HB 1459 proposed that an ultrasound be required before a woman has an abortion. This type of bill exists in others states, and while controversial to abortion advocates, is an important part of informed consent, as abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have been caught giving women inaccurate information on fetal development. According to Guttmacher Institute, the withdrawn Tennessee bill is one that exists in several states…
10 states mandate that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion, and require the provider to offer the woman the opportunity to view the image.
3 states mandate that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion and requires the provider to show and describe the image.
Meanwhile, HB 1709 seemed poised to address the current controversy over the sale of aborted baby parts. It read, in part:
[HB 1709] clarifies that the prohibition on offering or accepting money or anything of value for an aborted fetus includes the tissue or body parts from an aborted fetus.
Now neither bill will be considered in Tennessee, which is a strong pro-life state. However, Tennessee Right to Life isn’t upset about the withdrawal of these bills, indicating it would rather support other bills, as the Nashville Post reports:
Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, said the organization wasn’t backing either one and had swung its support to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislation to regulate abortion clinics, as well as tissue donations.
The pro-life group has said it supports legislation that isn’t likely to spur a federal lawsuit.
I think our pro-life supporters expect us to be modest in our approach and make sure that we’re building good public policy that will stand for decades to come.
Though Tennessee abortion clinics report they do not participate in fetal tissue donation programs, many think in light of the recent Planned Parenthood videos, having laws on the books can be a proactive measure to deter such activity.