Trump Judges Allow Tennessee Abortion Ban to Take Effect

The ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes six Trump judges, reinstates the "reason" ban in Tennessee.

Photo of the Tennessee state capitol at night
Tennessee's "reason" ban will be allowed to go back in effect after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling last week. Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a temporary injunction that had blocked a pre-viability abortion ban in Tennessee.

The decision reinstates part of the law—the “reason” ban”—which asks the government to read a pregnant person’s mind and determine their motivations for getting an abortion. Because that’s going to end well.

The court still needs to hold a hearing on this whole mess, including the remaining portion of the unconstitutional six-week ban that was blocked last year, but delayed it until after the Supreme Court releases a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks.

Tennessee is known for these types of abortion restrictions. Last year, the Tennessee Attorney General’s office also went to bat for any length of waiting period to deter people from having abortions. And again the Sixth Circuit said sure, go ahead. Who needs rights, anyway?

Furthermore, Tennessee state lawmakers last year tried to give spouses veto power over a pregnant person’s abortion. Because what men really need is more power. As Rewire News Group reported:

And if the pregnant person goes ahead with that abortion anyway? They could be held in criminal or civil contempt of court. There are no exceptions for rape or incest—because what could be more pro-life than that?

This is the same state where a shooter in January 2021 attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic; and the clinic was again targeted on New Year’s Eve by a still-unknown arsonist or arsonists.

In the full Sixth Circuit ruling, Judge Karen Nelson Moore issued a fiery dissent, writing: “such a decision would manifest reckless overconfidence and unprincipled disregard for the normal judicial process.” Under Trump, the Sixth Circuit flipped to Republicans; six of the judges were nominated by Trump.

 This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.