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Tennessee

Abortion Ban

AFTER 12 WEEKS

Tennessee has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-209 (Enacted 1997).

Tennessee's ban is unconstitutional according to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart.  530 U.S. 914 (2000).  In Stenberg, the court held that a similar ban, which had no exception to protect a woman's health and was written so broadly as to ban more than one procedure, placed an undue burden on a woman's right to choose.

Tennessee's unconstitutional law makes the knowing or reckless provision of any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony, unless necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-209 (Enacted 1997).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure. Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.


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