Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Democratic leaders push back on calls for Vanderbilt transgender clinic investigation

BY: and - September 23, 2022

A day after Gov. Bill Lee and state Republican leaders called for an investigation into transgender care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Democratic leaders pushed back, saying that “hate” was being used “for political purposes.” “Parents should be able to make decisions in regard to their children’s health. That is something Republicans claim to fight […]

House Republican Caucus leadership, from left: House Majority Leader William Lamberth, Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant, and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee GOP outrage over transgender clinic a cynical ploy for votes

BY: - September 22, 2022

As if there were any doubt midterm elections are nearing, right-wing politicians have turned up the heat on cultural and social issues to make sure we don’t forget.  Looney-tunes Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green held a Tuesday press conference outside the U.S. Capitol to announce she will lead a congressional movement to criminalize providing gender-affirming […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican lawmakers plan to strip Vanderbilt Hospital of child transgender surgeries

BY: and - September 21, 2022

Fueled by a Twitter report, Republican lawmakers are planning to pass legislation in 2023 to stop Vanderbilt University Medical Center from performing pediatric transgender surgeries. Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Lee requested an investigation, and Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s Office said he will use the “full scope” of his authority to make sure state law is being […]

U.S. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 20, on her legislation to make it a felony to perform gender-affirming care on transgender youth. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt.

Marjorie Taylor Greene leads GOP drive to criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender youth

BY: - September 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to commit to bringing legislation to the floor that would make it a felony to perform gender-affirming care on transgender youth, should the GOP take control of the U.S. House following the November midterm elections.  “How on earth can this be happening in America? […]

John Cole’s Tennessee

BY: - September 21, 2022

An anti-abortion protester,left, squares off with abortion-rights during a July protest at the Tennessee Capitol. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Injunction prevents Operation Save America protesters from interfering at clinic

BY: - September 20, 2022

A federal judge in Nashville has granted a preliminary injunction barring protestors affiliated with the anti-abortion group Operation Save America from the grounds of a Mt. Juliet reproductive health clinic. On July 26, about 150 members and associates of Operation Save America gathered on streets and sidewalks outside an office building that houses carafem, which […]

Dr. Tracy Coffee of Clarksville, Tenn. regularly provides emergency care to pregnant women. Her job is now complicated by Tennessee's abortion ban. (Photo: John Partipilo)

‘Waiting for the test case’: lawyers say prosecutions inevitable under Tennessee abortion ban

BY: - September 16, 2022

Dr. Tracy Coffey routinely provides emergency care to pregnant women. Last week, on a Saturday, she performed surgery on a patient to remove an ectopic pregnancy — a procedure doctors at her Clarksville hospital perform about once a month. But among the many questions about Tennessee’s new abortion ban for which Coffey can find no […]

Rabbi Laurie Rice of Congregation Micah in Brentwood, Tenn. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Muslim, Jewish leaders weigh abortion ban against their faith’s teachings

BY: - September 16, 2022

Backers of Tennessee’s strict abortion ban often cite their Christian faith.  But some Middle Tennessee Jewish and Muslim faith leaders say the law compromises their ability to draw on their own religious traditions in guiding worshipers through difficult decisions. “I think it’s a complete imposition of one religious tradition’s understanding upon the rest of the […]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate Republicans shy away from proposed 15-week national abortion ban

BY: - September 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans are skeptical about a 15-week nationwide abortion ban that GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced Tuesday, with some saying they want to leave the issue to state lawmakers instead of taking it up in Congress.  “I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at […]

A rally in support of abortion rights drew hundreds to downtown Nashville on Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Photo: John Partipilo)

‘A bold step for me’: local officials take stands against Tennessee’s strict abortion ban

BY: - September 12, 2022

Knoxville City Councilwoman Lynne Fugate had never before supported a resolution directed to the state legislature, much less one about abortion. It’s up to citizens, not city leaders, to advocate before those elected representatives, she said.  But last week the longtime Republican took what she characterized as a “bold step for me.” Fugate backed a […]

New fight opens in Congress over VA policy that sidesteps state abortion bans

BY: - September 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the U.S. Senate are confident the Department of Veterans Affairs can implement a new policy that allows its doctors to provide abortions when the pregnancy threatens the patient’s life or health, or when it’s the result of rape or incest.  The VA announced the new policy last week to cheers from […]

Dr. Joanna Shaw-KaiKai, infectious disease specialist at Metro Nashville Health Department. (Photo: John Partipilo)

In Tennessee, monkeypox vaccine is limited and appointments booked for months

BY: - September 8, 2022

Drew, a Nashville businessman, went to bed early one Sunday night in July, assuming his busy weekend with family and friends had left him exhausted. But the next morning, he woke up with COVID-like symptoms, and — despite a negative home test — off he went to a walk-in clinic. The doctor on duty tested […]