State Representative Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City) announced a plan to introduce legislation that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood by ending reimbursements to healthcare providers under Medicaid.
“A false narrative exists in Tennessee that Planned Parenthood doesn't receive Tennessee tax-payer dollars. Media and professional politicians from both sides of the aisle have reinforced this false narrative time and time again to protect their funding,” Matlock said in a press release. “It is beyond time for Tennessee leaders to show integrity and honesty by putting this to bed once and for all.”
Matlock, in part, based the introduction of this bill on a 2015 investigation into Planned Parenthood led by Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden).
A press release stated that Hold discovered the organization did receive taxpayer money, contrary to what the organization claimed. It stated that from 2011- 2015, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee received $108,100 tax-payer dollars. Of that amount, just under $11k came directly from Tennessee while the rest came from the federal government.
Matlock said he doesn’t expect any opposition to the proposed legislation.
"...I know my Republican colleagues will stand by me and finally codify, once and for all, that Planned Parenthood can receive no tax-payer dollars. In addition, because Planned Parenthood and their allies on the left push a narrative that they don’t receive tax-payer dollars to begin with, they shouldn't’t have a single bit of opposition to the legislation either," Matlock said.
Planned Parenthood officials held a press conference Wednesday afternoon in response.
State Representative Brenda Gilmore said the legislation would be devastating for women, saying "18,000 women who use Planned Parenthood would lose access to STD tests and cancer screenings..."
She went on to say that the proposed bill was merely a political move.
"If we're serious about reducing abortions, our colleagues across the aisle would be willing to join with us to make family planing available."
State Representative John Ray Clemmons also spoke saying, "It would discriminate against many Tennessee women and result in the unfair and prejudicial denial of healthcare services to so many across Tennessee."