Yesterday’s News Channel 5 broadcast contained a powerful segment about the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans stuck in the “coverage gap” thanks to the TN GOP’s refusal to expand medicaid, which has cost our state $6 Billion and counting and helped us lead the country in rural hospital closures per capita. Read more
Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) has introduced a bill that would make it a crime to perform or obtain an abortion in Tennessee after a fetal heartbeat is detected, with the only exception being a medical emergency – a bill that was already struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge in Iowa.
The Bill has the support of both Governor Lee and Glen Casada, who told the Associated Press that he thinks it’s “a fight worth having in front of the Supreme Court.”
Even Tennessee Right to Life, a group that advocates against abortions, opposes the measure because they believe it would not survive legal challenges. It’s similar to one that was introduced in 2017 that the then Tennessee Attorney General also called “constitutionally suspect” which failed in large part due to lack of support from Tennessee Right to Life.
This bill – HB 0077 – would essentially make it a crime to provide OR receive an abortion after 8 weeks (when a fetal heartbeat is detectable), with the only exception exception being a medical emergency.
There’s no mention of rape, incest or mental health exceptions.
Close to 70,000 women a year die from unsafe abortion and numerous others suffer grave injuries, including infection, hemorrhaging, and infertility. Half of all pregnancies in this country are unintended, and, of those, half end in abortion.
This bill would do nothing to reduce unintended pregnancies, which is what abortion reduction laws should focus on. According to the CDC:
In 2006, 49% of pregnancies were unintended—a slight increase from 48% in 2001.
Among women aged 19 years and younger, more than 4 out of 5 pregnancies were unintended.
The proportion of pregnancies that were unintended was highest among teens younger than age 15 years, at 98%.
Large increases in unintended pregnancy rates were found among women with lower education, low income, and cohabiting women.
The National Institutes of Health tells us there are several approaches that have been shown to be effective in reducing unintended pregnancies:
Ensure birth control and family planning is freely available to adolescents and adults
Sex education programs, which provide information on abstinence and contraceptive use and do NOT encourage the onset of sexual intercourse nor increase the frequency of intercourse among adolescents. (In fact, quite the opposite)
Expand Medicaid (as most other states have) so low-income mothers can have access to family planning and prenatal care that helps prevent birth defects.
Medicaid is pro-life. Rejecting $6 billion of our own federal dollars isn’t making mothers or children any safer. We should join the majority of the country and expand medicaid now.
Rep. Jim cooper has a bill that would give us even less excuse for not doing it.
Representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) responded to the Heartbeat bill by telling The Holler: “We need to trust women. It’s a rights issue. If you don’t allow a woman to make decisions about her own body, you don’t believe in equal rights.” Johnson continued, “We do not need the government in our doctors’ offices. It’s always one of those ‘small government’ guys who comes in with a bill to regulate women’s health care.”
6 in 10 women say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
This week we learned Clay County would lose yet another rural hospital, putting Tennessee into the double digits and cementing our place as the per capita leader in rural hospital closures.
Instead of accepting the billions of dollars we lose each year and simply expanding Medicaid like many other “red” states already have – and they don’t regret it – Tennessee Republicans want permission to impose a work reporting requirement on poor parents and caregivers who get coverage through Medicaid.
What would this mean?
A new study from Georgetown tells us this would mean 68,000 of our most vulnerable families lose coverage, mainly in rural areas, and THEIR KIDS WILL SUFFER THE MOST.
- In Arkansas 23 percent of affected adults lost their health insurance. If Tennessee has a similar outcome, approximately 68,000 parents will lose their Medicaid coverage.
- The new rules would predominantly affect Tennessee’s poorest mothers in small towns and rural communities.
- Even if these parents work more hours, they are unlikely to have an offer of health coverage from their employers.
- The loss of coverage for parents would affect their children, creating more financial hardship for families and risking children’s access to health care. Tennessee was one of nine states to see a significant increase in children lacking health coverage in 2017.
As yet another rural hospital closes in Clay County, there’s simply no excuse for not expanding Medicaid at this point.
As Tennessee continues to reject billions each year, yet another rural hospital shuts its doors, this time in the Clay County/Celina area.
“the closing will cost 146 full & part-time employees their positions”
Not expanding Medicaid for political reasons is an absolute shame. Hope Governor Bill Lee and the state legislature see the light before more unnecessary damage is done.
Read the article from NewsTalk941.com Here.
We need as much exposure asap #CelinaTN. This is #12 or #13 #RuralTN hospital closure, & more soon #TNHD38 @traecrowder @jaketapper @StephenAtHome @RachelMaddowSho @JimmyKimmelLive @LamarAlexander @MarshaBlackburn @RepMikeStewart @BillLeeTN @markpody @kt_keisling @YagerTweets https://t.co/1gTBxNs8eq
— Carol Abney for TN House 38 (@ElectCarolAbney) January 29, 2019
On MLK Day, Governor Lee decided to pay his respects by going to Tennessee State and sharing the stage with Reverend Barber.
Now we’re guessing he probably wishes he hadn’t.
Lee was the first Tennessee Governor to show up at the event in 30 years, and it seems that was no coincidence. Barber made the most of the occasion, making it clear that politicians who claim to love MLK but fight against what he actually stood for will no longer get a free pass on his watch.
Check out the amazingness in a glorious thread here.
Yesterday @RevDrBarber called out Governor @BillLeeTN & anyone who claims to love MLK but fight his agenda and hurt poor people.— Justin Kanew (@Kanew) January 22, 2019
Everyone should see it, so here's a THREAD. I encourage you to WATCH & SHARE them all.
Let's start with Barber calling out Lee to his face. 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/hrtar2PXQX