Abortion Rights Organizations File Lawsuit Against Tennesee Anti-Abortion Law

Reproductive rights groups challenged a new Tennessee law requiring abortion providers to inform medication abortion patients that their abortion pill can be “reversed”, despite no conclusive medical evidence that an “abortion reversal” pill is effective or even safe.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday by several abortion clinics in Tennesee. The plaintiffs make the case that the law is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and because it compels speech. 

The complaint states that “the only foreseeable effect of providing patients with this information in advance is that patients who believe the State’s medically inaccurate disclosure may be misled into thinking that they need not have firmly decided to have an abortion prior to taking mifepristone, erroneously believing that the abortion can be ‘reversed’ if they later change their mind.” 

About 4 million people have had medication abortions since the FDA approved the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol for abortions in early pregnancy in 2000. 

Patients have to be able to trust that their doctors are being honest with them and providing evidence-based medical information, not a biased, politically motivated script designed to shame them. Forcing doctors to share misinformation with patients is cruel during normal times and downright dangerous during a pandemic,” Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, said in a statement.

“And yet they still went ahead and passed this law in a desperate attempt to score political points. We have no choice but to fight back because the health and safety of our patients is our top priority.” 

Sources: NewsChannel5 Nashville 8/31/20; Courthouse News 8/31/20; Tennessean 8/31/20

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