A July law requires Tennessee abortion providers to tell abortion seekers that abortion with drugs – a non-surgical procedure effective up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy that usually involves taking two drugs at intervals of several days – can be canceled. The law also requires that information about the procedure be made available on the State Department of Health’s website and that providers inform patients about it.
Tennessee abortion providers, joined by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Tennessee affiliate, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the law in August by filing a lawsuit against Tennessee Republican Attorney General Herbert Slater and other Tennessee officials for to force them to publish “untrue, misleading and inappropriate information. “
Judge William Campbell wrote on Tuesday that he “could not fully assess the competing expert opinions on whether the mandate message was ‘true and not misleading’ in the absence of expert testimony”, but found that “another aspect of the mandate was” misleading “. ”
He noted that since abortion providers have to start reporting that abortion reversal information is available on the Ministry of Health’s website from October 1, the deadline for the State Department of Health to publish the information is January 1, “such information and assistance may not be available “such that” a patient wishing to gain access to such information would not be able to do so “.
Campbell noted that “the plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong or significant likelihood of success in the substance of their claims that (the set of requirements) violates the First Amendment by requiring abortion providers to send a mandatory message that is misleading.” The block of the law will last until October 13, the date for which Campbell has scheduled a hearing in the case.
Slatery’s office said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday that Campbell’s order “simply maintains the status quo until the district court can hold a preliminary hearing,” adding that “we look forward to presenting evidence during the constitutional hearing.” of the law. “
Ashley Cofield, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi, hailed the “victory in blocking another failed policy” while slapping “how anti-abortion politicians are running the Trump administration’s program against our rights and freedoms – without public contribution and against the will of the people. “
CNN’s Veronica Stracalursi contributed to this report.