Republicans in the Tennessee state Legislature have abandoned attempts to defund Planned Parenthood by attaching an amendment to the state budget after they were advised by the Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey (R) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) that it is unconstitutional to do so. In Tennessee, the state constitution does not allow changes to be made to general law through appropriation bills.
Senator Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) stated, “Generations of women in Memphis and West Tennessee have relied on Planned Parenthood for preventative health care they could not receive anywhere else. To attack women’s rights and health care access for political gain is shameful and should not be tolerated by Tennessee voters.”
Had Senator Stacey Campbell’s (R) amendment not been declared unconstitutional, it would have blocked $747,900 in annual Title X funding from going to Planned Parenthood for the Greater Memphis Region and $335,000 from the Planned Parenthood Nashville Health Center. The Republican legislators have pledged to introduce separate bills to defund Planned Parenthood in next year’s session.