Federal Court Immediately Blocks Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill Hours After Governor Bill Lee Signed into Law

by Jonathan Mattise


NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Hours after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday signed the Heartbeat Bill into law, a federal judge quickly blocked the measure.

Judge William “Chip” Campbell was nominated to the federal bench in 2017.

U.S. District Judge William Campbell in Nashville opted to wait for the bill to become law to rule on whether to block it. In granting the temporary restraining order Monday, he wrote that he’s “bound by the Supreme Court holdings prohibiting undue burdens on the availability of pre-viability abortions.”

Supporters of these type of bills hope lawsuits over them head to an increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of ending the constitutional right to abortion protected under the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark ruling.

Lee, who announced the legislation in January alongside Republican lawmakers, said during a livestream from his desk Monday that he was signing “arguably the most conservative, pro-life piece of legislation in the country.”

Plaintiffs seeking to block the law quickly let the court know it was signed and became effective immediately, “meaning that nearly all abortions in Tennessee have been criminalized.” The court’s ruling followed shortly after, keeping the law blocked pending a July 24 hearing.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit hours after the bill passed.

Under the law, abortions are banned once a fetal heartbeat is detected – about six weeks into pregnancy – before many women know they’re pregnant. Similar legislation has been enacted in other states, such as Mississippi and Georgia, but has been similarly blocked by legal challenges.

In the waning moments of the annual legislative session last month, state lawmakers passed the bill – shocking Democratic lawmakers and reproductive rights advocates.

On Monday, State House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart said the law “will ultimately cost taxpayers millions in legal fees to defend.”

The law has several other restrictions, including a prohibition on abortion based on race, sex or diagnosis of Down syndrome.

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Jonathan Mattise is a reporter at The Associated Press.




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4 Thoughts to “Federal Court Immediately Blocks Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill Hours After Governor Bill Lee Signed into Law”

  1. MAGA

    Unborn Lives Matter!

  2. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    Fascinating! I just finished my recertification for acute coronary life-support (ACLS). As a ER / ICU bedside nurse, for the last 22 years, I am blown away at the madness. Here, as a Nurse, we are taught that a perfusing heart beat means there is life. For this is the aim of our treatment, a perfusing heart beat / rhythm. And here, we have shut down the state, life as we know it, so that ICU beds will be available for those at risk of Covid / Flu, or any other 200 + Viruses that could cause the need for intensive care and life saving measures, to keep a perusing heart beat? It leaves me dumbfounded.


    impeach the smiley jerk

  4. Angelito

    All I hear from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU is that their “rights and freedoms” are under attack.

    I wonder how that baby feels when their life is under attack, and they are helpless to try to survive?