Our State Partners in Tennessee
In 2014, Healthy & Free Tennessee played an instrumental role in the "No on One" campaign to prevent a state constitutional amendment from removing abortion as a constitutional right in Tennessee. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the campaign’s efforts included mailings, phone banking, and canvassing efforts that strengthened the base of pro-choice supporters.
In 2013, the National Institute worked with Healthy & Free Tennessee to support the development and growth of the Healthy & Free Tennessee Coalition, including the creation of an organizational structure, mission, and goals.
SisterReach’s #CSE4TN campaign develops the leadership of young people of color and their parents and guardians as advocates for comprehensive sexuality education in their communities and across the state. Young people receive intensive training in reproductive justice, health, and community service, including peer-to-peer education, skills for speaking with community members and elected officials, and campaign leadership. Parents are also educated and mobilized under this campaign and together they will demonstrate public support for overturning state and local policy mandating abstinence-based education. The #CSE4TN campaign includes a strong faith-based narrative and will engage key stakeholders and the larger community through “CSE Report Out” town hall events.
In 2013, SisterReach recruited youth ambassadors to lead the Choose2Wait program to support comprehensive sex education in Memphis. With the National Institute's support, SisterReach also conducted focus groups with people of color on sex education in Memphis and published the first report in Tennessee specifically focused on people of color and sex education.
Together, SisterReach, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University are addressing policy and implementation challenges to immediate postpartum LARC insertion, working within a reproductive justice framework. The coalition is working with administrators of the state’s public health coverage programs, TennCare and CoverKids, to debundle the reimbursement for LARCs for women in the immediate postpartum setting. Their efforts also involve engaging providers and hospital administrators to educate them on this policy change and its implementation within their systems. The coalition is creating and facilitating a taskforce to train providers in cultural competency and shared decision making around contraception.
CHOICES is moving forward with their newly created patient advocacy program, identifying patients who will receive training in a variety of new skills including legislative advocacy. Together, CHOICES and these new leaders will advocate for access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and against restrictions.