Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Grants Expedited Appeal and Grants Stay of Injunction Pending Appeal

Apr 26, 2021 at 11:28 am by WGNS

On Friday, April 23, 2021, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the State of Tennessee’s motion to lift the injunction against the 48-hour waiting period pending a full en banc appeal. This will allow the 48-hour waiting period to go back into effect until the judges hear the case and make a ruling.

“Tennesseans support commonsense legislation such as this waiting period which protects women from being rushed into a decision by the very industry that will profit from her abortion.  There are children alive in Tennessee today because this law allowed their mothers time to consider all their options. The court has made a wise decision to allow this law to go back into effect," said Stacy Dunn, President of Tennessee Right to Life. 

In the same decision, the court granted the state’s request to expedite the case which was passed overwhelmingly by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2015.

“It continues to look promising that the 6th Circuit will uphold Tennessee’s 48 hour waiting period law. This was the first law that Tennessee Right to Life supported following the passage of Amendment 1, because we knew it was both constitutional and would save lives. We are grateful the 6th Circuit is giving this law a thorough examination and feel confident that they will rule in its favor when all is said and done,” said Will Brewer, Legal Counsel and Lobbyist for Tennessee Right to Life.


Tennessee passed the 48-hour waiting period law in 2015. On June 25, 2015, abortion facility owner-operators filed suit against the Tennessee law. The complaint was filed in federal court by operators of Choices abortion facility in Memphis and owners of unlicensed abortion centers in Bristol and Nashville. New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is representing the abortion facilities and Tennessee's Attorney General is defending the constitutionality of the protective laws.

The waiting period law was allowed to remain in effect during the court challenge from 2015 to October 14, 2020 when with complete disregard for the health and safety of Tennessee's women and unborn children, Senior United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman permanently enjoined enforcement of Tennessee's 48-hour waiting period.

On November 4, 2020, Tennessee Attorney General, Herbert Slatery, filed a motion with the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for the law to remain in effect while being appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In February, a three-judge panel upheld the injunction. The Attorney General petitioned for and was granted an en banc appeal of the February decision.
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