Judge Kevin Sharp Allows Informed Consent, Waiting Period to Go Into Effect on Wednesday, July 1
Pro-abortion attorneys for Drs. Wesley Adams and Gary Boyle, owner-operators of two unlicensed abortion facilities, successfully argued late Friday afternoon in Federal Court that enforcement of the new state law requiring licensure and inspection of such centers would result in "irreparable harm" to owners of the facilities.
Ruling in favor of the abortionists, Federal Judge Kevin Sharp granted a temporary restraining order against state enforcement of the new statute at two facilities owned and operated by Adams and Boyle. These include the Bristol Regional Women's Center and the Nashville Women's Center where a 911 call recording of an abortion patient in distress became a public focus of the 2014 campaign to win passage of pro-life Amendment 1.
During the hearing, Judge Sharp expressed concern that insufficient time had been provided by the state for the facilities to "jump through all these hoops" and to complete required renovation of the abortion centers to meet new health and safety requirements passed by the General Assembly in late April. The court's emergency restraining order will be in place until July 9 at which time Obama-appointed Judge Sharp will hear arguments regarding the pro-abortion challenge of policies including facility regulation, informed consent and 48-hour waiting period for women and girls considering abortion, all passed in April 2015 following voter passage of Amendment 1 last November.
In addition, abortion facilities in Memphis, Nashville and Bristol have filed suit against the 2012 Life Protection Act which requires abortion providers to hold admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Responding to the court action, Tennessee Right to Life remains confident of ultimate victory for implementation of the common sense policies. "While it's discouraging to see abortion-vulnerable women and girls continuing to be placed in harm's way at unlicensed facilities, it is not surprising that abortion-profiteers are doing everything possible to continue operating outside of the law and outside of basic health and safety standards," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.
"As we did with challenges against parental consent in 1995 and the Choose Life plate in 2003, Tennessee Right to Life will continue doing everything possible to ensure strong legal defense of the statutes and, at the same time, to continue moving forward to promote the protection of human life in our communities, state and nation."
Enforcement of the new law requiring health department inspection and licensure of abortion facilities has been blocked by federal judge Kevin Sharp with regard to 2 specific facilities owned by Wesley Adams and Gary Boyle. The law is in effect at 4 other surgical abortion centers in TN.
A 14-day temporary restraining order expires on Thursday, July 9, at which time Judge Sharp will hear arguments from the TN Attorney General's office in support of the laws as well as attorneys representing the abortion-facilities.
On July 9, Judge Sharp will also take up the pro-abortion challenge to the new laws requiring informed consent and 48-hour waiting period. The abortionists have additionally filed suit against the effective 2012 law requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers, a law credited with the closure of two facilities in Memphis and Knoxville.
Although challenged, the laws requiring informed consent and 48-hour waiting period will go into effect on Wednesday, July 1 but are at risk pending the outcome of the July 9 hearing in Judge Sharp's courtroom.