Judge Rules Against Pro-Life Waiting Period Law; Again
Basic Safeguard for Women Not Allowed to be Enforced
On Monday, December 14, Senior United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman ruled that Tennessee cannot enforce our Pro-life 48-hour waiting period law during the appeals process.
In October, Judge Friedman ruled the law as unconstitutional stating, "the mandatory waiting period is...gratuitously demeaning to women who have decided to have an abortion...provides no appreciable benefit to fetal life or women's mental and emotional health. On the contrary.....place women's physical and psychological health and well-being at risk."
Tennessee's Attorney General, Herbert Slatery, is appealing the decision to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Slatery asked Judge Friedman to allow enforcement of the law during the appeals process arguing that "abortion providers have been complying with the law for the entire five years it took to get a ruling into federal court, so keeping the law in place during the appeals process will not harm them."
This common sense policy, in effect since 2015, has resulted in saving countless unborn lives. Additionally, mothers given two days to consider their decision have been saved from years of regret. The extra 48-hours allows them the opportunity to identify life-affirming resources in their community or region.
"Not only are these decisions a slap at Tennessee's abortion-vulnerable women, they are an affront to Tennessee's voters who passed a 2014 constitutional amendment in which allowing a short waiting period was a key factor," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. "Our organization remains committed to seeing a similar statute drafted and enforced during the next legislative session," said Harris.
"This waiting period law was drafted in consultation with nationally renowned legal scholars in order to mirror similar laws across the country. We have no doubt that the Sixth Circuit will swiftly overturn Judge Friedman’s ruling.” said Will Brewer, legal counsel and legislative liaison for Tennessee Right to Life.
Tennessee Right to Life will continue advocating for protective, pro-life legislation and defending this law. Your active support is needed now more than ever.