Federal judge upholds restraining order against Tennessee’s new ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion legislation

Federal judge upholds restraining order against Tennessee’s new ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion legislation
Gov. Bill Lee signs fetal heartbeat bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - A federal judge ruled Friday a bill banning abortions in Tennessee once a fetal heartbeat is detected will not become law just yet.

Governor Bill Lee signed the legislation July 13, calling it “arguably the most conservative, pro-life piece of legislation in the country.” But Judge William Campbell issued a temporary restraining order that same day, preventing the new law from taking effect.

The bill also requires a woman to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion and outlaws the procedure based on race, sex and disorder with few exceptions for medical emergencies.

Gov. Bill Lee signs fetal heartbeat bill

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Tennessee filed a lawsuit in June after lawmakers sent the bill to the governor’s desk.

The group is arguing the ban is unconstitutional, citing previous attempts at similar bans in other states that were overturned. A federal judge permanently blocked a similar law earlier this month in Georgia.

In Friday’s ruling, the order reads the “Preliminary Injunction Order shall remain in effect pending further order of the Court.”

The next hearing date is not yet scheduled.

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