Tennessee Senate Passes Bill Blocking Abortion Spending for Local Governments

by Jon Styf


A bill to prevent local governments from using taxpayer funds on abortions or travel out of state to get abortions passed the Tennessee Senate.

Senate Bill 600 passed by a 27-6 margin despite objection from several Democratic senators.

“We already are in a situation where we have OB-Gyns moving out of the state,” said Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville. “To make it even more onerous for women in this situation seems indefensible to me. It’s really hard to be a woman in the state of Tennessee right now. I don’t see why we have to make it harder for women.”

Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said the bill stipulates it would have to be a “criminal abortion” according to state code in order for a local government to be punished.

The punishment for using those funds would be an audit finding for improper use of funds. The bill comes after last year Metro Nashville council proposed a $500,000 grant to assist women getting an abortion outside of Tennessee but then amended the bill to make it a grant to Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.

Sen. London Lamar, D-Memphis, again asked if the bill could risk funding for local hospitals.

“The damage would be to the local government, not the hospital,” Hensley said.

Hensley stated the current abortion exceptions in the law include if there is “risk to the life of the mother or serious bodily harm to the mother” but there are not exceptions for rape or incest, which are not mentioned in the code.

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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter of The Center Square who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.
Photo “Joey Hensley” by Tennessee General Assembly. Background Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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One Thought to “Tennessee Senate Passes Bill Blocking Abortion Spending for Local Governments”

  1. Joe Blow

    If docs are moving out of state in order to be able to reap rewards by performing abortions, then I say good riddance to bad rubbish.