Scarlet Letters

Another day, another abortion bill.

The Tennessee House will be considering a bill on Wednesday of this week that requires the names of doctors who perform abortions, and details about the women they treat, be posted online for everyone to see.

Tennessee lawmakers will consider a controversial measure on Wednesday that could intimidate women seeking abortions by requiring that the names of doctors who perform the procedures be published online. [...]

The state’s Department of Health already reports information on the age, race, education, and number of children of women who receive abortions, and aggregates the data by region, “making it impossible for others to figure out who underwent an abortion procedure.” This bill, however, would require the department “to release patient data broken down by county” and could “reveal the identities of some women who receive abortions, particularly in small, rural communities.” “I think in some small communities that woman would be identified,” State Rep. Gary Odom (D) warned when a subcommittee advanced the measure earlier this month. “I think that by publicizing this, it would have serious consequences. … We know what has happened to physicians who perform abortions that there has been violence. … There could be violence against the women. … This is a dangerous piece of legislation. … I think this is full of meanness.”

The bill, HB3808, is ironically named the Life Defense Act. Ironic because this would undoubtedly lead to the targeted killing of doctors who perform abortions and possibly even the women who are summarily identified.