Sen. Jim Tracy/ Rep. Rick Womick have introduced a bill (SB632 / HB984) which would mandate a trans-abdominal ultrasound prior to every abortion in TN, mandate that the woman look at the image or if she chooses not to that she be forced to listen to a description of the image and the heartbeat if there is one, and mandates a 24-72 hour waiting period between the ultrasound and the procedure.
CHOICES believes that:
- Mandatory ultrasounds place undue burdens on women seeking legal and safe abortion care. In addition, this bill’s 24-hour waiting period is particularly burdensome and costly for women who have to travel far distances to the clinic or who may have child care, job or school responsibilities. Women deliberate in their own time and pace without needing the government imposing a waiting period on them.
- Health care decisions are best made by individuals and their medical providers. We don’t need politicians playing doctor and legislating medical decisions
- Making a woman either view an ultrasound or listen to a description of one and listen to a fetal heartbeat is a clear effort to bully, punish and shame women. Women understand what it means to be pregnant and don’t need their government forcing them to view or listen to these images and sounds to understand what pregnancy means.
- The Tennessee state government does not need to interfere in our state constitutionally protected right to make private reproductive decisions regarding whether to bear or not to bear children. Women and their families make these decisions based on their own financial, emotional and physical abilities to raise and take care of their children.
- Rather than violating women’s privacy, the Tennessee General Assembly should focus its energy on laws that help women reduce the unintended pregnancy rate and empower women and their families to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves with the unbiased and nonpolitical support of their doctors.
- Politicians need to keep their own personal agendas and religious beliefs out of legislation and honor and uphold Tennessee citizens’ religious and conscious beliefs
We encourage you to contact your own legislators immediately and let them know how you feel about this bill.