Tennessee Senate Backs Measure to Opt Out of Abortion Funding in Health Care

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 19, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Tennessee Senate Backs Measure to Opt Out of Abortion Funding in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 19
, 2010

Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — A bill in the Tennessee legislature has gone further than any other across the country that would make it to the first state to opt out of some of the abortion funding in the new health care law President Barack Obama signed into law.

The Tennessee state House has approved legislation to have the state opt out of using state tax money to pay for abortions in state health care exchanges and, today, the state Senate followed suit.

Voting 27-3, senators showed how state residents strongly oppose taxpayer funding of abortion as a bipartisan majority of lawmakers voted against abortion financing. That came after the state House voted 70-23 for the measure.

SB 2686 strictly limits the use of public funds in health exchanges mandated by the new federal health plan.

The language of the measure states: "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."

Tennessee Right to Life worked feverishly for passage of the measure and informed LifeNews.com of the victory.

Representative Hill, the sponsor of the measure, talked about it before House passage.

"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."

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.

Missouri, Louisiana and other states have advanced similar legislation, but not yet to their governor.

Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://www.tnrtl.org

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