Tenn. Democrats Add Antiabortion Amendment to Health Care Bill

May 3, 2012 — Tennessee House Democrats were successful in attaching an antiabortion-rights amendment to a bill aiming to allow the state to take over its health care system, Knoxville News SentineI's "Humphrey on the Hill" reports. According to the amendment, the state would not join the Health Care Compact "if participation includes expanding abortion rights, especially late-term abortion" (Humphrey, "Humphrey on the Hill," Knoxville News Sentinel, 5/1).

The bill (SB 326) to which the amendments were attached would have allowed the state to participate in the interstate compact. If approved by Congress, the Health Care Compact would provide a waiver for states to create their own health care systems (AP/News Channel 5, 5/1).

Democrats proposed the amendment as a "parliamentary 'gotcha' game," Nashville Public Radio reports (White [1], Nashville Public Radio, 5/1). They also approved several other amendments to the bill ("Humphrey on the Hill," Knoxville News Sentinel, 5/1). However, the House later was asked to approve a conference committee report that stripped the amendments (White [2], Nashville Public Radio, 5/1).

House lawmakers were unable to reach the number of votes required to approve the overall bill (AP/News Channel 5, 5/1).