By Tom Strode
Senior federal judge Bernard Friedman ruled from Detroit, Mich., the law is unconstitutional and permanently blocked the state from enforcing a waiting period. The 2015 law “substantially burdens” women who want an abortion in Tennessee and is “gratuitously demeaning” to those who have decided to undergo the procedure, Friedman wrote.
The state legislature approved the waiting period after a 2014 referendum granted power to the law-making body to act on abortion.
Friedman’s ruling marked the second time in three months a federal court has prevented enforcement of a Tennessee pro-life law. In late July, federal judge William Campbell issued a preliminary injunction against a new law that prohibits an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks. The measure also bans an abortion when the doctor knows the request for the procedure is driven by the race, sex or health/disability diagnosis of a child. [Read more…]