TN pro-lifers witness judge quash 48-hour law

Friday, October 16, 2020
Chris Woodward (

Judge banging gavel 2A pro-life group is optimistic Tennessee's attorney general will appeal a federal court ruling that upended a 2015 abortion law.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Freidman has ruled Tennessee's 48-hour waiting period is unconstitutional claiming it serves no legitimate purpose while placing a substantial burden on women who seek abortions in Tennessee.

The state law, passed in 2015, requires women to make two trips to an abortion clinic: first for mandatory counseling and then for the abortion at least 48 hours later.

"We fully expect the Tennessee attorney general to defend this and appeal it to the 6th Circuit, and we wholeheartedly believe that the 6th Circuit will overturn Judge Friedman's decision," says Will Brewer, legal counsel and director of government relations at Tennessee Right to Life.

In his ruling, Judge Freidman found the state could not show that the law furthers its purported goals.

"Women's mental and emotional health is not benefited because the mandatory waiting period does nothing to increase the decisional certainty among women contemplating having an abortion," Friedman wrote. "Further, the evidence demonstrates that at least 95 percent of women are certain of their decisions, post-abortion regret is uncommon, and abortion does not increase women's risk of negative mental health outcomes."

According to Brewer, however, court witnesses said approximately 40 percent of women who enter an abortion clinic are undecided. Yet the judge concluded most have decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Brewer challenges anyone to "find an elective surgical procedure that you can walk in on day one and get right there on the spot."

According to Brewer, Tennessee is trying to give women every possible piece of information and every possible amount of time to weigh all of the factors involved and give it what he calls "the proper emotional consideration that this deserves."


We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
Liberty Counsel to court on counseling ban: Free speech matters

'Freedom of Speech' sign held upA religious liberty law firm is awaiting a federal appeals court ruling that affects its client, a licensed professional counselor who demands the First Amendment right to free speech for his clients, and for himself, in the privacy of a counseling session.