Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Several female members of the state Legislature have announced legislation which would restore common-sense policies regarding the practice of abortion in Tennessee.
During a Capitol Hill press conference held hours before the opening of the 109th General Assembly, state Senator Mae Beavers (Mount Juliet) joined Representatives Susan Lynn (Mount Juliet) and Debra Moody (Covington) to announce their intentions to promote passage of several policies including informed consent for women and girls considering abortion, a short waiting period and a requirement that abortion facilities be held to the same health and safety standards as other out-patient surgical facilities.
"For too long, Tennessee has been an abortion destination in which women and girls considering abortion have been denied full information regarding the age and development of their unborn children, potential health risks associated with the procedure, and available resources to assist them during a difficult pregnancy," said Senator Beavers who is sponsoring informed consent legislation. "As a result of passing Amendment 1, Tennesseans have spoken and we now have an opportunity and responsibility to begin restoring common-sense balance to this state's abortion policy."
State Representative Debra Moody shares Beavers' concern and is House sponsor of the bill requiring informed consent provisions. "Women deserve to have all the facts about any surgical or medical procedure they are contemplating and abortion should not be treated any differently," said Moody. "We are here today because we are pro-woman, pro-child and pro-life. We must encourage an environment that ensures no woman is left to regret an abortion decision because she wasn't provided adequate information or resources."
State Representative Susan Lynn is sponsoring a separate bill to require licensure and inspection of abortion facilities by the TN Department of Health. "We have allowed the health and safety of women and girls to be put at risk because of differences of opinion over abortion," said Lynn. "Regardless of whether you are pro-life or not, every woman deserves all the facts and deserves to know that the facility she enters has been inspected and held to the same standard as any other ambulatory surgical center," said Lynn.
Legislators said that they expect the bills to be a top priority for the General Assembly and for efforts to begin as soon as the regular legislative session gets underway. "The people have spoken and it's time to act in response to what the voters have approved," said Beavers.