Haslam Undecided on Abortion Info Bill

Governor Bill Haslam says he wants to find out more about a bill that would make public more details concerning abortions. The proposal would require the state health department to publish the names of doctors who perform abortions, WPLN reports.
A Planned Parenthood official says the bill could expose doctors to intimidation or even violence. Critics also say it could help identify women who receive abortions in rural areas, because it would release details like age, race, education, marital status and how many children they have.
Governor Haslam isn’t sure he buys that argument:
“I don’t know enough about the statistics to know if once you get the demographics in a small town can you go back and do the math to figure out who that is, I don’t know enough to know if that’s a real fear yet.”
Haslam says he also wants to hear from Health Department officials about why they don’t currently release such information.

TNReport has more in a roundup story on gubernatorial comments on Monday:
Q: What’s your take on the Defense of Life Act? It’s the one that would require the Health Department to publish doctors’ names and demographic information about women receiving abortions?
A: I’m actually going to meet with Dr. (John) Dreyzehner, our health commissioner, on that. As I understand, the state used to do that and then quit doing that, and what I want to understand is, why did we do it originally, and why did we quit doing it, and does the Health Department have a concern about that?
Q: Do you worry at all that doctors would be in danger with this information public?
A: I think that, maybe, is one of the concerns that people opposed to it expressed. Again, I want to go back and find out why did the state do it originally, and then why did we quit doing it.
Q: Any concerns about women in small communities, and people finding out if they’ve had an abortion?
A: Yeah, I guess. I don’t know enough about the statistics to know if one should get the demographics in a small town, then can you go back and do the math and figure out who that is. I don’t know enough to know if that’s a real fear yet. But I will do my homework.

Leave a Reply