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Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law: What's Next for Tennessee

On Monday, June 27, the Supreme Court issued a decisive ruling in what has been described as the most important abortion case in decades. The 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt strikes down two abortion restrictions: the mandate that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals and the requirement that abortion clinics be outfitted as mini-hospitals.

The court noted that both requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.

The Supreme Court's decision sends a strong message that laws imposed to create obstacles for a woman seeking to end a pregnancy rather than to actually safeguard her health violate the Constitution.

The ruling strongly suggests that similar Tennessee laws should be struck down as unconstitutional, as they amount to political interference in a woman’s private healthcare decisions and do nothing to protect a woman’s health. Litigation on the Tennessee laws is currently pending in district court.

While we should celebrate this victory for women in Texas and nationwide, the fight to protect reproductive justice is far from over. Some abortion restrictions may be largely unaffected by the decision, and this loss will not prevent anti-abortion forces from attempting to interfere with a woman's ability to make personal, private decisions for their families without government intrusion.

There is still much more work to be done. Join us in the fight to protect women’s rights in our state and sign ACLU-TN’s "I Stand for Reproductive Freedom in Tennessee" pledge to say that you believe that Tennesseans benefit when government stays out of our private lives and families.


June 27, 2016: Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law; Decision Will Likely Impact Tennessee Laws

May 20, 2016: Anti-Refugee Resolution Becomes Law

May 19, 2016: ACLU-TN Files Federal Complaint Challenging Sumner County Schools’ Transgender Bathroom Ban

April 28, 2016: ACLU-TN Joins Lawsuit Challenging Solitary Confinement of Youth


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