(REVISED 2.24.2022) In this case, the Center challenged a Tennessee law requiring doctors to provide their patients with false and misleading information about “reversing” a medication abortion. Doctors would be forced to both lie to their patients about the possibility of an “abortion reversal” 48 hours before the procedure and post signs in their clinic with information on the same. Clinics that do not post the signs will be fined $10,000 a day until the signs are posted. There is no medical evidence that it is possible to “reverse” an abortion. Such claims are rejected by expert organizations like the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Further, there isn’t much of a need for abortion “reversals,” as very few women regret their decision to have an abortion.
Medication abortion is an incredibly safe–and increasingly common–medical procedure. The WHO recognizes that medication abortion can increase access to care and can allow women to self-manage their abortion. Yet, the procedure has been politicized by anti-abortion researchers. Last year, ”abortion reversal” laws were blocked in North Dakota and Oklahoma. Such laws, including Tennessee’s, destroy trust between doctors and their patients, cause direct harm to people seeking abortion, and imply that women are unable to make their own health care decisions.
Plaintiffs: Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, FemHealth USA Inc. carafem, Audrey Lance M.D. M.S.
Center Attorneys: Michelle Moriarty, Marc Hearron, Astrid Ackerman, Nicolas Kabat
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Andrew Beck, Christine Clarke, Jennifer Sandman,
Summary: On July 13, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law requiring doctors to provide their patients with false and misleading about the possibility to “reverse” a medication abortion. The law was slated to go into effect on October 1, 2020. The Center filed its suit challenging the law on August 31, 2020. On September 29, 2020, just a few days before the law was to take effect, a federal district court temporarily blocked the law. On February 21, 2021, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction, preventing the law from going into effect at any point in the litigation process. On January 31, 2022, the trial court stayed the case pending a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Center’s challenge to a Mississippi ban on abortion starting at 15 weeks.
Read about the case:
- Tennessee’s Medically Unsound ‘Abortion Reversal’ Law Challenged in Court, 08.31.2020
- Center and Partners Challenge Tennessee Medication Abortion “Reversal” Law, 09.03.2020
- Federal Court Temporarily Blocks Tennessee’s Medically Unsound Medication Abortion “Reversal” Law, 09.30.2020
- Center Lawsuit Temporarily Blocks Tennessee’s Medication Abortion “Reversal” Law, 10.05.2020
- Tennessee’s Medically Unsound ‘Abortion Reversal’ Law Remains Blocked By Federal Courts, 02.26.2021