Tennessee Judge Halts Pro-Life Law Allowing Inspection of Abortion Clinics

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 14, 2015   |   9:50AM   |   Nashville, TN

In Tennessee, a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring district attorneys from enforcing a pro-life law requiring abortion facilities to meet new safety standards. The Tennessean reports that U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp stopped district attorneys in Davidson and Sullivan counties from requiring facilities that perform more than 50 abortions annually to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. A second law requires women in the state to receive in-person counseling and wait 48 hours prior to getting an abortion.

As LifeNews previously reported, in May, Tenn. Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 1368 into law in response to the voter passage of Amendment 1 in 2014.

The president of Tennessee Right to Life said the following about HB 1368: “Tennessee Right to Life is grateful to our public officials for fulfilling their commitment to the people of Tennessee and restoring this common sense health policy to protect the health and safety of women and girls. Those who profit from unregulated abortion in Tennessee are the losers today. Women, girls and families are empowered by the requirement that adequate and accurate information is provided to assure careful decisions to protect health and life in our state.”

Abortionist Wesley Adams filed the lawsuit against the new law accompanied by the Women’s Center in Nashville and the Bristol Regional Women’s Center in Sullivan County. Unfortunately, the district attorneys in Tennessee said they were not planning to enforce the law but refused to submit a statement to that effect, which is why Judge Sharp issued the injunction.

The lawsuit also asked the court to set aside HB 3808, a law requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. HB 3808 took effect in 2012 and has forced two abortion facilities to close in Tennessee. In Texas, a federal appeals court upheld a similar admitting privileges bill that closed down multiple abortion facilities and cut abortions by13 percent in the state, saving an estimated 9,900 babies from abortion.

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Although abortion proponents argue that having an abortion is like having a tooth extracted, forty-two years of choice has not served women well. From botched abortions and injured women, to decades of psychological pain, infertility, and higher chances of developing breast cancer, women deserve to know the truth about the so-called “five-minute, painless” abortion.

Legislation like HB 1368 and HB 3808 acknowledges the fact that abortion hurts women and mandates that the state implements measures to ensure that women are given the highest standard of care possible. This is especially necessary in scenarios where women experience complications from abortion, such as hemorrhage, uterine perforation, or infection from an incomplete abortion. In the past, the delay in care has caused women unnecessary trauma, injury, and even death. For example, a Chicago woman died at a Planned Parenthood facility after a botched second trimester abortion because she did not receive immediate care after an abortionist perforated her uterus.

Additionally, this legislation is important for Tennessee because the Centers for Disease Control reports that 1 of 4 abortions performed in the state are sought by a woman residing in another state, the 3rd highest out-of-state abortion rate in the nation.