Skip to comments.Tennessee abortion bill would require publishing names of doctors
Posted on 03/19/2012 9:06:29 PM PDT by NoLibZone
The latest salvo in the abortion wars comes in the form of a bill in the Tennessee Legislature that would result in the online publication of the names of doctors who perform abortions, and -- according to critics of the measure -- potentially out individual women who undergo the controversial procedure.
The Life Defense Act of 2012, which is under consideration in the Tennessee House of Representatives, would direct the state Health Department to post on its website a report on every abortion, to be filled out by the facility where the procedure takes place.
The reports must include the "identification of the physician who performed the abortion and the physician's office, clinic, hospital or other facility where the abortion was performed," according to the official summary of the bill.
Chas Sisk of the Nashville Tennessean reports that abortion-rights advocates are worried that this could result in the intimidation of doctors, given violent acts against abortion providers in the past.
Although the bill states that patients will not be identified in the reports, it says the documents must include the woman's county, age, race, marital status, plus her number of prior pregnancies, number of prior abortions, the gestational age of the fetus, and her preexisting medical conditions. That, critics say, could make it easy to guess identities, particularly in sparsely populated rural areas.
The sponsor of the bill, Matthew Hill, is a Republican state representative from the east Tennessee town of Jonesborough.
"The Department of Health already collects the data, but they don't publish it," Hill told the Tennessean. "All we're asking is that the data they already collect be made public."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
SENATE BILL 3323
HOUSE BILL 3808
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 37,
Chapter 10, Part 3; Title 39, Chapter 15, Part 2
and Title 68, relative to abortion.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Life Defense Act of
SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-15-202, is amended by adding
the following as a new subsection:
(1) A physician may not perform an abortion unless the physician has
admitting privileges at a hospital licensed under title 68 that is located:
(A) In the county in which the abortion is performed; or
(B) In a county adjacent to the county in which the abortion is
(2) The physician who performs an abortion or a health care provider
licensed pursuant to title 63 under the supervision of the physician shall notify the
patient of the location of the hospital at which the physician has privileges and
where the patient my receive follow-up care by the physician if complications
SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-15-203, is amended by deleting
the section in its entirety and by substituting instead the following:
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(a) For the purpose of promoting maternal health and life by adding to the sum of
medical public health knowledge through the compilation of relevant data, and to
promote the states interest in protection of the unborn child, a report of each abortion
performed shall be made to the department of health on forms prescribed by the
commissioner of health. The report forms shall not identify the individual patient by name
and shall include the following information:
(1) Identification of the physician who performed the abortion and the
physicians office, clinic, hospital or other facility where the abortion was
(2) The county and state in which the woman resides;
(3) The womans age, race and marital status;
(4) The number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions of the woman;
(5) The gestational age in number of weeks of the unborn child at the time
of the abortion;
(6) The type of procedure performed or prescribed and the date of the
(7) Pre-existing medical conditions of the woman which would complicate
pregnancy, if any, and, if known, any medical complication which resulted from
the abortion itself.
(b) The reports shall be completed by the facility where the abortion was
performed, signed by the physician who performed the abortion and transmitted to the
department of health within fifteen (15) days after each reporting month.
(1) The commissioner of health shall prepare a comprehensive annual
statistical report for the general assembly based upon the data gathered under
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subsection (a). Such report shall not lead to the disclosure of the identity of any
person filing a report or about whom a report is filed, and shall be available for
public inspection and copying and shall be posted on the departments web site.
In addition to whatever other information the commissioner of health includes in
the annual report, the commissioner shall include the number of abortions
performed in each county of the state and the number of facilities in each county,
as well as aggregate statistics based on the data gathered under subdivisions
(a)(2) - (a)(6) including but not limited to abortion rates by age and race.
(2) Reports filed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be confidential in nature
and shall not be accessible to the public, except that disclosure may be made to
law enforcement officials upon an order of court after application showing good
cause therefore. The court may condition disclosure of the information upon any
appropriate safeguards it may impose.
(3) Original copies of all reports filed under subsection (a) shall be
available to the board of medical examiners and the board of osteopathic
examination for use in the performance of their official duties.
(4) Any person who willfully discloses any information obtained from
reports filed pursuant to subsection (a), other than that disclosure authorized
under subdivision (c)(1), (c)(2) or (c)(3) or as otherwise authorized by law,
commits a misdemeanor.
(1) Any person required under this section to file a report, keep any
records or supply any information, who willfully fails to file such report, keep such
records or supply such information at the time or times required by law or
regulation is guilty of unprofessional conduct and the person’s license for the
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practice of medicine and surgery shall be subject to suspension or revocation in
accordance with the procedures provided under title 63, chapters 6 and 9.
(2) Any person who willfully delivers or discloses to the department of
health any report, record or information known by the person to be false, commits
(3) In addition to the above penalties, any person, organization or facility
who willfully violates any of the provisions of this section requiring reporting shall
upon conviction thereof:
(A) For the first time, have its license suspended by any
appropriate licensing board under title 63 or 68 for a period of six (6)
(B) For the second time, have its license suspended by any
appropriate licensing board under title 63 or 68 for a period of one (1)
(C) For the third time, have its license revoked by any appropriate
licensing board under title 63 or 68.
(1) Abortion has the meaning set forth in § 39-15-201(a)(1).
(2) Unborn child means an individual organism of the species homo
sapiens at any stage of gestation in utero from fertilization until live birth.
SECTION 4. Any provision of this act held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or
as applied to any person or circumstance, shall be construed so as give it the maximum effect
permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter invalidity or unenforceability, in which
event such provision shall be deemed severable herefrom and shall not affect the remainder
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hereof or the application of such provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other,
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012, the public welfare requiring it.
A small win for the good guys. The bigger win would be the abortion of all abortion laws.
Moral Absolutes pin.
Who do you fell will wear the letter?
Publish the names of those who request and have an abortion.
In this digital age the “letter” would be just a Google search away...and, as with Nathanael Hawthorne’s classic the question would be whether this would be a source of shame or of pride.
Given Bishop Doran’s listing of abortion as one of the “sacraments” of the secular left I fear it would be the latter.
Define abortion. Does this include spontaneous abortion?
Does this info violate HIPPA or privacy laws?
It details who offers what for Medi-Cal:
Does this site violate privacy laws too?
I bet this newspaper had no problem with the names of gun permit holders or donors to anti-gay marriage propositions being outed and published.
As much as I detest abortions, this could be a threat to the Doctor - not sure that I agree with that. I do though think that all abortions should be categorized.
Not a chance in hell of surviving the first legal challenge even if it were to pass. This is not the way.
Nobody considers miscariage to be an abortion
That site contains no patient information, unlike the bill in question would mandate. Nor does the site you listed post the number of appendectomies, tonsillectomies et al performed.
Agreed, it reminds me of a cleaned up for court version of the infamous Nuremberg files (or something similar) website run by Neal Horsely. It garnered a lot of infamy in the late 1990’s early 2000’s.
Miscarriage is the layman’s term for a spontaneous abortion. The entire medical community uses the latter term.
I tend to agree with both of you. I’m all for advancing the pro-life cause, but I just don’t think this bill will do that. Aside from the possibility of some nutter taking the law into his own hands, the idea of an individual medical report being made public isn’t going to sit well with many people. Abortion or not, anonymous or not, posting these reports for the public to see is going to strike a lot of people as “Big Brother”, even among the majority of Americans who oppose abortion.
So what the issue then
Its the keeping of stats?