Tennessee Right to Life Applauds Gov. Haslam Signature on Pro-Life Legislation

Pro-life law permanently prioritize Title X funds to local public health departments and away from Planned Parenthood

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Nashville, April 11, 2018–The state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization publicly thanked Governor Bill Haslam today for signing into law the Title X Prioritization Act (SB 2494 / HB 2262).

The bill 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.

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.

The new law permanently establishes that first priority for distribution of the funds will be given to local public health departments, the policy of the Haslam Administration since 2011.

The protective legislation was sponsored by state Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and state Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville.) It was passed overwhelmingly by both the Senate 25-1-1 and the House 74-15-1.

“Tennessee Right to Life is grateful to Governor Haslam for his legacy of restoring common sense protections for Tennessee’s women, girls, and unborn children,” said Brian Harris, the organization’s president. “The Governor ran for office as a sincere pro-life candidate and has consistently demonstrated that commitment throughout his two terms,” said Harris.

“The Governor’s signature on the Title X Prioritization Act makes permanent the policy of his administration which has been to prioritize tax-payer dollars for providers of ethical health care over those who promote and profit from abortion,” said Cathy Waterbury, spokeswoman for Tennessee Right to Life. “Tennessee is a better state as a result of the Governor’s principled pro-life leadership.”