House OKs bill to ban TennCare money to abortion providers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Republican-led House has passed legislation seeking federal approval to ban TennCare payments to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, for non-abortion services.

The House voted 71-17 Monday for Republican Rep. Jimmy Matlock’s proposal. He said President Donald Trump’s administration has indicated it will start approving such state requests.

Matlock’s proposal would apply to elective abortion providers that perform 50-plus abortions annually.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart said thousands of women could lose access to services. Matlock said they could seek other clinics or doctors for mammogram, prenatal care, birth control and other services.

State and federal law already ban Medicaid abortion funding. Some exceptions include rape, incest or risk of the mother’s death.

Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell has said she supports the bill, which heads to the Senate.

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