Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill this week that will soon strip Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities of state funding. The state will now request a federal waiver which allows them to bar TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, from giving money to any abortion facility.
“The governor…deferred to the will of the legislature on this bill as amended, and after reviewing the bill in its final form decided to sign the bill into law,” Jennifer Donnals, Haslam’s press secretary, said on Monday.
The bill passed the state legislature in March. Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, argued that nearly $1 million has been given to abortion facilities over the past six years, and the state has therefore been indirectly funding abortion. Planned Parenthood, however, claims that none of the funding it receives is earmarked for abortions, but instead goes towards legitimate health care. But funding is fungible. Watch:
Planned Parenthood also claims that abortion is only “3 percent” of its services. The problem with this claim is that it is a myth — even debunked by the Washington Post.
In reality, Planned Parenthood performs less than 2 percent of all cancer screenings, less than 1 percent of all Pap tests, and less than 2 percent of all breast exams in the nation. Health care services have been consistently decreasing. Prenatal care is, for all intents and purposes, virtually non-existent at Planned Parenthood.
Instead of directing funding towards abortionists, TennCare money will now be given to legitimate health care providers.
“We have dozens of other medical clinics,” Sen. Mike Bell, the bill’s sponsor, said. “This is not a cut. It is the policy of the state to favor child birth as an integral part of the health and the welfare of the state.”
Funding will not be reduced in any way, but instead, merely redirected. Any abortion facility that has its funding stripped can begin receiving it again by ceasing to commit abortions.
“This bill is a statement,” Bell said. “It’s a statement from this legislative body. It’s a statement from the people of Tennessee, that we want our money to stop going to providers that perform elective abortions.”
Editor’s Note, 10/13/18: A figure claiming that 94% of Planned Parenthood’s services to pregnant women is abortion was removed due to a possible percentage inaccuracy.