Elections have consequences. You have heard that statement before because it is true.
In 2011, under the guidance of pro-life Governor Bill Haslam (R), Tennessee became one of the first states to use administrative authority to divert funding away from Planned Parenthood to healthcare providers who do not commit abortions. This thwarted the anticipated legal challenge from the abortion industry that usually follows a legislative action.
Now in 2016, we have more pro-life victories to show what can be accomplished when we elect a pro-life governor and majorities in the General Assembly.
Tennessee Right to Life reports that early in 2016, the governor called for “reforms to the Tennessee Department of Health to include unannounced inspections of the licensed facilities in order to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, strengthened record-keeping requirements by the licensed facilities related to the disposition of fetal remains, and a simplified process to report complaints against surgical facilities.”
This was brought in response to the release of undercover videos last summer in which high-ranking Planned Parenthood leaders were caught negotiating the sale of baby body parts, Governor Haslam responded with the drafting of legislation "to strengthen accountability and transparency for surgery centers performing abortions." The pro-life bill is opposed by Planned Parenthood and some researchers who depended on upon the aborted fetal remains for experimentation.
The fact that the legislation was promoted and made a priority by Governor Haslam was instrumental in its expedited passage. It passed the state senate by a vote of 28-2 and the state house by 79-9. In a separate bill, Rep. Bryan Terry, M.D. (R-Murfreesboro) proposed requiring that authorization for the method of disposal be by signed rather than inferred consent by the woman or girl considering an abortion. That bill was also passed easily by the House on Thursday by a vote of 89-0.
"Pro-life Tennesseans are grateful to the Legislature and to the Governor for bringing about this common sense reform to prevent the trafficking of remains of unborn children killed by abortion in our state," said Cathy Waterbury, legislative liaison for Tennessee Right to Life.