Tennessee House to Vote on Bill to Opt out of Abortion Funding Under Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
April 7, 2010
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — The Tennessee state House on Thursday will vote on a bill that would have the state opt out of using state tax money to pay for abortions in state health care exchanges. The bill responds to the federal legislation Congress approved and President Barack Obama signed into law.
The state pro-life bill is sponsored in the House by state Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough.
"The state has to take action on it to opt ourselves out of it so our tax money isn’t used for (abortion), he said previously. I feel it is extremely necessary because … we can continue to ensure our Tennessee tax money does not go to fund abortions at the federal level."
The legislation has the support of Tennessee Right to Life.
"House Bill 2681 would keep our state from being forced to pay for abortion services through the new federal health care exchange program," the group told LifeNews.com today. "This will help protect our tax dollars but most importantly it will help protect many women from pain of abortion."
"This bill will protect our state–and our citizens–from having to fund abortions for anyone who wants one. Passage of this bill would also send a strong message across the nation while helping to save the lives of many innocent babies," Right to Life added.
Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses.
HB 2681 will keep any insurance plans on the Tennessee exchange from offering abortion coverage.
The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.
Americans United for Life and other pro-life groups are assisting legislators in other states and dozens may ultimately wind up voting on similar provisions over the coming months and years.
The Tennessee bill reads: "No health care plan required to be established in this state through an exchange pursuant to federal health care reform legislation enacted by the 111th Congress shall offer coverage for abortion services."
Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest currently in Tennessee.
A Missouri Senate committee also approved a bill that would deny health insurance plans the ability to offer abortion coverage in any government exchange last month.
Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://www.tnrtl.org
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