Healthy and Free Tennessee envisions a future where sexual health and reproductive freedom is a reality for all Tennesseans. Our policy and advocacy work bring us closer to that vision. The Tennessee General Assembly takes actions that impact reproductive freedom every year. We write and introduce bills that work to uplift reproductive freedom values, track and strategize around bills that limit or scale back reproductive freedom, and provide research, analysis, and training on advocating for reproductive freedom at the state-level.
We understand the limitations of policy work, and we use it as an opportunity to educate our supporters, not only on our issues and the legislative process but also on the importance of centering the most marginalized people in our struggle for reproductive freedom. We strive to model this principle in our policy and advocacy priorities and goals. Policy work allows us to strengthen relationships and create tangible cross-movement collaborations to build an even stronger movement for reproductive freedom in Tennessee.
HFTN's 2023 Policy Agenda
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Legislative Research & Analysis
Tennessee's legislative session generally runs between early January and early May each year. During that time, legislators, partners, national advocacy groups, and Tennessee residents suggest, draft, or encourage the legislature to take up certain actions or bills. These bills cover a full range of reproductive freedom issues including abortion, public benefits, sex work, immigration, criminal-legal systems reform, housing and many many more. Every year we sort through the introduced bills and create a watchlist. Using the reproductive justice framework as our guide, we strive to highlight bills that receive little attention from partners and allies and that can have a real impact on Tennesseans' reproductive freedom. We compile the watchlist after the filing deadline, generally in mid-February, and update it regularly throughout the session.
2022 Legislative Session in Review
2021 Legislative Session in Review
2020 Legislative Session in Review
2019 Legislative Session in Review
2018 Legislative Session in Review
2017 Legislative Session in Review
2016 Legislative Session in Review
2015 Legislative Session in Review
Healthy and Free Tennessee also creates policy research reports and analysis on relevant state and federal policy events. Our most recent report, Tennessee Over Ten: Reproductive Freedom at the State Legislature 2011-2020, examines over 500 bills introduced in the last decade impacting reproductive freedom. The report also highlights the following ten reproductive freedom issue areas: family planning; public benefits and criminalizing poverty; drug use, pregnancy, and parenting; child custody and welfare systems; LGBTQIA issues; HIV and STIs; sex work; family-friendly workplace policies and child care; pregnancy and postpartum healthcare; and sex education.
Healthy and Free Tennessee also hosts a blog on reproductive freedom issues. The blog is updated periodically with timely reproductive freedom analysis and advocacy updates. For questions about research or our blog, please email Nina at [email protected].
Get Informed, Get Involved
Interested in learning more about reproductive freedom policy work in Tennessee? Fill out this form to schedule a training for a group or sign yourself up for a future general training.
Interested in hearing about the latest in reproductive freedom policy? Email Nina at [email protected] to sign up for our biweekly policy calls.