NASHVILLE – The state of Tennessee has agreed to stop enforcing two abortion restrictions which are similar to those in Texas that were struck down by the Supreme Court last year.
State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, said the laws’ enforcement will cease immediately “in light of the Supreme Court’s current case law and to avoid the expense and utilization of resources on continued litigation.”
One of the Tennessee laws, introduced to the state in 2012, required doctors who perform abortions to receive admitting privileges at a local hospital in case there were any serious complications during or after the procedure. According to The Tennessean, two abortion clinics were forced to close after physicians failed to receive clearance.
Another restriction was added in 2014, which required clinics performing over 50 surgical abortions a year to meet the same safety requirements as ambulatory surgical care centers.
Supporters of the laws say they help ensure that women’s health and safety are protected.
In striking down the similar Texas legislation, the Supreme Court said that the laws were not medically necessary and were an unconstitutional limit on woman’s “right to an abortion.”
Three Tennessee clinics challenged the laws in 2015, but a district court agreed to halt the proceedings until the Supreme Court resolved a similar case in Texas last summer. That case led to the abortion regulations being struck down.
The Tennessee attorney general’s office says it will continue to defend a separate law requiring a 48-hour waiting period and counseling for those seeking an abortion. That regulation was also challenged in the lawsuits, which will proceed in the court system.
Tennessee is currently debating another pro-life measure. Entitled the “Tennessee Infants Protection Act,” the proposed legislation would bar abortions of babies who would be able to live outside the womb, except in cases of medical emergency.