Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) joined a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the Tennessee state law that requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait 48 hours and see a doctor before the procedure.
The new requirements became law in the state on July 1. The state legislature passed it this year and Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill in May, even though Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery called the move “constiutionally suspect.”
PPGMR joined the lawsuit with Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLUT), representing the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health.
The delay serves no medical purpose, according to Hedy Weinberg, executive director of ACLUT, and she called it “invasive political interference in private healthcare decisions.”
“This has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low- income women, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care,” said Ashley Coffield, chief executive officer of PPGMR. “We are in court to fight for every person’s right to access medical care that’s based on their doctor’s expertise and best interest – and not based on political interference.”
The suit was first filed in 2015 and is still pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennesse. The lawsuit, Adams & Boyle, P.C. et al. v. Slatery, et al., asks the court to strike down the 48-hour delay requirement as an unconstitutional.