In the Courts

Tennessee Right to Life works to promote public respect for the dignity of every human life, especially those threatened by abortion and euthanasia.

As the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization, we serve to provide educational resources to our communities in order to positively influence public attitudes on matters affecting human life.  Right to Life also advocates for protective legislation and we provide tangible assistance to women and families facing unexpected pregnancies.

Current lawsuits in Tennessee courts are challenging pro-life laws and the outcome of the vote on Amendment 1 on November 4, 2014.

Assisted Suicide - John Jay Hooker et al v. Herbert Slatery et al: Filed in Davidson County Chancery Court on May 19, 2015.  Chancellor Carol L. McCoy ruling upholds Tennessee law not allowing physician assisted suicide, September 29, 2015. John Jay Hooker appeals case to the Tennessee Court of Appeals on October 7, 2015. John Jay Hooker's attorney's voluntarily dismiss appeal, May 25, 2016.

  • The lawsuit is brought byJohn Jay Hooker and seeks to overturn the 1993 state law which largely mirrors the policies of nearly 40 other states which similarly protect the lives of the elderly, disabled, and sick.  The proponents of doctor-assisted suicide claim the state's ban on the practice violates fundamental privacy rights in the Tennessee Constitution.


Pro-life Statutes - Adams & Boyle, et al v. Slatery, Dreyzehner et al: Filed in U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on June 25, 2015.  Assigned to Federal Judge Kevin Sharp. Case is scheduled to be heard January 2019.

  • Abortion facility owner-operators filed suit against Tennessee laws requiring facility inspection, hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and informed consent provisions for women and girls considering abortion.  The complaint was filed in federal court by operators of Choices abortion facility in Memphis and owners of unlicensed abortion centers in Bristol and Nashville.  New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is representing the abortion facilities and Tennessee's Attorney General is defending the constitutionality of the protective laws.  "A lawsuit brought by those who profit from the killing of unborn children should not surprise anyone," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.


Amendment 1 - Tracey E George et al v. Haslam et al: Filed in U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on November 7, 2014.  Assigned to Federal Judge Kevin Sharp.  Judge Sharp rules that the state's method of counting votes for constitutional amendments violates the US Constitution and orders a re-count, April 22, 2016.  TN Attorney General files for an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Planned Parenthood Board Chairperson, Tracey George, along with other board members filed suit against passage of Amendment 1 claiming that voter rights were violated and that ballots were not accurately counted.  The suit requests that the votes be recounted or for the results be nullified.  The lawsuit is one more example of pro-abortion activists refusing to trust the "common sense and compassion" of Tennesseans who voted to approve Amendment 1 on November 4.

Amendment 1 - Tre Hargett, Secretary of State for the State of Tennessee and Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections of the State of Tennessee v. Tracey E. George, et al: Filed in Williamson County Chancery Court on September 1, 2015. Assigned to Williamson County Judge Michael W. Binkley.  Judge Binkley rules that the state's method of counting votes for constitutional amendments does not violate the Tennessee Constitution and that the State of Tennessee was correct in declaring Amendment 1 as passed, April 21, 2016.

  • Tennessee Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, and Coordinator of Elections, Mark Goins, filed suit in Williamson County to declare that the method of counting votes for Tennessee constitutional amendments is correct under the applicable provisions of the Tennessee Constitution.

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