Tennessee physicians ask legislature to grant exception for "life of the mother"
With the Tennessee House of Representatives slated to vote today on an amendment to the state's abortion ban, a group of Tennessee doctors affiliated with the healthcare advocacy group Protect My Care are calling for changes that provide legal protections for doctors in cases when a mother's life is in danger.
The physicians have delivered an open letter to the General Assembly signed by over 1000 healthcare professionals calling for the legislature to support the original amendment - and to ensure that key protections are provided to doctors in the most extreme circumstances.
Dr. Nikki Zite, an obstetrician/gynecologist practicing in Knoxville, said the amended version of legislation set for a vote today does not go far enough to protect doctors.
"This House version, HB0883, will not improve access to lifesaving care. It is the same legislation that has led numerous women in Texas to suffer unnecessary medical trauma and has resulted in lawsuits. The same will happen in Tennessee."
“We continue to believe,” said Dr. Jessica Rosen, an emergency physician practicing in Nashville, “that medical decisions should be made between patients and their doctors, without the intrusion of politicians. The vast majority of Tennesseans believe this as well. We should not allow special interest groups to hold more power than the people of Tennessee."
The doctors said that without significant changes, the current law risks the lives of women and could result in doctors being punished for administering life-saving care in extreme situations.
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