Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) has filed a bill that requires medical or surgical abortions to be performed in licensed ambulatory surgical treatment centers.
It's the second bill filed this legislative session after voters approved Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that gave legislators the right to pass new restrictions on abortion in Tennessee. Another bill, filed by Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rockvale), would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound one to three days before the procedure.
Green's bill, SB50, would only affect private doctors who perform abortions. A majority of the state's abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region and CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, are already licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers.
But Allison Glass, state director of Healthy and Free TN, says the proposed restriction is unnecessary and is "specifically designed to make care more expensive for individuals and to make it harder for health professionals to provide services." She says those private doctors who don't have the ambulatory surgical center license already have other safety restrictions and licensing in place and "must adhere to the same professional standards as anyone providing surgical or outpatient care."
"The simple fact is that abortion is a safe and well-regulated procedure with well-established, evidence-based guidelines for care. We urge legislators to oppose politically motivated bills like this one that are based on inaccurate claims about safety and that in reality push care out of reach for many women," Glass said.