might be “hesitant to act for fear of criminalization.”
Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk has said that he will refuse to prosecute abortion cases.
Abortion providers in Tennessee appear to be anticipating the lifting of the injunction against the heartbeat law.
The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health has already announced that it is suspending all abortion services and Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Memphis aren’t taking future appointments.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.
2 thoughts on “Tennessee Attorney General Working To Quickly Implement Abortion Ban”
Too bad I didn’t know Glen Funk’s ideas before I voted for him, it”s unfortunate that we don’t have any Conservatives running for these offices.
After fighting against abortion for nearly fifty years, I’m relieved to see Roe and Casey reversed by SCOTUS. But should abortions continue in our state, I’ll chain myself to the doors like I did before. Hopefull the hearts and minds approach will work. Most people are uninformed about what actually occurs in an abortion and would be horrified if they knew.