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War on Women: Tennessee Anti-Abortion Bill Would Require Publication of Abortion Doctors’ Names & Patients’ Personal Information

An alarming anti-abortion bill making its way through the Tennessee legislature would require the state to publish the names of doctors who perform abortions and personal details of women who undergo the procedure.

(Photo: Ron Cogswell)

The Huffington Post reports that the Life Defense Act of 2012, the brainchild of the anti-abortion group Tennessee Right to Life and state Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesboro), would require the state Department of Health to publish the names of all doctors who perform abortions. The bill also mandates the disclosure of personal information of women who have abortions, including her age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, location of the abortion and how many times she has been pregnant.

The measure has raised concerns among health organizations, including the Tennessee Medical Association and Planned Parenthood, who are worried that the bill would make doctors and women the target of violence. They point to the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot dead as he entered his Wichita church.

“We live in an environment where there is a lot of violence against abortion providers, clinics, and clinic staff,” Jeff Teague, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and Eastern Tennessee, told the Huffington Post “We’ve had physicians who provide abortion care murdered in the past few years. This is an attempt to intimidate physicians who provide abortion care and the women who seek abortions and to terrorize them.”

Rep. Gary Odom (D-Nashville) told the Huffington Post that the bill is “very dangerous.”

“It puts a target on women’s and physicians’ backs,” he said “I think it’s a very dangerous piece of legislation and serves no purpose I can tell other than trying to intimidate women and physicians.”

The House Health and Human Resources Committee is set to vote on the bill on Wednesday. With Republicans controlling the House, observers expect the measure to pass. It will then be voted on in the Senate, which is also under GOP control. If it gets that far, the bill will await the signature of Republican Governor Bill Haslam.

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