Key Court Hearings on Life in TN UPDATE

UPDATE, AUGUST 13: Federal Judge Kevin Sharp issued an injunction today barring district attorneys in Davidson(Nashville) and Sullivan(Bristol) Counties from enforcing the new law that requires that abortion facilities performing 50 or more surgical abortions annually be licensed and inspected by the TN Dept. of Health.


Federal Judge Kevin Sharp conditionally lifted a temporary restraining order that had stopped the state from enforcing the new abortion law.  "There is no indication either of the district attorneys (in Bristol or Nashville) are intending to prosecute." Steven Hart, Special Counsel, Office of the TN Attorney General. (arguing against continued injunction.) So who is going to demand enforcement of the inspection and licensure law supported by a majority of Tennessee voters and their elected representatives?  Click here forThe Tennessean article.... 


Federal Judge Extends Temporary Injunction Against Enforcement of Inspection and Licensure of 3 Abortion Facilities 

Informed Consent, Waiting Period, Hospital Admitting Privileges Remain in Effect

Attorneys for 3 TN abortion centers argued this morning (Thursday, July 9) in federal district court that enforcement of the new state law mandating basic health and safety standards at abortion facilities would require "partial demolition" of their abortion facilities and a cost of "twenty to forty thousand dollars" at each location to bring their businesses up to standard. Pro-abortion lawyer Scott Tift urged federal judge Kevin Sharp  to provide "protection from closing their business."

Tift claimed that the licensure statute could cause "irreparable harm" to abortion owners and called the pro-life law "disruptive, expensive and burdensome."

Meanwhile, attorneys from the TN Attorney General's office pointed out that the sole intent of the legislation is to ensure health and safety standards at the facilities and argued that the law should not be enjoined in light of the likelihood of ultimate success on the statute's merits.

At the end of the Thursday's hearing, federal district Chief Judge Kevin Sharp extended his original temporary restraining order for 30 days and called for parties to return on August 10 to demonstrate any progress on resolving the conflict. He cautioned that there is "uncertainty on both sides" and ruled to maintain the current "status quo" in which the state is prevented from enforcing the licensure law. Sharp noted that extensions of his restraining orders "won't go on indefinitely" and that a resolution of the matter should be expected.

Presently, state laws requiring informed consent for women and girls considering abortion, a 48-hour waiting period, and hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers are in effect.  Additionally, the injunction against enforcement of the licensure standards affects only three plaintiff abortion centers in Bristol, Memphis and Nashville.