Legislation To Prohibit Government Funded Abortion Moves Forward To TN House Floor

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

The Tennessee House Local Government Committee has moved forward with a bill that aims to prevent local governments from spending taxpayers’ dollars to assist individuals in getting abortions. 

House Bill 0090 (HB0090), sponsored by Representative Debra Moody (R-Covington-District 81), states, “as introduced, prohibits local governments from expending funds for the purposes of assisting a person in obtaining an abortion. – Amends TCA Title 5; Title 6; Title 7 and Title 8.” 

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Moody proposed an amendment to the bill that added the word “criminal” as a qualifer on prohibited abortions, rewording the bill to prohibit Metropolitan counties and cities from using taxpayer money to assist with ‘criminal’ abortions or transportation to states that allow abortion.

Moody explained that the goal of that amendment was to avoid penalizing for abortions that were not considered criminal but were medically necessary.

After a vote was taken, the amendment was passed.

Representative Moody was then recognized and the floor was open for questions.

Representative Sam McKenzie (D-Knoxville-District 15) raised the question previously asked in the subcommittee of whether there was any other prohibition in state law that told local governments how they can manage their employees. 

Moody responded with several examples of state laws that affect how local governments manage employees such as regulations regarding city managers and directors of schools.

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McKenzie stated that he felt that this bill would have the state controlling all levels and branches of the government and asked if this bill was constitutional.

Moody responded that it would require using taxpayer dollars that should be used for other purposes to assist with abortions and stated that this would be an egregious misuse of the funds. 

McKenzie responded that he agreed that it should not come from state funding but he believed that those local governments should determine what is done with their local funds.

“Why would we as the state of Tennessee want to get in their business?” McKenzie asked.

Moody responded, “To protect the use of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

Chairman Jerome Moon (R-Maryville-District 8) spoke next, simply stating, “Taxpayer dollars should not be used for criminal acts.”

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A voice vote was taken; ayes prevailed and the bill will move on to the Calendar and Rules Committee. Representatives McKenzie and Harold Love, Jr. (D-Nashville-District 58) asked to be recorded as no votes.

The House Calendar and Rules Committee will now schedule the bill to be heard and voted on, on the House floor.

The Senate version of the bill (SB0600) passed in the Tennessee Senate on March 13th along party lines with 27 Republican votes and in favor and 6 Democrat votes against.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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