Lawsuit seeks to block Tennessee abortion reversal law

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Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 17:02:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Abortion rights groups have challenged newly enacted Tennessee law that would require women undergoing drug-induced abortions to be informed the procedure can be reversed.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, is the second legal battle targeting a sweeping anti-abortion measure Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed off on earlier this year. Lee has promised to do “whatever it takes in court” to defend the law.

The law focuses mainly on banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected — about six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant. That portion was challenged just hours after the GOP-dominated Statehouse advanced the bill during the final hours of the annual legislative session.

However, also tucked in the 38-page law is a requirement that doctors must inform women that drug-induced abortions may be halted halfway. Medical groups say the claim isn’t backed up by science and there is little information about the reversal procedure’s safety.

Those who fail to comply with the law, which doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1, will face a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison. The lawsuit filed Monday seeks to prevent that requirement from being implemented.