Tennessee: Tell State Senate to reject anti-choice bill


The Tennessee Legislature has introduced an anti-abortion bill that prohibits the state from funding abortion services because doing so would — wait for it — be a violation of state/church separation.

The bill, S.B. 1418, seeks to prohibit state funding of abortion services because it constitutes an endorsement of “nonsecular conduct that is inseparably linked to the religion of Secular Humanism.”

In summary, the Tennessee Legislature — the same body that recently passed a bill that would permit taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to turn away LGBTQ families based on “religious convictions” — is suddenly concerned with keeping state and church separate.

The job of elected officials is to enact policies that protect and improve the well-being of their constituents, not to impose their own dogmatic religious beliefs. Not only is abortion a constitutionally protected freedom, but access to safe and legal abortion is correlated with improvements in women’s sexual and reproductive health, economic opportunity and overall well-being. The only organized opposition to abortion is religious in nature, predicated on the religious concept of “ensoulment,” thereby making reproductive rights a state/church separation matter. But this bill gets it backward by suggesting that the “religion” of secular humanism is behind the push for access to safe, legal abortions.

S.B. 1418 is currently in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. These senators need to hear your opposition to this bill. Legislative offices tally the calls and contacts received in opposition and support of controversial issues, and it is essential that pro-choice Tenesseans make your voice heard so the Religious Right cannot claim a mandate.


Freedom From Religion Foundation

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