Federal judge rules Tennessee abortion law unconstitutional

Oct 15, 2020

Estes Kefauver Federal Building in Nashville, Tenn.
Credit army.mil

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law for abortions is unconstitutional.


In a Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Bernard Freidman says the law “substantially burdens women seeking an abortion in Tennessee."


Friedman also says the state has not shown that the law furthers its purported goals. He says the evidence demonstrates that at least 95% of women are certain of their decision, abortion regret is uncommon and abortion does not increase women’s risk of negative mental health outcomes.


The ruling comes amid the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who critics worry could help to weaken or even overturn U.S. abortion rights.