Update on Pro-Abortion Legal Challenges to Amendment 1, Pro-Life Laws

Tennessee Right to Life has become aware that, due to an ongoing shortage of judges in the Middle Tennessee District Federal Court, a Michigan judge has been named to oversee the challenge of Tennessee's pro-life laws.  The lawsuit Adams & Boyle v. Slatery is brought by independent owner-operators of private abortion facilities in Bristol, Nashville and Memphis and seeks to strike common-sense provisions requiring informed consent and a 48-hour waiting period for women and girls considering abortion, hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and health department inspection and licensing requirements for abortion facilities in Tennessee.

In December 2015, by agreement of both parties, Judge Kevin Sharp agreed to place the case on hold pending the outcome of the Texas case with similar issues being taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court (Whole Woman's Health.) That case was decided in June 2016 with the challenged admitting privileges law and abortion facility standards being struck down in Texas.

Judge Sharp announced his retirement from the District Court effective April 15, 2017. Now, Michigan Senior Federal District Judge Bernard A. Friedman, by special designation, has asked both parties to prepare for trial.  

In a separate lawsuit, Planned Parenthood supporters continue their challenge of Amendment 1 and the state's method of counting the votes which they claim violates the voting rights of pro-abortion voters.  Retiring Judge Sharp also presided over this case and sided with Planned Parenthood demanding a recount to the ballots and threatening to void the election results.  The recount has been placed on hold pending the outcome of the state's appeal to the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, a hearing which is awaiting the scheduling or oral arguments.

Tennessee Right to Life and the YES on 1 campaign coordinated a Friend of the Court brief which includes the names of 8,850 Tennessee voters who urge the court to uphold the outcome of the 2014 election.