Pro-lifers in Tennessee are working to pass Amendment 1 which would require inspections of abortion clinics.
Amendment 1 would give the state legislature more power to regulate abortion in Tennessee, essentially putting the state in line with what’s allowable under federal law.
In 2012, a conversation was captured on video between a lawmaker and a Tennessee Department of Health representative which explains why the Amendment is needed.
Tennessee legislator Joey Hensley, a licensed physician, discussed the lack of abortion facility regulations with the Assistant Commissioner from the Tennessee Department of Health and her answers were stunning.
She admited that the Department of Health has no enforcement ability to require abortion clinics to report to the state.
This sounds eerily similar to what took place in Pennsylvania when Kermit Gosnell’s House of Horrors abortion clinic was allowed to operate without any state inspections for years.
After operating for years, in the early 1990’s the Pennsylvania Department of Health instituted a policy of inspecting abortion clinics only when there was a complaint.
According to a grand jury investigation, “Officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions” and decided “to leave clinics to do as they pleased.” That practice continued under Gov. Mark Schweiker and Gov. Ed Rendell. It was not until after a drug raid in February 2010 at Gosnell’s clinic that the Health Department resumed regular abortion clinic inspections.
Less than a year later, eight charges of homicide for killing seven newborns and one female patient was brought against the abortion doctor. Various additional charges were brought against members of Gosnell’s staff. He was eventually convicted and is serving time in prison.
Do Tennessee abortion clinics operate in the dark like Gosnell’s House of Horrors clinic?
In the video conversation with the Tennessee Department of Health representative, she admits to lawmaker Joey Hensley, that when it comes to abortion clinics reporting to the state there is no teeth in current law to require them to comply.
Hensley asks the Tennessee Department of Health representative, “You require presently everyone who performs an abortion to report to the state?”
She replies, “Correct.”
Hensley asks, “How do you enforce that requirement?”
SILENCE….. Then……Her response, “I’m not exactly sure how we enforce that.”
Hensley asks, “How do you enforce that? Do you check the abortion clinics and check their records and see if they have actually reported this information?”
She replies, “No sir, it’s not quite that active from our department.”
Hensley, “So you just ask ’em to and assume?”
She says, “We let them know a couple times a year that they’re supposed to be reporting this information to the Department of Health.”
Hensley, “So that all you do? And then just- you assume that they report it?”
What she says next says it all, “It doesn’t have any teeth in the law for us to force them to report to us.”
You can watch the conversation here:
To show how dangerous abortion clinics are to women, advocates of Amendment 1 released this video which containes actual audio of a 911 call from an abortion facility.
During the call a staffer, from The Women’s Center abortion clinic, operated by Dr. Gary Boyle, directs other unidentified personnel where to find medication, and provides the following details to the 911 dispatcher.
911: “Tell me exactly what happened…”
WC Staff: “She started coughing and she quit breathing….”
911: “Is she breathing?”
WC Staff: “Uh, some”
WC Staff: “She just started having a coughing fit and maybe had quit breathing at one point.”
911: “Is her breathing completely normal?
WC Staff: “Now? No.”
911: “And is she completely alert?”
WC Staff: “No.”
911: “Is she changing color?”
WC Staff: “Yes….She just looks ashen, she’s a black woman…”
911: “Does she have any abdominal pain?”
WC Staff: “Uh, I’m sure she does, she’s in the middle of getting an abortion.”
“Tennessee requires no health inspection of abortion facilities, has no informed consent and no waiting periods for abortion. Amendment 1 does not overturn Roe vs. Wade like the amendment’s opponents would have you believe. I wish it did. However, Amendment 1 does bring Tennessee back up to a standard equal to all the surrounding states by legally providing a safer environment for women who do choose to abort their babies,” said Randy C. Davis, executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, a group of more than 3,200 cooperating Baptist churches, and an advocate of Amendment 1.
Voters in the state will cast their final decision on the amendment November 4th.