NRL News

Tennessee Gov. Signs Law mandating inspection of abortion facilities

by | May 11, 2015

Two more bills on Governor’s desk

By Dave Andrusko

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

The air was thick with pro-abortion gloom last month when the Tennessee House voted in favor of the previously passed Senate bill, 79-17. But on Friday when pro-life Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill into law, pro-abortionists could not contain their rage.

Alluding to Tennesseans’ approval last fall of a state constitutional amendment which make abortion limitations possible, Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights, charged it “opened the door for Tennessee politicians to begin demonstrating their hostility to women’s constitutional rights and indifference to their well-being, and now they have marched right through.”

Tennessee Right to Life agreed that “Amendment 1” was crucial–and not just to passage of this measure. The amendment, 14 years in the making, was designed to give the legislature—and through legislators, the voters–-“more leeway” in the regulation of abortion facilities in Tennessee.

“Tennessee Right to Life is grateful to our public officials for fulfilling their commitment to the people of Tennessee and restoring these common sense protections to protect the health and safety of women and girls,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. Tennessee RTL also emphasized a truth that NRL News Today readers will recall reading about:

“Weaker abortion laws in Tennessee have contributed to large numbers of out-of-state women seeking to abort which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, has resulted in Tennessee becoming an abortion destination in which of 1 of 4 abortions was sought by a woman or girl from another state.”

A slew of commonsense pro-life laws were tossed out in 2000 when the Tennessee Supreme Court held, “A woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” Now, thanks to Amendment 1, a pro-life legislature, and a pro-life governor, there are two other laws on Gov. Haslam’s desk: informed consent and a 48 hour waiting for women and girls considering abortion.

Back in April, when the House Health Committee first passed the informed consent and waiting period, pro-life members reminded opponents (including four abortion clinics that testified in opposition) that voters had these laws in mind when they passed Amendment 1.

“This legislation is specifically a response to the approval by a majority of voters of Amendment 1,” said State Rep. Matthew Hill. “Amendment 1 was presented to the voters of Tennessee and to the citizens, and they were told clearly time and time again that if Amendment 1 was adopted that informed consent, 48-hour waiting period, and the inspection of facilities would be what the Legislature brought forth. That’s why this legislation specifically deals with two of the three things that were specifically delineated during the campaign of Amendment 1.”