TN Legislative Update: 3/10/22
By Francie Hunt, Executive Director | March 11, 2022, 4:51 p.m.
An amendment to House Bill 2779 appeared late Monday. This is copycat legislation from Texas that essentially would ban all abortion in Tennessee and allow private citizens to sue their neighbors if they think they helped someone seek an abortion. Since the Texas law has been in effect, abortion providers in the state have been forced to stop performing abortion after approximately 6 weeks of pregnancy.
However, unlike the 6-week ban in Texas, HB2779/SB2582 would be a total ban on abortion with an immediate effective date. This is not a drill: abortion will be illegal in Tennessee if this bill is signed into law.
The House Health Subcommittee will likely hear HB2779 next Tuesday, March 15th at noon CT/1:00PM ET during our Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day. This subcommittee meeting is our best chance to stop this bill, so it's critical that legislators on the subcommittee get as many calls & emails from us as possible before next Tuesday.
We need you to take action NOW - and we’ve made it easy. Use the script below to call or email the legislators on the House Health Subcommittee before Tuesday AND forward this email to 5 folks and ask them to do the same:
"Hi there, my name is [NAME] and I live in [CITY, TOWN, OR COUNTY], and I'm calling to ask [TITLE + LEGISLATOR NAME] to vote against HB2779, the total abortion ban that allows people to be sued for supporting a friend seeking an abortion.
Banning abortion is bad for women, pregnant people, families, and our communities. If this bill becomes law it will do untold damage in our state. This bill is also flagrantly unconstitutional and subverts basic principles of our judicial system. It incentivizes vigilante justice and could flood our state courts with harassing and meritless lawsuits.
Tennesseans do not want this legislation in our state. I believe Tennessee legislators should be using our resources on the actual challenges facing our communities--not on obviously unconstitutional bills that will cause harm to countless Tennesseans. Thank you for your time."
Here's the list of House Health Subcommittee members to call or email:
- Bob Ramsey, Chair (R-Maryville)
- Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro)
- Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon)
- David Byrd (R-Waynesboro)
- Bob Freeman (D-Nashville)
- Mark Hall (R-Cleveland)
- Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory)
- Sabi Kumar (R-Springfield)
- Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville)
- Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta)
Until now, we’ve been bracing ourselves for the June U.S. Supreme Court decision on Mississippi’s 15-week ban and its impact on Tennessee. But HB2779 has become an even more urgent fight, which could ban abortion once this becomes law. I hope to see you Tuesday at our Advocacy Day.
Abortion rights are on the line, so let’s sound the alarms and fight!