FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2022
Lindsay Kee, ACLU-TN, 615-320-7142
MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. – Today protesters blocked the entrance to the carafem clinic in Mount Juliet, allegedly falsely claiming that clinic staff were violating Tennessee’s abortion laws and urging police to arrest them.
Abortion is still legal in Tennessee up to the point that fetal cardiac activity is detected, at approximately 6 weeks into pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant. Tennessee’s trigger law banning abortion at fertilization is not yet in effect, though it is expected to go into effect in mid-August.
The incident ended without any arrests being made.
The following can be attributed to Stella Yarbrough, ACLU of Tennessee legal director:
“First, let’s be clear: Abortion is still legal in Tennessee today, up until the point that fetal cardiac activity is detected, at approximately 6 weeks into pregnancy. Tennessee’s trigger law does not go into effect until mid-August.
While anti-abortion activists, like those espousing any cause, are protected by the First Amendment when they demonstrate, protesters may not physically obstruct others from exercising their rights. The First Amendment does not protect people blockading clinic entrances. Nor should any health care worker have to risk threats or harassment for providing a legal medical procedure. And no person seeking an abortion should have to risk being abused for exercising their right to choose.
The ACLU of Tennessee will continue to fight for those seeking an abortion and those providing them. We are currently investigating today’s events and evaluating our legal options.