A bill requiring an online publication of the names of doctors who perform abortions in Tennessee is drawing fire from groups who worry the bill puts physicians in danger.
The Life Defense Act of 2012, more commonly known as the abortion bill, is sponsored by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough.
Under its current wording, the bill would require the state health department to publish the names of doctors performing abortions and the location of those procedures.
“[I would] have a choice as a Tennessean to find out easily and quickly from information that is easily collected who is pro-life and who believes like I do,” said Myra Simons of Tennessee Rights to Life adding, “It will be a great victory for pro-life.”
Others, including the Tennessee Medical Association and Planned Parenthood, worry the bill puts an unfair target on physicians.
“What concerns us most [is] the safety of physicians in our state, the healthcare providers and their families,” said Russ Miller, Executive Vice President of the Tennessee Medical Association.
Jeff Teague, President of Planned Parenthood in Middle Tennessee, added, “It's going to intimidate doctors who provide abortion care and frighten, intimidate or terrorize women seeking abortion care.”
The bill would also require the department of health publish more specific information about the women who receive abortions including age, race and martial status, as well as the number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions and the county she lives in.
Sources at the capital say the bill will likely be amended to better protect doctors and patients.
Read more about HB 3808 online at TN.gov.