by Jon Styf
Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period for abortions will stand.
The law was first challenged six years ago, with a district court ruling the statutory waiting period violated a woman’s right to have an abortion.
The full Sixth Circuit court ruled in August to uphold the waiting period, saying it “is facially constitutional” because it is “supported by a rational basis” and “is not a substantial obstacle to abortion for a large fraction of women seeking pre-viability abortions in Tennessee.”
The plaintiffs’ timeline of opportunity to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court ended Friday, so the 48-hour waiting period will stand.
“This law was on the books for five years before the district court enjoined it,” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said in a statement. “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.”
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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. He is a staff reporter for The Center Square.