Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rep. Tony Shipley Launches New Crusade Against Family Planning

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 11:16 AM

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When last we heard from state Rep. Tony Shipley, he was warning that God might throw Tennessee into the ocean for being too lenient with gays. Now, our hero has launched a new crusade. He wants to make it illegal for health-care providers to deny parents immediate access to the medical records of their children under any circumstances, period. This means, for example, that when little Suzy goes to the doctor to find out for sure whether she's pregnant, her rapist father can storm into the office and demand to know the test results right then and there.

Shipley thinks this is a great idea. He worked himself up into an arm-waving, frothing lather over the issue in a House subcommittee hearing this week. He stopped short of invoking God's wrath but just barely.

"I am indignant. I'm here asking you as your colleague, as a father, it is time that we pushed back against whoever, whatever and whenever someone tries to interfere with our rights as a parent. Let's take back our children from a state that has no right to them."

Rep. Henry Fincher politely pointed out to Shipley that his bill makes no exceptions for parents who sexually or physically abuse their children or for those whose parental rights have been terminated. And oh yes, there's that little matter of the $6.5 million in federal funds for family planning that the state might lose for enacting Shipley's bill into law. Clinics supported by those funds serve adolescents on a confidential basis. They provide preventive educational services to young people, including an emphasis on the postponement of sexual activity, as well as counseling and contraceptives.

"I don't share your passion for this bill as it's worded," Fincher told Shipley.

Our hero was unfazed. "I suggest we give it back to the federal government," he said of the family planning money. But he finally agreed to postpone his bill until some of these little issues can be cleared up.

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