Photo: Representative Bud Hulsey & Senator Janice Bowling
Photo Credit: capitol.tn.gov & public domain
Published April 29, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Tennessee Republicans have shown overwhelming support for House Bill 0013, a bill that prohibits state and local governments from forcing citizens to receive Covid-19 vaccinations against their will. The bill was passed Wednesday, April 21 by the House.
“This virus, which has a death rate of 0.4 percent … does government have a constitutional authority to limit the movement and quarantine sick people?” State Representative and bill sponsor Bud Hulsey asked during early testimony. “Most constitutionalists say, ‘Yes, they do.’ Some say, ‘No, they don’t.’ But then the question comes: Does government have the constitutional authority to limit the movement and attempt to quarantine well people? And the answer is absolutely not. That’s tyranny. And it scares people.”
Republican Senator Janice Bowling, who sponsors the Senate companion bill, said during the floor session on the 28th that the bill extends to K-12 students, as well.
“Right now, Covid-19 is emergency use authorization, and it would be a violation to even mandate that people participate in experimentation, so this is something that goes back to the many pediatricians saying that these children are not at risk,” Bowling said. “Children who are elementary school age have been going to school in Texas since last August, and no shots are required there. This actually does give them exemption.”
In discussions earlier this month, Bowling said “The purpose of this bill is to attempt to assuage the fear in many Tennessee people and to claw back some lost constitutional integrity that’s taking place outside the state of Tennessee. Look what we’ve seen in the last twelve months. Things that have not happened in the history of the United States. All across the country constitutions shredded, businesses forcibly shut down, churches forcibly shut down, schools closed, people told to cower in fear in their houses.”
During the floor session on Wednesday, Bowling said the bill will only apply to “any shot for Covid-19 or variant and it ends with the pandemic.” It will not include any other vaccines or shots.
As amended, House Bill 13 prevents a law enforcement agency, governmental entity, governor, or chief executive of a local government from requiring any Tennessean to receive a Covid vaccine against their will
The amendment to HB 13 was created after meetings with the Tennessee Hospital Association, changing the bill so it “would not include a governmental entity that is subject to federal estate statute, a rule that prohibits the entity from requiring medical treatment from those who object to the medical treatment on religious grounds or rights of conscience.”
Students of public higher education institutions who are enrolled in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or another health care profession subject to policies or rules of a private office that delivers health care services are exempt.