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The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a Tennessee statute banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy can take effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week.
The law had been blocked in federal court soon after lawmakers passed it in 2020. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed an emergency motion asking the court to allow the state to implement the law.
Several states have passed laws banning abortion at six weeks, the time when a fetal heartbeat can often be detected. Prior to Friday’s ruling, those laws came under fire for banning abortion at a time when some women are still unaware that they are even pregnant.
With the Dobbs ruling, Tennessee is set to pass an even stricter ban, as the state has a trigger law on the books that bans abortion outright in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. The law says it takes effect 30 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Both the trigger law and the current six-week ban provide exceptions for when an abortion is needed to prevent the mother from dying or from having “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
On Monday, a Louisiana state judge issued a temporary block against that state’s trigger law banning abortion, allowing abortions to continue at least until a hearing on July 8.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.