The Tennessee legislature has given final approval to a bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion chain. The measure comes after the abortion business was exposed selling the body parts of aborted babies across the country.
The measure codifies existing policy established in 2011 by the Haslam administration which prioritizes health departments to receive Title X family planning funds rather than Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the state.
The House overwhelmingly passed the legislation on Thursday by a lopsided vote of 74-15-1. The Senate passed the legislation on March 5 by a vote of 25-1-1.
According to Tennessee Right to Life, prior to 2009, Planned Parenthood facilities received preferential treatment in the awarding of more than $1 million tax dollars annually. For decades the funds were automatically directed to Planned Parenthood without any bidding process or request for proposals from other entities. If signed by the Governor, SB 2494 /HB 2262 will permanently establish that first priority for distribution of the funds will be given to public health departments, the policy of the Haslam Administration since 2011.
“Tennessee Right to Life is grateful to pro-life members of the General Assembly who are committed to protecting women, girls and unborn children by defunding the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood,” said Brian Harris, president of the Tennessee Right to Life organization. “Voters will reward these legislators in November for their support of Right to Life priorities.”
Prime sponsors of the measure were Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville.)
“This pro-life bill was passed overwhelmingly in large part due to the vigilant care with which sponsors Johnson and Dunn shepherded the measure. Tennessee Right to Life expresses our appreciation for their work and wisdom,” said Lorene Steffes, board member of the organization. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to restore full protection to the vulnerable unborn in our state,” said Steffes.
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Tennessee Right to Life explained the need for the legislation in an email to supporters:
After years of focused efforts by pro-life lawmakers and principled leadership by Governor Haslam, Tennessee successfully implemented policy in 2011 which has resulted in millions of tax dollars being re-directed away from Planned Parenthood facilities in our state. Under Haslam’s direction, an administrative process was established which prioritizes public health departments to receive the public funds appropriated for family planning programs rather than private non-profit organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Prior to 2011, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Tennessee received more than $1.1 million dollars annually.
Haslam is leaving office at the end of his term as governor.
The Tennessee Democratic Party just announced the hiring of a new executive director — and it’s none other than the former president of the Planned Parenthood abortion business in the state.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America, destroying about 320,000 unborn babies’ lives each year. The U.S. Department of Justice currently is investigating whether Planned Parenthood illegally sold aborted baby body parts.