Tennessee attorney general opposes federal abortion services for veterans | Chattanooga Times Free Press

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has joined a coalition of top attorneys’ offices opposing a temporary bill to allow taxpayer-funded abortions and abortion counselors for the elderly and those with disabilities.

Skrmetti and 17 other attorneys general filed their amicus brief in the Western District of Texas in the case of Carter v. McDonough supports the plaintiff, Stephanie Carter, a veterans’ office nurse who opposes the new law.

Skrmetti’s action comes about six months after the state’s abortion ban was enacted in Tennessee in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. That decision came in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Mississippi and returned the decision on abortion access in the state.

“In Dobbs, the Supreme Court recognized that abortion regulation is left up to the state,” Skrmetti said in a statement Wednesday. “Tennessee’s constitution reflects the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives. We will not allow federal agencies to undermine the legislative authority of the General Assembly.”

The amicus brief joined by Skrmetti states in part, “These (state) laws strike a balance between competing interests and reflect the outcome of hard-fought democracies. the acceptance of more conservative practices.

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Lawmakers could be on the brink, however, of changing the state’s “proliferation law,” which was passed in 2019 with the understanding that it would be effective if repealed by the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade.

At least one senator said he voted for the bill because he didn’t think it would reverse the court’s 1973 decision.

And two months ago, a handful of state senators said they planned to support legislation that would provide exceptions to the abortion law for cases of rape and states and remove the “affirmative defense” that requires doctors to defend themselves in court if they. an abortion must be performed in order to save the life of a mother who is involved in a stillbirth.

House Minority Leader Karen Camper of Memphis argued during floor debate four years ago that the law would criminalize doctors. The Republican administration voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill.

The Tennessee Medical Association is pushing for a change in the law this year to make it clear that doctors are not charged with a crime for saving a mother’s life. .

House Speaker Cameron Sexton of Crossville has also announced that he supports the creation of measures for rape and incest and clarifying the state’s law on saving the life and health of the mother.

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State Sen. London Lamar, who opposed the “stimulus bill” four years ago as a member of the House, said that under the Republican administration, Tennessee is have in the country “the most severe abortion restrictions.”

“Now they’re attacking the freedom of veterans to get the care they need,” said Lamar, a Memphis Democrat. “This amicus brief does not favor our seniors who put their lives on the line for this country. They should be able to make decisions about their own bodies without interference from the statesman.”

However, the Attorney General argues in their file that the federal law is flawed because the Veterans Administration does not have a legal authority that states it.

“(The VA law) reflects a disregard for the democratic process, interference with areas of traditional state governance, and opposition to the Supreme Court’s recognition of difficult questions in this area. also (ed)’ to ‘legislative institutions,'” the brief states. “(T)he VA approves the law not because there are no state laws on the issue of abortion, but because the department does not accept it on policy.”

The brief also argues that, instead of respecting the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s decision, the Biden administration is trying to “take control of abortion back from the people.”

Skremetti and a group of 14 attorneys general warned the VA in November that it did not have the authority to approve the new abortion law, leaving it to the department that plans to make a action when “rejecting the law.”

Attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia also signed the brief.

Read more at TennesseeLookout.com.

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