What Roe v. Wade being overturned means for Tennesseans
If the ruling was overturned, that would give the decision of allowing or outlawing abortions to the state level.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A preemptive law was passed and signed by Gov. Bill Lee in 2019 that made all abortions illegal in Tennessee if Roe v. Wade was overturned.
The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.
In the final opinion issued Friday, Alito wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote.
In the Tennessee bill, which will go into effect 30 days after the ruling, no exceptions were provided by the bill for victims of rape or incest. The only abortion that would be legal in the state would be in circumstances involving “substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function.”
Doctors who perform abortions in Tennessee will face prosecution, but women seeking them will not, the bill noted. The full bill can be read below:
The Tennessee Democratic Party said they would continue pushing back, saying the decision was a “direct assault” on the rights of Tennesseans.
The Justice Foundation was ecstatic following the ruling. Allan E. Parker, Jr., President of The Justice Foundation, stated the following:
Tennessee leaders also shared thoughts on the ruling; those statements can be found here.
After the draft was leaked in May, people gathered across the country to demonstrate their stance against and for the decision, including in Knoxville.
Some demonstrators said the court was taking away people’s rights.
“The Supreme Court is gearing up to take away rights of all people who are marginalized who don’t fit their agenda, which is probably anybody who is not white or male,” said protestor Allie Cohn.
Others told WVLT News they were happy about the decision.
“Every baby deserves the chance to be born and have the opportunity to grow up,” said Steven Simpson.
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