Tennessee House Joins Senate, Passes Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Facilities

Permanently Redirects Family Planning Funds to Local Health Departments

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

NASHVILLE, March 23, 2018 – Tennessee Right to Life applauds final passage of legislation which codifies existing policy established in 2011 by the Haslam administration which prioritizes public health departments to receive Title X family planning funds rather than Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the state.

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 Gov. Bill Haslam, 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.

The House overwhelmingly passed the legislation on Thursday by a lop-sided vote of 74-15-1. The Senate passed the legislation on March 5 by a vote of 25-1-1.

“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 prioritizing public health departments to receive Title X funds,” said Brian Harris, president of the state’s oldest and largest Right to Life organization. “Voters will reward these legislators in November for their support of Right to Life priorities,” said Harris.

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.