Tennessee prosecutor refuses to enforce abortion pill reversal law
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NASHVILLE, Tennessee, September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – At least one prosecutor in Tennessee is refusing to enforce the state’s duly-enacted law requiring that women seeking abortion pills be given information on how to reverse them should they change their mind.
Among other provisions, the pro-life omnibus law enacted this summer requires anyone dispensing abortion pills to inform women about the technique of Abortion Pill Reversal (APR), as well as post the information in the waiting areas of any facility that commits more than 50 abortions per year. Failure to comply could result in a $10,000 civil penalty as well as a felony charge.
Pro-abortion groups have already challenged the law in court, and now Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk has filed documents in federal court declaring his refusal to carry it out, News Channel 5 in Nashville reported.
“The criminal law must not be used by the state to exercise control over a woman's body,” Funk said. “As long as I am the elected District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient. Further, I will not prosecute or sanction an abortion provider who states, verbally and/or in writing, disagreement with the disclosures required by the Legislature which are subject to this lawsuit.”
“We are disappointed that General Funk is failing to uphold his elected duty to prosecute violations of the laws of Tennessee,” Tennessee Right to Life responded in a statement. “Women deserve to know every option available to them and, if abortionists are violating the law by not informing their patients of the abortion pill reversal method, then district attorneys across the state should be ready and willing to enforce this law and prosecute those providers. After all, pro-choice should mean getting a choice in the first place.”
The abortion pill mifepristone (better known as RU-486) works by blocking the natural hormone progesterone that developing babies require to survive. APR consists of administering extra progesterone to counteract mifepristone’s effects, ideally within 24 hours of taking the abortion pill.
Detractors argue that APR is harmful and unproven, but as pro-life OB/GYN Dr. William Lile has explained, the technique is based on principles that are well understood from progesterone’s common, FDA-approved use in a variety of other pregnancy-related situations. APR has helped more than 1,000 women save their babies since 2007, according to Heartbeat International.
The pro-life law, which Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee has vowed to do “whatever it takes in court” to defend and uphold, also bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or if the abortion is specifically sought due to a child’s race, sex, or prenatal diagnosis of a disability such as Down syndrome.