Tennessee AG seeks to lift federal stay on six-week abortion ban

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has filed an emergency motion with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to lift a stay on a six-week abortion ban enacted by the state legislature in 2020 - within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court's momentous decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Lifting the appeals court's stay would make it a crime to perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or at about six weeks of gestation - before many women know they are pregnant. Should the 6th Circuit agree to lift the ban, abortion would likely be almost entirely inaccessible in Tennessee immediately.

A decision by the 6th Circuit could come as soon as today.