TN Legislative Update: 2/24/22
By Francie Hunt, Executive Director | Feb. 24, 2022, 8:27 p.m.
Thanks to all of you who have reached out to your legislators and showed up in legislative committee meetings over the last couple weeks in opposition to the Forced Birth Agenda. Because of your direct actions, we have seen some positive movement!
- The Medication Abortion Restriction Bill (SB2281 & HB2416) was rolled to 3/1/22 in the House Health Subcommittee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill was so sloppily written that there were several legal and medical entities in opposition. Our understanding is that there is an amendment that will rectify some of our concerns: removal of the onerous reporting requirements (including the fake abortion reversal language), removal of the 20-year prison penalty for physicians that don’t comply, and changes to the civil action right to sue portion of the bill. We were pleased to see physicians taking a stand against this terrible policy in news coverage in several outlets.
- The Miscarriage Criminalization Bill (SB2300 & HB2314) was rolled to 3/8/22. This is an abortion ban. There are several opponents to this bill because it would hurt people who need IVF (fertility treatment) and those who experience stillbirth or miscarriage. This bill is also dangerous for anyone who does anything that “risks” harm to fertilized eggs, embryos, or fetuses. If this bill passes, it could be used to arrest, lock up or detain a pregnant person believed to be taking action perceived to be risky or disapproved of by officials (such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or exercising “too much”).
- Two anti-abortion bills were in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week:
- SB0204 & HB0724 was moved to General Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary. This was an unconstitutional total ban on abortion when a pregnancy is detected.
- SB0494 & HB1079, the Impregnator Bill, was deferred to 3/8/22. This is an unconstitutional, insulting bill that gives the suspected impregnator veto power over another person’s abortion decision.
- The House K-12 Subcommittee voted to pass SB2158 & HB2257, which is a bill that prohibits anyone who provides abortions from teaching sex-ed in public schools. As of this writing, the bill is scheduled to be voted on 2/23/22 in the Education Administration Committee.
What can you do now?
- For the Medication Abortion Restriction Bill, write the House Health Subcommittee Chair, Representative Bob Ramsey, or contact him at 615-741-3560, and tell him to stop HB2146 in the subcommittee on March 1!
- Also, write the Senate Judiciary Committee chair, Mike Bell, or contact him at 615-741-1946, and tell him to stop SB2281 in the committee on March 1!
- Our annual Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day is March 15th! Whether you're a new activist or a seasoned advocate, this day has virtual & in-person opportunities for you to meet with legislators, attend panel discussions, & build your grassroots lobbying skills. Sign up here for any or all Advocacy Day events.
- Nashville-area activists, we need you on our Legislative Rapid Response Team! This dynamic crew is committed to showing up & showing up LOUD at the legislature this session. Sign up here and we'll be in touch to schedule you for an orientation
- Memphis-area advocates, we're not leaving you out of the fun: Join us for a weekly virtual Advocacy & Strategy Night to get caught up on the latest legislative updates & help build long term strategy for reproductive freedom work in West Tennessee. Check out & sign up for upcoming dates here.
Thank you for standing with us. It’s difficult to be on the hill sometimes with a powerful anti-choice supermajority. Your actions make a huge difference and keep us standing strong!