What happens in Tennessee if Roe v Wade is cancelled? Here is a guide
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, according to a draft opinion obtained by Politico.
The published draft has sparked a fierce new round of controversy surrounding one of the country’s most controversial issues.
Related:Explosive draft leak in abortion case reveals Supreme Court set to overrule Roe
After:A leaked Supreme Court opinion on abortion adds more fuel to the already raging fire of the Roe v. wade
Here’s what to know about it and how it could impact Tennessee.
Did the court overturn the Roe v Wade decision?
No. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states.
Judges are set to rule in a lawsuit challenging a Mississippi law this summer. The lawsuit could be a direct challenge to the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade who concluded that abortion rights are constitutionally protected.
Politico reported late Monday that a leaked draft opinion written by Judge Samuel Alito would overturn the ruling. .
On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement confirming the authenticity of the draft opinion and ordered an investigation into what he called a “gross breach of trust”.
“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision of the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” Roberts said.
“To the extent that this betrayal of the Court’s confidences was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” he said in the written statement.
He added: ‘I have ordered the Marshal of the Court to initiate an investigation into the source of the leak.
The opinion came as no surprise to court watchers, who have long said the Conservative bench is likely to unseat Roe before long.
The Tennesseans react:While information about the possible turnover of Roe v. Wade are leaked, reaction is mixed across Tennessee
If Roe is overturned, does that automatically mean abortion is illegal?
No. Overturning Roe returns the decision on access to reproductive health care to the states.
Tennessee is one of nearly two dozen states certain to ban abortion if Roe is overturned.
Voters amended the Tennessee state constitution in 2014 to specifically remove access to abortion as a basic right in the state.
In 2019, the state also passed a “trigger law” that would institute a de facto ban on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns its Roe decision. If the law is activated, the Attorney General will notify the Tennessee Code Commission, responsible for the official compilation of state statutes, codes, and laws.
Then, within 30 days of that notice, the state would have officially implemented an abortion ban. The measure would make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion, while women seeking an abortion would be exempt from prosecution.
Research shows that attacks on the foundation of federal abortion access protections have grown rapidly since 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
More anti-abortion laws — 90 of them — were passed nationwide in the first half of 2021 than in any year since Roe v. Wade was returned in 1973, according to research.
The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to an abortion in the first and second trimesters, but that states could impose restrictions in the second trimester.
Years later, the court allowed states to ban most abortions at viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb, or about 24 weeks.
Since then, states have pushed to define viability at increasingly earlier stages, now linking it in many cases to when a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected.
Related:What if Roe v. Wade is cancelled? What we know about the Supreme Court leak project
Is abortion legal in Tennessee?
Although Tennessee has several restrictive abortion access laws, it is still legal to terminate a pregnancy in the state. The state’s new abortion laws are being challenged in federal court.
Is abortion legal in Nashville?
Nashville does not have separate reproductive health care laws on its books from those of the state.
The city’s lead attorney, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk, released a statement hours after the leaked opinion began circulating. In fall 2020, Funk said he would not pursue criminal charges against any patient or doctor for seeking or performing a procedure at their request.
“When it comes to reproductive issues, the criminal law should not be used by the state to exercise control over a woman’s body,” he wrote in 2020.
On Monday, the day before Election Day where he hoped to retain the seat, he stuck to the statement.
“I am appalled that this attack on a woman’s personal health decisions is in jeopardy,” Funk said in a statement emailed Monday night.
What are Tennessee’s abortion laws?
A slate of restrictive abortion laws have driven Tennessee’s legislative agenda in recent years, including a comprehensive set passed in 2020 with full support from Governor Bill Lee.
Last summer, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 48-hour waiting period enacted under former Governor Bill Haslam that had been dragging through the courts since 2015.
The law requires that a patient seeking an abortion first be counseled by a doctor in person, then wait at least 48 hours before returning for an abortion procedure.
Related:The deliberations of the Supreme Court are supposed to be secret. So how did a draft opinion on abortion leak?
Tennessee’s 2020 laws include requiring abortion clinics to post a sign in the waiting room and in patient rooms informing people that it may be possible to cancel a medical abortion.
There is no medical consensus on the possibility of reversing such a procedure.
Although there is an exception to the restrictions if a woman’s life is in danger, there is no exception for rape or incest.
If the courts overturn the six-week ban, before most people know they are pregnant, the 2020 legislation automatically enacts cascading abortion bans in conjunction with detection of a fetal heartbeat at eight, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 weeks gestation. The law also prohibits abortions if the doctor knows the patient is requesting the procedure because of the sex, race, or Down syndrome of the fetus.
The laws remain blocked in the courts. In February, a federal appeals court reinstated the so-called reason bar.
The 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office’s request to reverse course and temporarily allow the application of the so-called prohibition of reason. The 6th Circuit blocked the provision in September after previously allowing it to go into effect in 2020.
Tennessee prohibits the use of telehealth for medical abortion and limits where public insurance and the state can cover abortion services.
Are there abortion clinics in Tennessee?
But with fewer than a dozen clinics across Tennessee offering services — and similarly few in neighboring states — access to abortion care may be out of reach for low-income or rural pregnant women who find it difficult to get in to see a doctor, let alone in the short term. notice.
The nonpartisan organization Healthy and Free Tennessee maintains a list of abortion care providers, including:
- CHOICE Memphis Center for Reproductive Health
- Family Planning – Memphis Health Center
- Mountain Access Brigade
- Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health
- Family Planning – Knoxville Health Center
- Bristol Regional Women’s Center
- carafem Nashville Health Center
- Family Planning – Nashville Health Center
Do Americans Support Abortion?
About 49% of the nation said abortion should be “legal and accessible” in the USA TODAY/Ipsos poll released this month. Only about a third of Republicans agree, compared to 73% of Democrats.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.