Tags: Abortion | tennessee | abortion | laws | quotes | debate

Tennessee Abortion Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 06:30 PM

Tennessee became more restrictive in the abortion-rights arena in May 2015, when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a law that requires women to wait 48 hours to have the procedure following an in-person consultation.

Coupled with a stipulation that all but first-term abortions be performed in a hospital, the new law restores strict abortion policies that had been eliminated by a 2000 state Supreme Court ruling.

Vote Now: Do You Support Tougher Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

The law, which went into effect July 1, didn't come without arguments from both sides. Here are some quotes from the debate.

• "Women and girls considering abortion in our state deserve relevant details and adequate time to make fully informed decisions about the fate of their unborn child. We are grateful to the voters who approved Amendment 1 and to the public officials who have fulfilled their commitment to restore common-sense protections for women, girls and unborn children in our state."
– Tennessee Right to Life President Brian Harris, May 2015, to The Tennessean

•  The bill "adds pointless burdens to women while doing nothing to protect them. It is a tool to shame and disgrace women who make the deeply personal decision to end a pregnancy. And it creates unnecessary financial and emotional hardships. It requires physicians to use an unnecessary and politically driven script for so-called 'informed consent' and requires all women regardless of their circumstances to make two visits to a physician to receive an abortion."
– Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Memphis Region, in a statement

Shortly before the law took effect, a lawsuit was filed to specifically block the part that forced clinics that perform at least 50 surgical abortions annually to be regulated as ambulatory surgical treatment centers.

Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York City-based advocacy group, joined two Nashville law firms in the suit.

"Tennessee women have already suffered under the laws passed by politicians to choke off access to safe and legal abortion, and it's time for the court to step in before greater damage is done," Northup told The Tennessean.

Urgent: How Do You Feel About Stronger Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

Harris wasn't surprised by the tactic.

"A lawsuit brought by those who profit from the killing of unborn children should not surprise anyone," Harris told The Tennessean. "These abortion facilities refuse to be held to the same standards as legitimate health care providers and will do everything possible to avoid meeting even the most minimal health and safety standards required of other outpatient facilities."

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Tennessee became more restrictive in the abortion-rights arena in May 2015, when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a law that requires women to wait 48 hours to have the procedure following an in-person consultation.
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2015-30-20
Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 06:30 PM
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