(Memphis, TN) – Statement by Allison Glass, State Director of Healthy and Free TN on the beginning of the 2016 Tennessee General Assembly:
“As the new legislative session begins today, we, like many Tennesseans are anxious to see what kinds of policies our lawmakers will champion and advance. We are facing so many challenges that need the attention of state leaders. Tennessee counties have some of the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses in the country. People across the state are struggling with the very real health issue of addiction. There are far too many families finding it near impossible to make ends meet. These are serious problems that demand serious solutions, not hollow talk or bills that make conditions worse.
Today there is a renewed and robust push for Insure TN, which would help reduce the number of uninsured individuals and increase the number of people able to afford the healthcare they need. There are efforts, like the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, to pass employment policies that support working families. There is also a campaign calling for better access to treatment and support for pregnant people battling substance abuse and a call to end the fetal assault law that jails mothers who have used drugs.
We would also caution that instead of wasting time on another set of bills that attack personal health decisions and impose medically unnecessary requirements on the provision of abortion care, our state lawmakers work toward forward-thinking, positive policies that make a real difference in the lives of women and families in communities across our state. That’s what doing the business of the people really looks like.
Healthy and Free TN, our organizational partners, and our growing activist network will be paying attention this legislative session and beyond. We will turn toward the Capitol to share our stories, to raise awareness, and to ensure that the policies being crafted reflect the needs and concerns of Tennessee women and families.”
Allison Glass is available for interview upon request.