published Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Planned Parenthood sues head of Tennessee Health Department

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    Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM Tennessee Department of Health

NASHVILLE — Two Planned Parenthood affiliates are suing Tennessee Health Department Commissioner John Dreyzehner in federal court.

The lawsuit came after the health department abruptly canceled two competitively bid contracts with the groups to provide preventative services for HIV and syphilis.

Calling the state’s move “disgraceful,” Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee CEO Jeff Teague charged that Gov. Bill Haslam and Dreyzehner “have put politics ahead of the health and well-being of thousands of Tennesseans.”

Last summer, the Planned Parenthood affiliates lost $1.1 million in family planning funding. Legislative Republicans had attacked funding for Planned Parenthood, which also provides abortion services.

“Women and men count on Planned Parenthood for life-saving health information, including HIV prevention,” Teague said. “To jeopardize the lives and health of young people across Tennessee for purely political reasons is shocking and irresponsible.”

Dreyzehner spokeswoman Kelley Walker said by email that “we have not yet seen the lawsuit and cannot comment on pending litigation.”

The Haslam administration had no immediate comment.

The contracts were awarded in August but were canceled in December and earlier this month.

In October, the Shelby County Commission voted to switch its family-planning contract from Planned Parenthood to a faith-based organization that does not perform abortions, The Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood held the contract to provide family planning services until the Republican-controlled state Legislature sought to cut government funding to the organization.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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octosquish said...

“Women and men count on Planned Parenthood for life-saving health information, including HIV prevention,” Teague said. “To jeopardize the lives and health of young people across Tennessee for purely political reasons is shocking and irresponsible.”

Um, what about the women and men in the womb who's lives aren't saved? What about the thousands of innocent lives that are placed in jeopardy just because they aren't loved? Those are some really scary "politics," Mr. Teague, when only a few are actually cared for.

Do not be fooled by this red herring, folks. Planned Parenthood has one cash cow: Abortion. The more we can de-fund this band of discriminatory thinking, the better. Perhaps then we will be able to advance into a society where justice, liberty, and the God-given right to life is not constantly under threat by this group. These people usurp the ideas of freedom from those who promote the freedom of ALL people and then bully and threaten and make videos about those of us who have the slightest inclination to question their actions. If you don't believe me, just look up "Planned Parenthood Cartoon" on YouTube or the reason they are currently under investigation by the federal government. Live Action, a Pro-Life rights advocacy group, uncovered unlawful practices in several clinics last year. And don't even get me started on PP's founder, Margaret Sanger, friend of the Nazi and KKK.

February 3, 2012 at 6:15 a.m.
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