NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal court has allowed Tennessee’s ban on abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy to take effect after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights case.
The action by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes before Tennessee’s other abortion ban, known as the so-called trigger ban, is set to restrict abortion almost entirely in less than a month.
Both measures would make performing an abortion a felony and subject doctors to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Republican state Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed an emergency motion on Friday to allow the state to begin implementing the six-week ban.
The Sixth Circuit vacated an injunction blocking the law that was granted nearly two years ago in a case filed by abortion providers in the state.
Tuesday, several organizations including the Center for Reproductive Rights and ACLU of Tennessee, staked out their opposition to the move by the state.
“This is a dark day for Tennessean’s reproductive freedom,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement. “They have had their autonomy stolen from them by politicians. We are exploring all options not only to ensure that patients can access abortion, but to hold leaders accountable for robbing the people of Tennessee and Mississippi of their rights. This is not over.”