Tennessee ‘Life Appropriation Act’ (HB 1490)
This law was last updated on Apr 9, 2019
HB 1490 would ban state funding of abortion. The bill would prohibit the state from awarding a grant to pay the direct or indirect costs of performing, inducing, referring, or counseling in favor of abortions, including without limitation:
- Administrative costs and expenses;
- Overhead costs;
- Employee salaries;
- Rent and mortgage payments; and
- Telephone and other utility payments.
The bill claims that such appropriations constitute an endorsement of “nonsecular conduct that is inseparably linked to the religion of Secular Humanism.”
The bill would prohibit the state from granting, appropriating or distributing a grant to an individual or entity that performs, induces, refers or counsels, in favor of “convenience abortions.” The bill would also prohibit the state from distributing a grant to an affiliate of any such person or entity.
The bill defines “convenience abortion” to mean:
[…]an elective abortion that means the act of using or prescribing an instrument, medicine, drug, device or another substance or means with the intent to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will with reasonable likelihood cause the death of the unborn child.
An abortion would not be considered a “convenience abortion” when it is done to:
- save the life of the pregnant person;
- save the life or preserve the health of the fetus;
- remove a fetus caused my a spontaneous abortion;
- remove an ectopic pregnancy; or
- abort and remove a fetus that is the result of rape or incest.
The bill clarifies that it does not affect the funding of a hospital, medical school or university. The restrictions would also not apply to funding available through Medicaid.
The bill claims that abortion clinics “tend to erode community standards of decency by encouraging promiscuity and normalizing false permission-giving beliefs about sex.”
The bill was amended to clarify that the law would only become operative if the federal government allows a state agency to deny family planning funds to an organization that performs abortions.
Companion bill to SB 1418.
2/6/19 – Introduced.
4/8/19 – Passed the House in a 66-24 vote.