48 Hour abortion waiting period holds up in court

Tennessee Attorney General says legal challenges have now run their course

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – Tennessee’s Attorney General is declaring victory in an abortion battle in the courts.

It has been a six year legal fight.

Tennessee lawmakers passed a law requiring a 48 hour waiting period before getting an abortion.

AG Herbert H. Slatery III says a group of abortion providers challenged the waiting period in court, saying it violated a woman’s right to have an abortion.

Then a district court ruled in their favor and stopped Tennessee from enforcing it.

A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit upheld that ruling.

But the Attorney General appealed to the full Sixth Circuit and won.

In August, the full court found that the law “is not a substantial obstacle to abortion for a large fraction of women seeking pre-viability abortions in Tennessee.”

Now the Attorney General says the window for challenging the law is closed, so it will remain in effect.

Twenty other states have some sort of waiting period for abortions.

“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 General Slatery.

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