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TN Bill Mandates Publication of Names of Abortion Doctors and Patients

The Republican Party’s total war on women’s rights
Wingnuts • Views: 37,091

The GOP’s war on women’s rights now has another weapon in its arsenal; in Tennessee, Republicans are pushing a new bill that would mandate publication of abortion data, including the names of both doctors and patients.

Sheer insanity.

Doctors who perform abortions in Tennessee could see their names listed online, and women who undergo the procedures could be unintentionally identified under a bill pending in the state legislature.

State lawmakers are debating a measure that would require the Department of Health to publish more details about abortions, bringing Tennessee into a roiling, state-by-state battle over how to regulate abortion procedures.

Supporters say the bill, scheduled to come up Wednesday in a state House committee, only requires state health officials to post information online that they already collect. But critics say the measure is intended to intimidate women and doctors involved in abortions, even in emergency situations.

“I think publicizing this information will do nothing but cause serious consequences,” said state Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville. “This is dangerous. This is a dangerous piece of legislation.”

UPDATE at 3/22/12 5:27:29 pm

Today, the Republican sponsor of the bill withdrew the publication mandate, after a huge outcry against it: TN Abortion Bill Sponsor Withdraws ID Provisions.

And with massive irony, he’s now whining that he received threats of violence — exactly what his bill was intended to provoke against abortion providers.

A controversial proposal to post details about each abortion performed in Tennessee on a state website has been withdrawn, with its chief sponsor accusing opponents of spreading lies about it and inciting threats of violence against him.

Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, told members of the Legislative Health and Human Service Committee on Wednesday the threats came after news of his proposal went viral this week — including being debated on MSNBC and dissected by national bloggers who suggested it would endanger women and their doctors. He said false reports about his bill also spread after the attention.

Hill said he was withdrawing the controversial provisions to be able to focus on passing other parts of the bill. What remains of the Life Defense Act of 2012, or HB3808, would require all doctors who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals.

Hill said opponents’ “categorization of me as a terrorist, murderer or more has been used by their leftist friends to engender hatred and incite the threat of violence against me.” He wouldn’t discuss specific threats but said most were from out of state, and he referred them to authorities.

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