The quasi ban abortion law in Tennessee went into effect Thursday, two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Laws prohibiting abortion come into force in three new American states on Thursday, further restricting access to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) in the United States, two months after the historic decision of the Supreme Court to reconsider this right.
There are now 21 million women, according to the Washington Post, who are banned or severely restricted access to abortion in at least 13 states.
Republican-led Tennessee, Texas and Idaho joined dozens of other states that also implemented dormant laws passed in anticipation of the Supreme Court's decision.
Composed of six out of nine conservative judges, the latter dynamited on June 24 the constitutional right to abortion, protected for nearly 50 years in the country, and returned to each state the power to legislate on the question.
This judgment, a historic victory for the conservative movement, caused a political storm and placed the issue of abortion at the heart of the campaign for the mid-term legislative elections scheduled for November.
The Supreme Court's decision is a “tragic error” and the result of “extremist ideology”, said United States President Joe Biden.
Since ;reversal of the famous judgment Roe c. Wade, 13 states have banned or severely restricted access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which advocates for access to contraception and abortion.
Many women wishing to have an abortion must travel outside these states, and sometimes travel thousands of miles, to find an open clinic – if they can afford such a journey.
In Texas, the law which comes into force on Thursday punishes up to life in prison any caregiver who performs an abortion, with an exception in the event of major danger to the mother. It adds to a tangle of restrictive texts which had already led to the effective cessation of abortions in this state of 30 million inhabitants.
In Tennessee, in the south of the country, where abortion was already prohibited beyond six weeks, any practitioner performing an abortion may be sentenced to prison.
This state, like Texas, does not provide an exception for rape or incest, and observers believe that the law is unclear in the event of intervention for save the mother.
In Idaho (northwest), the new text makes it possible to sentence caregivers who have performed an abortion to two to five years in prison, with exceptions in the event of incest or rape.
A federal judge on Wednesday night blocked part of this law, and the state will not be able to prosecute doctors who perform abortions to protect the health of women. The day before, a reverse court decision had been taken in Texas, illustrating the confusion surrounding the legal battles that are multiplying across the country.
Eventually, about half of US states, especially in the conservative and religious central and southern south, could outlaw or severely restrict the right to abortion. In Indiana, such a law is due to go into effect Sept. 15.
Conversely, Democratic-led states seek to establish themselves as sanctuaries.
And President Joe Biden has made the defense of abortion one of his campaign themes in order to mobilize his electoral base, and in particular women, in view of the November elections, which threaten its fragile majority in Congress.
Two recent victories have given hope to the Democratic camp.
Top August, voters in Kansas, a traditionally right-wing state, voted to uphold the constitutional abortion guarantee. And on Tuesday, a Democrat who campaigned for abortion rights won against his Republican opponent in an election in a hotly contested district in New York State.