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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined 18 other Republican attorneys general in signing a letter speaking out against the federal government’s plan to allow for additional concealment of abortion health records.
The letter was written by Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and was sent to Secretary Xavier Becerra at the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
If the rule goes into effect, it would prohibit health records from being used to “investigate, or prosecute patients, providers, and others involved in the provision of legal reproductive health care, including abortion care.”
According to the letter, the new rule would “unlawfully interfere with states’ authority to enforce their laws.”
Elizabeth Lane, a spokesperson for Skrmetti, stated, “HHS does not have authority to change the law in contradiction of the statute passed by Congress.”
When the rule change was proposed, HHS allowed for a time of open comments.
Regulations regarding abortions vary from state to state. While medical records are protected in most cases, they can be reviewed with a court order, specifically when care is given out-of-state.
An HHS official stated that the rule was proposed because physicians “expressed fear, anger and sadness that they or their patients may end up in jail for providing or obtaining evidence-based and medically appropriate care.”
The letter from the attorneys general said that it is a “false narrative that States are seeking to treat pregnant women as criminals or punish medical personnel who provide lifesaving care.”
The attorneys general submitted the letter in response to another letter written and signed by 24 Democratic attorneys general in which they supported the rule and called for it to be put into place quickly.
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