Tennessee refuses federal funding for HIV testing because Planned Parenthood would get some of it

Bill Lee, Governor of Tennessee (R)

Bill Lee, Governor of Tennessee (R)
photo: Getty (Getty Images)

Tennessee health officials attempted to kick Planned Parenthood out of an HIV testing and treatment grant program before deciding to reject federal funding altogether. according to to the associated press and the memphis commercial vocation.

NBC News reported that the state could turn down as much as 10 million dollars at HIV fund. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributes the money to states, which in turn give it to local organizations that provide services. Tennessee claims it will use state funds beginning June 1, but it’s unclear how the state intends to fund the program itself.

Abortion is already banned in the state, so this appears to be nothing more than an attempt to financially stifle Planned Parenthood while leaving people at risk of HIV and those living with the virus as collateral damage.

Democratic State Senator London Lamar of Memphis told the AP that denying the money “endangers the lives of Tennessee residents.” advocate told NBC News’ move is devastating. “I can’t understand why the state is returning funds that are earmarked for health care…it’s outrageous,” said Diane Duke, president and executive director of Friends for Life, a Memphis-based group that provides services to people living with HIV.

Also the state health department AWAY The name of intended parentage of a list on his website of community organizations that offer free condoms. (Planned Parenthood is ongoing Free condoms TNwhat still is listed.)

When the AP asked the Department of Health and Human Services why it tried to remove Planned Parenthood from the program in November, a spokesman instead sent a Jan. 17 letter stating that “previous administrations” had accepted the federal money, the state however, have determined “that it is in the best interests of Tennessee residents that the state assume direct financial and administrative responsibility for these services.”

Governor Bill Lee (R) told Reporter Friday: “Funding for this HIV prevention program is very important, and it is important that it be spent effectively and efficiently in the way that best serves Tennessee. We believe we can do better than the terms attached to the federal dollars that came our way, and that’s why we made that decision.” Uh-huh.

Ashley Coffield, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, was aware of the motives. “This is another public health crisis orchestrated by Gov. Lee,” she told the AP. “They are using Planned Parenthood as a gateway to bring down the entire sexual and reproductive health care system. We’re often the most public target, but that affects so many groups.”

Planned Parenthood has worked with the state since 2008 under Governor Phil Bredesen (D) to offer HIV testing. When Gov. Bill Haslam (R) was elected in 2012, his government tried to kick the organization out of the program and was sued and lost. The AP explained:

A district court later found that the department had targeted Planned Parenthood “due to its first amending activity to advocate for abortion,” and issued one an injunction preventing the state from severing a partnership with the organization over its advocacy of abortion treatment. This injunction is still in effect.

Why is this happening now? Possibly because the country’s new health officer started his job last week. Lee called to the role Ralph Alvarado, a former Kentucky legislator who is anti-abortion. Alvarado started last Monday, two days before the transfer was announced.

This minor move is reminiscent of Indiana’s anti-abortion lawmakers attacked various sources of funding for Planned Parenthood, which caused several of his clinics to close. A closed clinic in rural Scott County, Indiana, had been the county’s only HIV testing centerand two years later the county a devastating HIV outbreak.

You’d think a governor wouldn’t want to repeat those mistakes, but he’s a Republican, so he doesn’t care if people get sick or die.

https://jezebel.com/tennessee-refuses-federal-money-for-hiv-testing-because-1850025783 Tennessee refuses federal funding for HIV testing because Planned Parenthood would get some of it

Adam Bradshaw

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