By Rachel del Guidice | The Daily Signal
The governor of Tennessee has signed a bill that ends state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state.
“The governor … deferred to the will of the legislature on this bill as amended, and after reviewing the bill in its final form decided to sign the bill into law,” Jennifer Donnals, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s press secretary, said in a statement published by CBN News.
The bill will direct TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, money to health care facilities instead of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
“This money is a form of supporting abortions,” state Rep. Jimmy Matlock said last month, reported The Tennessean. He fought to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood, saying that in the last six years, nearly $1 million has been paid to abortion clinics in Tennessee out of TennCare reimbursements.
Thank you, Gov. @BillHaslam for signing my bill to #DefundPlannedParenthood in Tennessee once and for all! We did it! Now it’s time to do the same in Washington! @AUL @SBAList @nrlc @tnrighttolife @LiveAction @LifeSite @lifesite @LifeNewsHQ @FRCAction @HouseGOP @ACUConservative pic.twitter.com/dd3OsrHF3O
— Jimmy Matlock (@JimmyMatlockTN) April 14, 2018
The legislation was passed in March by state lawmakers and signed by Haslam April 9.
Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that no state should use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.
“The government should not be entangled with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” Burke said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion. In order to provide women with quality health care, public funding should be directed to qualified health care centers instead.”
Planned Parenthood, however, decried the law as negatively impacting health care access.
“This hurts patients,” Sarah Wallet, the medical director for Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis, said, according to LocalMemphis.com. “It prevents them from seeing a health care provider they choose. Specifically, in our area, reproductive health care is difficult to access for some people.”