NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Republican governor of Tennessee has signed into law a bill that defunds the abortion and contraceptive giant Planned Parenthood, as well as any other organization that performs abortions.
“It is the policy of this state to favor childbirth and family planning services that do not include elective abortions or the promotion of elective abortions within the continuum of care or services and to avoid the direct or indirect use of state funds to promote or support elective abortions,” S.B. 2251 reads.
It directs the state commissioner of finance and administration to submit a waiver amendment to the federal centers for Medicaid and Medicare to “require the exclusion of a provider from the program if the bureau of TennCare finds that inclusion of the provider in the program would result in the direct or indirect use of state funds to promote or support elective abortion.”
The measure was presented by Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, who said that is disturbed him that the state was giving money to entities that kill unborn babies.
“Putting an end to abortion is one of the primary reasons I got involved in politics. The very idea that our money was being handed over to industry executives who have proudly killed millions of babies for profit, and there was supposedly nothing we could do about it, absolutely sickened me,” he said in a statement on April 11.
Matlock told lawmakers during deliberations that Tennessee has reimbursed nearly $1 million to abortion facilities through TennCare over the past six years, and is a form of supporting abortion providers. He believes the funding should instead go to county health facilities and other healthcare organizations who assist women minus the killing.
Planned Parenthood decried the measure as being discriminatory and another facet of the so-called “war on women.”
“It would prohibit women from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers and take away a person’s ability to see the qualified health care provider of their choice for these sensitive services,” said Keri Adams, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee, according to The Tennessean.
The bill passed both Houses in March, and was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam on April 9.
“After years of fighting the incredibly powerful abortion lobby, I’m proud to say that Tennessee taxpayer dollars will no longer be sent to clinics that provide elective abortions,” Matlock said. “Abortion isn’t healthcare. It’s infanticide, and Tennessee taxpayers will no longer be forced to fund it. Now it’s time to show Washington D.C. how we do things down here in Tennessee.”
As previously reported, in his 1854 lecture at the University of Pennsylvania on criminal abortion, obstetrician Hugh Hodge declared, “[H]uman life commences at the time of conception; … the embryo and fetus therefore should be protected during its intra-uterine life as sedulously as after birth.”
“Hence, that all efforts, direct or indirect, to disturb the progress of gestation or to injure the product of conception are criminal, alike violating the laws of nature and of God,” he stated.