Tennessee lawmakers are enjoying election-year politics with the health and reproductive rights of low-income women in Memphis and throughout the state.
Earlier this week, Gov. Bill Haslam quietly that seeks to withhold TennCare funds from health care suppliers that carry out elective abortions.
It’s a guileless assault on Planned Parenthood of Tennessee, which makes use of almost all of its funding on providers for low-income women similar to contraception, most cancers screenings, and the testing and remedy for sexually transmitted illnesses.
Planned Parenthood receives federal funding from two sources: Title X, which doesn’t permit federal funds for use for abortions; and Medicaid (TennCare right here), which may solely be used to fund abortions in instances of rape, incest or to guard the lifetime of the mom (per federal regulation).
Only about of Planned Parenthood’s funds are used for abortion-related providers. About 80 % of the individuals who obtain providers from Planned Parenthood reside at or under 150 % of the federal poverty degree.
Ashley Coffield of the Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region argues that the invoice’s impression might be disastrous for hundreds of low-income women in Shelby County.
It’s additionally an invite to burden state taxpayers with the price of a lawsuit the state would in all probability lose.
The director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified Medicaid businesses in all 50 states in April 2016 that offering abortion providers doesn’t disqualify suppliers reminiscent of Planned Parenthood from receiving federal cash.
Nearly each courtroom battle involving laws that seeks to take federal cash away from Planned Parenthood has led to failure for anti-abortion state legislatures, together with these in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Courts have persistently discovered that to dam funding for a professional medical supplier denies the constitutional rights of those that rely upon the group’s medical providers.
Meanwhile, enactment of the measure signed by Haslam nonetheless will depend on getting a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
All of which factors towards the probability of failure for the General Assembly’s anti-Planned Parenthood faction, until putting a political pose to impress single-issue voters constitutes success.
The laws was handed within the state Senate by a vote of 24-2 and within the House by 71-17. Sen. Reginald Tate of Memphis was the one Democrat to vote in favor of this punitive measure, which might restrict entry for a lot of of his constituents to important health providers.
Tate’s constituents ought to keep in mind his vote when he faces Democrat Katrina Robinson within the Aug. 2 main. Because of the county’s excessive poverty price, Shelby can be among the many counties hit hardest if poor women are discouraged from getting remedy.
This new regulation is aligned with a typical technique amongst state legislators who disagree with federal courtroom selections that affirm the constitutional rights of low-income individuals and minorities.
Legislators might really feel that the ascension of the Trump presidency has opened the door to legal guidelines that discriminate towards the poor and the powerless. The perception right here is that the majority Tennesseans would object to turning again that clock.
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