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Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi et al v. Slatery et al

Status: Ongoing
Last Update: September 3, 2020

What's at Stake

The ACLU, the ACLU of Tennessee, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged a medically unsound “abortion reversal” law in Tennessee on behalf of abortion providers in the state: Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, and Carafem.

Summary

In July 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed a law that would force doctors to provide false and misleading information to their patients about the potential to “reverse” a medication abortion — an unproven and politically-motivated claim that has no basis in medical research. This law would force providers to share this misinformation with patients at least 48 hours in advance of providing a medication abortion and again after the patient has started the abortion by taking the medication. Providers would also be required to post signs with large, bold print throughout their clinics informing patients about abortion “reversal.” Providers who don’t comply will face criminal prosecution for a felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine per day.

By forcing doctors to lie to patients and share misinformation that isn’t backed up by credible science, politicians are eroding the trust between patients and their providers. Plaintiffs filed suit in September 2020 and quickly secured a temporary restraining order blocking the law before it could go into effect in October 2020. In February 2021, plaintiffs secured a preliminary injunction blocking the law until the court issues its final ruling in the case. The case is ongoing, with a trial date set for May 2023.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division.

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