Abortion bill in Tennessee brings questions about patient privacy

Tennessee Captiol
Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 16, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There are more bills to regulate abortion filed in the state legislature this year. Some are raising concerns with doctors.

One of those is Dr. Katrina Green who works in an emergency room.

"I think the end game goal of most of the legislature trying to pass these bills here in Tennessee is to make abortion completely illegal, period," said Green. "That would have very real consequences downstream."

Abortion rights advocates are following several bills right now in the state legislature.

One bill Green said she's worried about sets new guidelines for doctors prescribing a so-called abortion pill. The bill goes so far as requiring doctors to talk about options for reversing an abortion brought on by medication.

"My main concerns with the bill are the stipulations that requires reproductive health providers to inform women that there is something called an abortion reversal. There is no such thing as an abortion pill reversal," said Green.

The bill would also require doctors to provide patient information about abortion complications.

Dr. Green says that's alarming because many of the women that are given this medication are having a miscarriage.

"The patient confidentiality portion is very important," said Green. "The bill basically forces me to report complications. I don't know if the senator and legislator know that 10 to 20% of pregnancies, maybe even more than that, end in miscarriage."

A spokesperson for Rep. Robin Smith, the sponsor of this bill, said they're going to add an amendment to the bill next week but wouldn't share any more information.

Even with changes, Dr. Green said she worries about the future of women's health care in Tennessee.