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Illinois joins brief against Tennessee’s restrictive abortion law

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Illinois has joined other states in filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals over Tennessee’s new restrictive laws.

Illinois has the least restrictive abortion laws in the Midwest.

According to a press release from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the law requires women seeking abortions to attend two in-person appointments with physicians no fewer than 48 hours apart.

The plaintiffs in Bristol Regional Women’s Center v. Slatery argue that Tennessee’s waiting-period law subjects women to an unnecessary and onerous requirement that will, in practice, delay abortions and increase the risks for women who seek to obtain them. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition explain that waiting period laws are not necessary to ensure informed consent and impose substantial burdens on women and abortion rights.

“Tennessee’s attempt to restrict its residents’ access to safe and legal abortion services is unconstitutional and compromises the health and well-being of women seeking medical care,” Raoul said. “Women have the right to make their own reproductive health decisions, and I am committed to defending that right.”

The filing states that other states, including Illinois, do not require the delay and treat abortions as they would any medical service. The attorneys general argue that because there is no evidence that women in these states fail to make informed decisions about their medical needs, Tennessee’s waiting-period law is not reasonably related to the aim of ensuring informed consent.

Joining Raoul in the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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