abortion

TennCare moves to implement new TN ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ law

In compliance with a law approved earlier this year by the state legislature, TennCare officials last week applied to the federal government for a waiver that could block clinics that provide abortions from being paid for other health care services, reports the Johnson City Press. An ETSU professor says there may be unintended consequences including more abortions; a legislator disagrees.

Continue reading

Legislature sends governor bill backing ‘monument to the unborn”

In the last hours of the legislative session, a bill favoring erection of a “monument to unborn children” on the state capitol grounds was sent to the governor after a House-Senate dispute over wording of the measure was resolved.

Apparently, the bill is to be viewed as making a request for the monument to the State Capitol Commission; not the mandate that was included in the original version. And Gov. Bill Haslam says he and his staff will be reviewing the bill before he decides whether to sign it.

Continue reading

Senate votes to urge — rather than require — erection of a TN ‘monument to the unborn’

A House-approved bill mandating erection of a monument to unborn children on the Tennessee state Capitol grounds was amended in the Senate Monday to instead just voice support for the idea. After the revision, the measure was approved 23-3 and sent back to the House.

Continue reading

Ohio law — similar to TN ‘defunding Planned Parenthood’ bill — voided by appeals court

A federal appeals court has ruled Ohio’s efforts to cut off Planned Parenthood from receiving funds for preventive health programs violate the organization’s First Amendment rights, according to the Washington Post. And the News Sentinel’s Jamie Satterfield observes the Ohio law is similar to one recently approved by the Tennessee legislature.

Continue reading

Senate sends ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ bill to governor

The state Senate Thursday approved and sent to the governor a bill promoted as “defunding” Planned Parenthood. It requires TennCare officials to submit a waiver request to the federal government for ending any payments to “elective abortion providers’ – even if those payments are for health care services other than abortions.

The bill (HB2251, as amended) was approved 24-2 in the Senate with Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) as sponsor. It was approved by the House 71-17 on March 13 with Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) as sponsor.

Continue reading

In Nashville visit, Pence praises Trump, Black for anti-abortion efforts

Vice President Mike Pence used his latest visit to Nashville to offer support for the anti-abortion movement and reassure those gathered at a Christian broadcasting conference that the Trump administration will be the most vociferous supporter yet of issues important to evangelicals, reports The Tennessean.

Continue reading

Abortion legislation update: ‘Heartbeat bill’ dies, monument to ‘unborn’ and defunding bills arise

The so-called “heartbeat bill,” perhaps the most controversial measure on abortions pending in the Legislature this year, fell by the wayside last week in a House subcommittee. But anti-abortion legislators came up with some new bills.

-Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) and Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) propose commissioning of a “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” that would be placed on state capitol grounds. (HB2381).

-Sen. Mike Bell (R-Athens) and Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) introduced HB2251 with the declared goal of defunding Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, though the filed bill does not do so directly.

Continue reading

Van Huss pushes ‘heartbeat bill’ against wishes of some anti-abortion activists

Even though some anti-abortion activists oppose the idea, state Rep. Micah Van Huss says he will push for a vote on the so-called “heartbeat bill” to prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It’s scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in the House Health Subcommittee, the panel that voted 5-4 to in 2017 to postpone any action until 2018, a move Van Huss now says “in essence doomed over 3,500 babies to death.”

Continue reading

Matlock push to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood bashed by Democrats

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, a candidate for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat, has announced a push for passage of legislation to totally “defund” Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, contending there is currently a “false narrative” that no taxpayer dollars support the organization.

Legislative Democrats held a news conference Wednesday to denounce the bill, reports the News Sentinel (with Tennessean input), and a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said the proposal would have a “devastating impact” on preventive care services for women such as birth control and cancer screenings.

Continue reading

Appeals court upholds TN constitutional amendment on abortion

By a 3-0 vote, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected a legal challenge to the 2014 vote that added an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution dealing with abortion, overturning a lower federal court ruling that called for a recount. The 6th Circuit decision, on the other hand, is in line with a state court ruling.

Continue reading