U.S. judge strikes Tennessee abortion law requiring 48-hour waiting period

Borter by Gabriella

(Reuters)-On Wednesday, a federal US judge declare that it places unconstitutional burden on women by adopting a law of Tennessee requiring a 48-hour time wait for abortions.

The legislation which entered into force in 2015 called for abortion providers to alert the danger to patients and wait for "really informed consent" at least 48 hours before continuing.

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District Court Judge Bernard Freidman decided to sue the state in 2015 in several abortion clinics.

"The law places various pressures together, which jeopardize the wellbeing and well-being of women in physical and psychological terms," Freidman said in his decision.

"The strain mainly affects low-income mothers, who make up the overwhelming majority of the abortion-seekers."

Freidman 's judgment at a time of heightened American political debate about abortion was a win for abortion rights supporters.

Related waiting period legislation in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana , Mississippi and Oklahoma have been opposed by the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRC), an abortion rights support organization.

During the 2019 Tennessee trial, the law created unjust logistical difficulties for women , especially those who had to take time off work and travel to the closest abortion clinic up to 160 kilometers, on two separate occasions, 48 hours apart.

State witnesses also stated that the waiting time for decision making is appropriate and that abortions may have an detrimental influence on the emotional welfare of people.

The judge took the view that "the state advocates of fetal life and the mental and emotional health of women were not supported by the law."

Samantha Fisher, a Tennessee General Attorney's spokesperson, told the office by email that the decision had been disappointed and considered whether appeal should be made.

Ashley Coffield, Chairman of the Tennessee Planning Parenthood Chapter, and North Mississippi, declared the decision a "patients win."

(Gabriella Borter's report; Cynthia Osterman's editing)

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