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"25-40% OF WOMEN SEEKING ABORTION ARRIVE AT THE ABORTION FACILITY UNDECIDED.....INFORMATION AND TIME BENEFIT WOMEN."

DR. PRISCILLA COLEMAN, BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES, TESTIMONY IN FEDERAL COURT

Last week, leaders of Tennessee Right to Life spent 4 days attending the Federal court trial in the case challenging Tennessee’s Pro-life informed consent and 48-hour waiting laws. We were the only Pro-life group that attended the trial.

In 2015, members of the Tennessee General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a TRL-sponsored law requiring a 48 hour waiting period for any woman seeking an abortion. The law also requires that the woman receive information about her unborn child as well as the possible complications from the procedure. Combining the two provisions was meant to give women truth and time so that abortion facilities could not easily rush a woman into a decision that will affect her for the rest of her life.

The Right to Life-initiated law is credited as one of the reasons the abortion rate in Tennessee is the lowest it’s been since 1974. Click here to view Tennessee's latest abortion numbers. During the trial, Dr. Vanessa Lefler with the TN Dept of Health & Vital Statistics testified that the rate and number of abortions of Tennesseans have been declining since 2008.

After four long years, the case was heard last week in the Middle Tennessee Federal District Court in Nashville by Judge Friedman from Detroit. The list of Plaintiffs’ attorneys included five law groups, two of which are from New York. The Tennessee Attorney General’s office defended the life-protecting measure as they have challenges to Pro-life Amendment 1 and the state's ban on doctor-assisted suicide.

Click for highlights of trial witness testimonies.

 

Pro-Life State Legislator, Rep. Bill Dunn, Retiring

"Rep. Dunn's prudence and persistence toward accomplishing pro-life goals have been key to establishing one of the most significant state records of Right to Life policy in the country."

Karen Brukardt, TRL Board Member

Raised by parents who served as early founders of Tennessee Right to Life in the 1970s, state Rep. Bill Dunn's pro-life roots run deep. His leadership during the 1990s as president of the local Right to Life chapter in Knoxville exemplified an astute understanding of pro-life politics and the importance of organizing advocates for effective action. Dunn's election to the state House in 1994 would prove pivotal in the fierce legislative battles that followed to promote meaningful pro-life policies, especially the sixteen-year effort to pass pro-life Amendment 1 in 2014.

"It is hard to imagine a more important figure in Tennessee's pro-life legislative history," said Karen Brukardt, Tennessee Right to Life Board member, and former Legislative Liaison."Rep. Dunn's prudence and persistence toward accomplishing pro-life goals have been key to establishing one of the most significant state records of Right to Life policy in the country," said Brukardt.  "Tennessee remains the only state to have now passed both a pro-life amendment to our state Constitution as well as legislation to fully restore our state's pre-Roe laws upon overturn of the landmark ruling in whole or in part. Dunn's thoughtful guidance and careful counsel to pro-life leaders and legislators over the years has been instrumental in passing laws that are enforceable and effective in saving lives and helping women and families in need."

"Perhaps most remarkable is the decorum and dignity with which Rep. Dunn maintains himself among colleagues and advocates, even among those with whom he disagrees," said Brukardt. "His mature and moral leadership will be deeply missed at the General Assembly but we remain confident that Tennessee Right to Life will continue to benefit from the wisdom, good will, and compassion that embodies Bill Dunn."