The Defense of Life Act, which would require the Tennessee Department of Health to publish the names of doctors who perform abortions and demographic information about women who have the procedure online, is scheduled to be introduced in the Tennessee House Health and Human Resources Committee this week. The bill would also require that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Opponents of the bill are concerned that, if passed, the bill will disclose the identities of some of the women who have abortions in small, rural communities and intimidate women seeking abortions and the doctors who perform them. Jeff Teague, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, sharply criticized the bill: “In an environment where doctors are victims of violence—and we’ve had physicians who provide abortion care murdered in the past few years – I think this is an attempt to intimidate and allow for providers to be terrorized.”
Representative Gary Odom (D-Nashville) stated, “I think publicizing this information will do nothing but cause serious consequences. This is dangerous. This is a dangerous piece of legislation.”
Tennessean.com 3/19/12; Think Progress 3/19/12