Tennesee House Passes Bill Requiring Admitting Privileges for Doctors Who Perform Abortions


The state of Tennessee has given up trying to get doctors (as well as their patients) to provide their personal information for a database that many believe could be used to intimidate providers and potentially identify women who seek terminations. But, refusing to give up completely, they are still working to ensure at least one new roadblock will be added to the law when it comes to abortion providers.

The Tennessee house has voted 72-24 to mandate that all doctors who provide abortions must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in either the county the clinic is located in, or in an adjacent county.  The regulation, which applies only to doctors who provide abortions, not to any other ambulatory surgical centers, will head next to a senate committee for a hearing.

The rule is often used in an attempt to limit the number of doctors able to provide abortions in a state — especially in cases where a doctor is brought in from another area either in the state or in a nearby state due to the small number of providers.  Local hospitals will have to approve privileges, something they are allowed to do at their own discretion.

In Mississippi, where the same sort of TRAP law was passed by the House earlier this month, reproductive health activists worry that the mandate could shut down the state’s only clinic, as two of the three doctors continue to have their requests for privileges turned down by local hospitals.

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