Policy & Legislation

Healthy and Free Tennessee envisions a future where sexual health and reproductive freedom is a reality for all Tennesseeans. 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 2022 Proactive Policy Agenda

Check out our 2022 Legislative Session in Review!

Our 2022 proactive bills:

SB2150/HB2109: Introduces TennCare Coverage for doula services
SB2769/HB2875: Anti-Shackling
SB1423/HB1592: Body Cavity Search Ban
SB2505/HB1947: Requires jails and prisons to allow a support person for a pregnant person

Check out our 2022 Legislative Watchlist for our defensive priorities and other bills we were watching this year. 

Want even more info about bills coming up? Sign up for our emails to receive updates and a more comprehensive list of bills to watch every week delivered straight to your inbox!

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. 

Group of multi-racial healthy and Free Tennessee supporters hold banner with Healthy and Free Tennessee logo pictured with legislator

Past sessions:

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 regularly 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.

Group of Healthy and Free Tennessee supporters with blue t-shirts. Standing outside of a hearing room with a legislator Group of Healthy and Free Tennessee supporters holding a banner of Healthy and Free Tennessee's logo pictured with a legislator

 


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