- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State legislators say they want to give the Health Department more authority to track how fetal tissue is disposed of after abortions.

Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville presided over a Wednesday hearing of the joint Government Operations Committee. He said the hearing’s objective was to determine whether abortion providers in Tennessee are illegally selling the tissue for medical research.

He said lawmakers want to know more about how Tennessee regulates abortion after seeing hidden-camera videos that raised the question of whether Planned Parenthood officials in other states were profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.

Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner told the committee state health inspectors review abortion clinics, but they don’t enforce criminal law. If they suspect a clinic is breaking the law, they inform the appropriate authorities.

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