November 16, 2021

Tennessee Waiting-Period Law To Remain in Effect

After a long legal battle, a Tennessee waiting-period law is finally free of legal challenges and will remain in effect. The law requires abortion-minded women to wait at least 48 hours after visiting an abortion clinic before making the permanent decision to end the life of an unborn child.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery issued a statement last Friday after the deadline to challenge the Sixth Circuit's decision to the Supreme Court passed.

“This law was on the books for five years before the district court enjoined it. The Sixth Circuit took the unusual step of having the full court review the district court decision and that of its own panel. We are grateful that the Court recognized the validity of a law passed by the people’s representatives and did not substitute its own judgment for the policy decision made by the legislature and the Governor,” said AG Slatery.

The appellate court used statistics from 2015-2020 to refute the argument that the waiting period law presented significant and unconstitutional hurdles to abortion access.

“It is one thing to predict that the sky will fall tomorrow,” the ruling states. “It’s quite another thing to maintain that the sky fell five years ago for women seeking abortions when the numbers tell us otherwise.”