April 3, 2012 — The Tennessee House on Thursday voted 72-24 to pass a bill (HB 3808) that would require doctors who provide abortion care to have hospital admitting privileges in the county where they perform the procedure or in an adjacent county, the AP/Elizabethan Star reports (AP/Elizabethan Star, 3/30).
The measure's sponsor, Rep. Matthew Hill (R), said the bill is necessary to ensure women's safety if problems arise during procedures in doctors' offices or outpatient surgical centers (Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 3/30).
House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner noted that no other medical procedure is subject to similar restrictions for physicians.
Other critics of the bill also questioned why its supporters are singling out abortion for new regulations. "I think [the bill is] intended to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to place another requirement on a physician that makes it more difficult for [women] to seek out the services that they want that are legal in the state of Tennessee," state Rep. Gary Odom (D) said.
Hill recently dropped a controversial provision that would have made public the names of abortion providers, as well as demographic information about women who obtain the procedure (AP/Elizabethan Star, 3/30).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership