Democrats to introduce legislation to protect access to reproductive healthcare

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats announced Tuesday legislation to restore access to reproductive healthcare in Tennessee.

“We want to make sure Tennesseans will be represented in this legislature, and we are doing everything that we can right now to let people know that we are working on that,” said Sen. Heidi Campbell.

Sen. Campbell says democrats are working on a bill to codify Roe in Tennessee. They also aim to introduce legislation to fix some aspects of the current state law, including:

  • Establishing a clear legal exception for the health and well-being of the mother
  • Adding apparent legal exceptions for victims of rape, incest, and sex trafficking
  • Adding patient-doctor privacy protections for telehealth care
  • Repealing criminal statutes targeting doctors who provide medically sound and appropriate care for their patients.

“We need to make abortion a healthcare decision, a healthcare policy. This is something where we need to involve the medical community, women, mothers, advocates. We need to have a real conversation about what’s best, rather than trying to figure out how to involve police and prosecutors,” explained Sen. Jeff Yarbro.

With the legislative session coming up in January, Senator London Lamar asked for the public’s support.

“Black women like myself are 2.5 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women here in Tennessee. As a woman who has lost a child during pregnancy, I know that every pregnancy is unique and complex. That is why women should have control over their own bodies and lives, including the decision about when to start a family,” stated Senator Lamar.

Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally had the following to say regarding the legislature:

“The voters of this state and their General Assembly have affirmed time and time again that Tennessee is a pro-life state. The Supreme Court has given states the ability to determine their own laws on abortion. Those decisions have already been made in Tennessee. Through the heartbeat bill, the trigger law, and a constitutional amendment, the state, and its voters have made their views known. Abortion on demand is over in Tennessee and there will be no return. Period.”

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