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Pro-life medical association to appeals court: TN’s law protecting women deserves to stand

ADF attorneys file friend-of-the-court brief in favor of state law ensuring women have critical health information
Published On: 2/17/2021

Related Case: Bristol Regional Women’s Center v. Slatery


CINCINNATI – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a pro-life medical association filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to reverse a federal district court decision ruling unconstitutional a 2015 Tennessee law protecting women. The brief, filed on behalf of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, explains that the U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld similar laws requiring a waiting period before abortions can be procured.

The brief argues that the district court ignored binding court precedents in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and another case where the 6th Circuit upheld a similar waiting period. The brief also explains that the district court applied the wrong legal standard when it halted enforcement of the state’s five-year-old law.

“Every woman should have the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in a pregnancy,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle. “No court is permitted to review a law it dislikes and substitute its own policy views for the views of the state’s elected branch of government. The Supreme Court has already recognized that state governments have the constitutional authority to provide women contemplating abortions the opportunity to receive crucially important information before such a life-changing procedure is performed. In fact, many women resort to abortion because they feel it is their only choice and then regret the decision for years to come. Tennessee’s law is a commonsense, compassionate, and constitutional statute that protects women, and it deserves to be upheld.”

As ADF attorneys note in their brief filed in Bristol Regional Women’s Center v. Slatery, CMDA is an incorporated nonprofit Tennessee organization of Christian physicians and allied health care professionals with over 19,000 members nationally, many of whom reside and practice in Tennessee. CMDA provides a medically reliable and ethically sound public voice on health care policy, works to uphold the sanctity of life, and works to ensure that courts apply the correct legal standard when evaluating constitutional challenges to abortion regulations.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life. 

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