Pastors Take on Attorney General in Tennessee Abortion Battle

Tennessee politics this week

Andy Spears

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Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

Tennessee’s Attorney General joined top law enforcement officials from a number of GOP-controlled states in seeking access to personal medical records as it relates to reproductive healthcare.

Current law allows law enforcement to access medical records if those records could assist in an investigation related to criminal activity. As their are now varying levels of criminality assigned to abortion procedures by states, Skrmetti and other top law enforcement officials are suggesting they have an interest in medical records related to reproductive health in order to determine if citizens from their states have sought abortion care in another jurisdiction.

In response, a group of progressive pastors is speaking out against the Attorney General’s attempt to invade the privacy of the state’s residents:

“One thing I value about America is that our constitution values our freedom to be ourselves and make our own private healthcare decision, which is why I’m so upset, confused, and angered by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skermetti’s attempt to retrieve Tennesseans’ private medical records from other states,” said Rev. Ann Bassett, Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

“This is another targeted attack on privacy and the bodily autonomy of both women and our transgender community members. Just like all movements for equality that have come before, certain politicians and leaders are trying to get and hold on to power by taking advantage of unfamiliarity with transgender people and reproductive healthcare to punish people from pursuing necessary medical care in other states. Whenever a powerful few have tried to pick and choose who…

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .