NRL News

Pro-Lifers celebrate as Tennessee waiting period and abortion clinic regulation laws take effect

by | Jul 1, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam

While the state of Florida battles an activist judge to ensure that its 24 hour waiting period goes (and stays) in effect, in Tennessee, the fruits of the state’s long-term pro-life commitment were on display.

Taking effect today is the state’s informed consent measure which provides for a 48-hour waiting period for women and girls seeking an abortion after meeting with the abortionist.

As we have reported previously, the abortion measure affects all seven of the state’s abortion clinics.

The waiting consent law was passed 10 days after Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law requiring that all clinics performing more than 50 surgical abortions each year be regulated as outpatient surgery centers and inspected annually. That also took effect today. [1]

Unsurprisingly, the waiting period is strongly supported by Tennesseans. “[A] recent poll by Vanderbilt University showed Tennessee voters largely support the two-day waiting period, with 60 percent in favor of the measure, while 28 percent oppose it,” Anita Wadhwani reported recently for The Tennessean.

In addition, she wrote, abortionists must tell women the baby’s age; that “numerous public and private agencies and services are available to assist her during her pregnancy and after the birth of her child, if she chooses not to have the abortion”; an explanation of how the abortion will be performed; “The medical benefits, risks or both of undergoing an abortion or continuing pregnancy to term”; and if the baby has reached 24 weeks “and a viable child is born during the course of an abortion, the physician has a legal obligation to take steps to preserve the health and life of a child.”

These and other pro-life measures were made possible by passage last year of “Amendment 1.” This amendment to the state Constitution’s key wording is in the beginning: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

yeson1ccIt was needed because in 2000 the Tennessee Supreme Court found, “A woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.”

Not only were a slew of commonsense pro-life laws tossed out because of the Court’s decision, the Volunteer State became an abortion haven. One in four abortions is performed on women who live outside of Tennessee.

As Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, told NRL News Today, “Now women and girls will be assured of additional information and adequate time to ensure that their decision is fully informed.”

Harris, “Women will be empowered and lives will be saved as a result of these common-sense safeguards.”

[1] “ Last week, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order to two abortion clinics after they said they wouldn’t be able to be licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers before July 1,” the Associated Press reported.

Editor’s note. If you want to peruse stories all day long, either go directly to and/or follow me on Twitter at

Categories: Legislation