NASHVILLE, Tenn. — At a press conference last week, Senator Heidi Campbell, a leading contender for Nashville Mayor, strongly criticized Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti for arguing that the state should be allowed to seize out-of-state medical records.
18 Republican state attorneys general, including Skrmetti, signed onto a letter opposing a federal rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would prevent the disclosure of medical records for patients who seek abortions in states where the procedure is legal. The rule is intended to prevent states where abortion is illegal, like Tennessee, from punishing women who travel out of the state for the procedure.
“I think Mr. Skrmetti should take his patriarchal ideological crap and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine,” Campbell said at the press conference. “His assertions that his efforts have been mischaracterized is disingenuous. This is most certainly an effort to go after women’s reproductive health rights.”
She dismissed Skrmetti’s defense that his signature on the letter should not be confused with an intention to prosecute women who get abortions out-of-state.
Campbell’s assessment was shared by two licensed physicians, Dr. Katrina Green and Dr. Amy Gordon Bono. “The top prosecutor in Tennessee is launching his own vigilante attack on the patient-physician relationship and building his suspect list of patients and doctors,” Bono said.
Throughout her campaign and time in elected office, Campbell has been a consistent leader in the battle to protect women’s reproductive health. She is a sponsor of a Senate bill to codify reproductive rights in Tennessee, while also fighting for commonsense carveouts to extremist state policy, such as exceptions for the health of the mother, rape, and incest. Campbell was elected to represent Tennessee’s Senate District 20 in 2020, and prior to that served as the Mayor of Oak Hill in Nashville.