News release from Senate Republican Caucus
NASHVILLE — In response to a Joint Government Operations Fact Finding Hearing on August 19, 2015, State Senators Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) have issued a request to Governor Bill Haslam to enact emergency rules for abortion providers.
It was revealed during the hearings that safeguards to prevent the illegal selling of fetal body parts or tissues are inadequate or non-existent. It was also revealed that the Tennessee Department of Health has no investigative authority over the illegal selling of fetal body parts or tissues.
“As legislators, we strongly request that our state agencies step up their efforts to make sure abortion clinics are not illegally profiting from the slaughter of unborn children,” said Senator Beavers.
Senator Kerry Roberts added, “During the hearings, it became obvious the Tennessee Department of Health cannot provide Tennesseans any assurance whatsoever that illegal selling of aborted baby parts is not taking place.”
In response, the senators requested Governor Haslam take three immediate steps:
•enact emergency rules to provide a “chain of custody” from the procedure until the disposal of the remains; •expand the Abuse Registry to include an abuse hotline for the reporting of illegal activity at abortion clinics; and •authorize an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation into whether and to what extent abortion clinics are engaged in activities that violate Tennessee state law.
Further, the Senators pledged to file legislation giving the Attorney General investigative and prosecutorial authority over illegal selling of aborted fetal parts, organs and tissues.
“Safeguards need to be in place at all abortion clinics so the immoral and illegal practice of selling organs and tissues cannot and will not occur in Tennessee,” Senator Bowling said.
Senator Dolores Gresham said, “It is easy to say that the abhorrent practices shown in the Planned Parenthood videos are not happening here, but that is a terribly naive belief given the history of Planned Parenthood. We must investigate.”
“The disturbing videos cannot be ignored. The fact is that illegal activity could be taking place in Tennessee so we are calling upon the Governor to take action,” Senator Bailey concluded.
Note: Text of the letter to Gov. Haslam available by clicking this link: pphoodletter