State Files Appeal to Reverse Injunction Against Gov. Lee's Abortion Bill

Sep 4, 2020

State Files Appeal to Reverse Injunction Against Gov. Lee's Abortion Bill

Tennessee’s attorney general has asked athe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to set aside a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of various provisions of the state’s “laddered” abortion bill.”  The bill, signed by Gov. Bill Lee on July 13th makes it a criminal offense for abortion providers to “perform or induce, or attempt to perform or induce, an abortion upon a pregnant woman whose unborn child has a fetal heartbeat.” If that provision is held unconstitutional, then the bill provides nine different stages at which performing an abortion would be a crime.
Attorneys representing abortion providers filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that it violates Roe v. Wade and other U.S. Supreme Court precedents. District Court Judge William Campbell agreed and issued a preliminary injunction within an hour of the Gov. Lee signing the bill putting portions of the law on hold pending a hearing on the merits of the lawsuit. In his ruling, Judge Campbell wrote that the abortion providers had shown they would likely succeed in proving that the law “violates long-standing Supreme Court precedent prohibiting bans on pre-viability abortions that this Court is bound to follow.”
The state argues in their appeal that Judge Campbell weighed potential harm to the plaintiffs as being more important than the potential harm to the people of Tennessee, stating, "This Court improperly discounted the harm to the State and the public interest that comes from broadly enjoining the enforcement of laws enacted with overwhelming support by the elected representatives of the citizens of Tennessee.”
The case will continue in the district court while the appeal on the injunction is being heard.

News Sources:

State files appeal to allow Tennessee to enforce Gov. Lee's controversial abortion ban

Tennessee Appeals Decision Blocking the State’s Heartbeat Bill
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