As you may know, Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has withdrawn his mandatory ultrasound bill. It certainly is a victory for women's health in Tennessee (for now), but the fight for women's health is far from over.
While we are pleased that Senator Tracy withdrew his mandatory ultrasound bill, we recognize this move for what it is: a disgusting display of hypocrisy and a calculated political move to try to ensure passage in 2014 of SJR127, the proposed constitutional amendment that would remove privacy protection from our constitution and lead to abortion being banned in Tennessee. He, like other anti-woman opponents of abortion in the General Assembly, knows that passage of this ultrasound bill would have undermined their reasoning and justification for SJR127.
Opponents of safe, legal abortion claim that SJR127 is necessary to allow passage of laws to restrict and regulate abortion, yet the General Assembly has continued to pass laws that make it more difficult for women to access safe, legal abortion and that place unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers. Specifically, last year, the General Assembly passed a law requiring admitting privileges for well-trained physicians who provide abortion. As a result, women in Tennessee now have fewer options when seeking abortion services.
At Planned Parenthood, we believe that women deserve all of the information they need to make informed and private decisions about their health care. For decades, we’ve been the place for women to turn to for accurate information about all pregnancy options. We oppose any attempt to violate their right to privacy, and restrict their ability to access legal healthcare care.
With women clearly lacking access to reproductive health care, we want to know why Tennessee politicians and special interest groups are trying to make it harder for women to get health care.