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Politics

Attorney general: Constitutionality of abortion laws unclear

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An advisory opinion by the Tennessee attorney general's office says it's not clear that abortion restrictions struck down by the state Supreme Court 14 years ago would be upheld today, despite a change to the state constitution.

A constitutional amendment passed last November made clear that nothing in the Tennessee Constitution protects abortions. But the advisory opinion says that abortions still are protected by the U.S. Constitution.

That protection is not unlimited. Restrictions on abortion are constitutional as long as they do not place an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

The Tennessee Supreme Court's 2000 decision found the state restrictions were an undue burden. According to the attorney general's opinion, issued Feb. 6, it's not clear whether a court ruling today would apply that precedent or re-examine the laws' constitutionality.