Tennessee’s abortion wait period law faces court arguments

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four years after Tennessee passed a law requiring a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, abortion clinics are getting a chance to argue against it in court.

Beginning Monday, attorneys for five of the state’s seven abortion clinics will try to prove the law harms the women it’s supposed to help. They argue the waiting period has pushed many women into second-trimester abortions, which have a greater chance of complications.

New research by Texas A&M University researchers supports that claim. It concludes the law is responsible for a 62% increase in the number of Tennessee women seeking second-trimester abortions between 2014 and 2016.

Tennessee is among 14 states where pre-abortion counseling must take place in person, meaning a woman must make two separate trips to the clinic.

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