Federal Judge Abolishes Tennessee Law Requiring Waiting Period Prior to Abortion

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

 

A federal judge ruled a Tennessee law requiring women to wait at least 24 or 48 hours prior to abortion unconstitutional last week. The ruling impacts any aspect of the law that references mandatory waiting periods.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III was named the defendant in the case.

Judge Bernard Friedman issued the ruling, calling abortion a “time sensitive medical procedure.” Any waiting period served as a “substantial obstacle to a woman’s choice.” According to Friedman, the law was therefore unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Defendants have failed to show that the challenged mandatory waiting period protects fetal life or the health of women in Tennessee,” stated Friedman. “It is apparent that this waiting period unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion and is an affront to their ‘dignity and autonomy,’ ‘personhood’ and ‘destiny,’ and ‘conception of … [their] place in society.'”

This Due Process Clause protects individuals from denial of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” It was unclear in the opinion whether Friedman’s analysis of this clause accounted for the Constitution’s distinction between liberty and license.

In 2018, Friedman was also responsible for striking down a federal law banning female genitalia mutilation (FGM). In that case, Friedman ruled that the law was unconstitutional because FGM doesn’t have anything to do with the Interstate Commerce Clause. On those grounds, the federal government couldn’t regulate FGM through the law they’d written.

Friedman’s order resulted in charges being dropped against eight individuals who committed FGM on nine underaged girls.

This most recent decision rested heavily on precedent from Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Friedman stated that the law doesn’t require any valuable information for the women’s decision making. Some of the information included agencies or services that offer help to women throughout the pregnancy and after birth, as well as a mandate descriptions of abortion procedures.

The decision also stated that the law discriminated on the basis of sex because it doubted women’s ability to make sound medical decisions and not men’s.

Overall, Friedman established that the “burdens imposed by the mandatory waiting period outweigh its benefits.” He cited logistical, financial, and emotional burdens in his opinion.

According to the attorney general’s office, Slatery plans to appeal the order.

– – –

Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Pro-Life Supporters” by Brian Stansberry CC BY 3.0. 

 

 

 

Related posts

4 Thoughts to “Federal Judge Abolishes Tennessee Law Requiring Waiting Period Prior to Abortion”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Another example of a high and mighty judge using his personal opinion to overturn a law passed by our elected representatives. What an outrage.

  2. Robert Roark

    Because Roe v Wade established a Constitutional “right” to abortion, every attempt to place limits on abortion have failed. Instead of attacking Roe head on, states have passed numerous laws to restrict abortions. All have failed, including Tennessee’s latest attempt. Overturning Roe may reduce the number of abortions, but abortion will still be legal in states that do not prohibit it. To stop abortion, we have to stop abortion. State law must make abortion what it truly is – the premediated murder of a living human being, must identify who will be prosecuted for violating this law, and how the personal impact of offsetting abortion can be taken care of so an abortion is not a legitimate need. The Tennessee legislature has already been shown how to do this by the Family Action Council of Tennessee. Through lack of courage or concern, it has not been willing to take such action.

  3. Horatio Bunce

    Judge Bernard Friedman issued the ruling, calling abortion a “time sensitive medical procedure.” Any waiting period served as a “substantial obstacle to a woman’s choice.”

    Didn’t Bill Lee’s unconstitutional Coronahoax executive orders ban a whole bunch of medical procedures that were also time sensitive? Only murdering babies was considered essential. I have an elderly neighbor that waited MONTHS past the scheduled date to replace a pacemaker/battery. I guess the machine that keeps your heart running isn’t essential. If he needed an abortion, no problem. Killing people is an essential mission of the government.

    Also please enjoy this unelected, federal judge working against the will of the people and remember that Republicans like Brian Kelsey made sure to amend the state constitution so our state level judiciary can be selected by a bunch of lawyers instead of by the people. He said the federal system works so well we should mimic that at the state level – which we had already been doing illegally since the Democrat’s unconstitutional (and illegal) Tennessee Plan from 1970’s.

  4. John

    Firstly, expect Beatrice to leave a troll comment.

    Secondly, is this judge off his rocker?

    “Defendants have failed to show that the challenged mandatory waiting period protects fetal life or the health of women in Tennessee,”

    Assuming the abortion isn’t botched, the procedure has a 100% death rate when it comes to the unborn child.

    All through this article, the judge discusses the woman’s rights. Well the unborn have rights too!

Comments