Challenge to Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period now in the hands of Judge Bernard Friedman

By Dave Andrusko

Judge Bernard Friedman

You have to give pro-abortionists in Tennessee credit for persistence. No matter how well-supported a law (or ballot measure such as Amendment 1) is, they will challenge it until the absolute last dog is hung.

Enter the 2015 informed consent measure that provides for a 48-hour waiting period for women and girls seeking an abortion after meeting with the abortionist.

Five abortion clinics essentially instantaneously filed suit, and, according to The Tennessean’s Anita Wadhwani, “Both sides submitted final written conclusions late last month. Senior Judge Bernard Friedman, a Michigan judge appointed to preside over the case, has no set timetable for issuing his ruling.”

Twenty-eight states require a reflection period of at least 24 hours.

Pro-abortionists argue (surprise, surprise) that this period allowing time and reflection constitutes an “undue burden.”

The state Attorney General’s office countered in its legal filings that the waiting period “helps to ensure that abortion decisions are made knowingly, competently and voluntarily.”

The clinics “have not shown that the Challenged Law prevented even a single patient from obtaining a desired abortion. What is more, the evidence at trial revealed the law benefits prospective abortion patients by ensuring that they have the time and information necessary to make a deliberate and informed decision.”

How did we get here? As Nancy Flanders explained, “From 1978 to 2000, Tennessee had a 48-hour waiting period for abortion, which was done away with when the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the state Constitution contained a right to privacy and therefore a right to abortion. However, in 2015 the constitution was revised [by a successful ballot measure, Amendment 1] to state that there is no right to abortion. The 48-hour waiting period went back into effect. While this is good for women and children, it’s bad for the abortion industry.”

Has the 48 hour waiting period made a difference? “Since the waiting period was enacted, the number of abortions obtained by women in Tennessee has dropped by 12%, from 9,861 in 2014 to 8,636 in 2017, the most recent data available from the Tennessee health department,” Wadhwani reported.