Attorneys for 3 TN abortion centers argued this morning in federal district court that enforcement of the new state law mandating basic health and safety standards at abortion facilities would require “partial demolition” of their abortion facilities and a cost of “twenty to forty thousand dollars” at each location to bring their businesses up to standard.
Tift claimed that the licensure statute could cause “irreparable harm” to abortion owners and called the pro-life law “disruptive, expensive and burdensome.”
Meanwhile, attorneys from the TN Attorney General’s office pointed out that the sole intent of the legislation is to ensure health and safety standards at the facilities and argued that the law should not be enjoined in light of the likelihood of ultimate success on the statute’s merits.
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At the end of the Thursday’s hearing, federal district Chief Judge Kevin Sharp extended his original temporary restraining order for 30 days and called for parties to return on August 10 to demonstrate any progress on resolving the conflict. He cautioned that there is “uncertainty on both sides” and ruled to maintain the current “status quo” in which the state is prevented from enforcing the licensure law. Sharp noted that extensions of his restraining orders “won’t go on indefinitely” and that a resolution of the matter should be expected.
Presently, state laws requiring informed consent for women and girls considering abortion, a 48-hour waiting period, and hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers are in effect. Additionally, the injunction against enforcement of the licensure standards affects only three plaintiff abortion centers in Bristol, Memphis and Nashville.