The Tennessee House passed a bill preventing any local or state government from requiring citizens get the COVID-19 vaccine.
House lawmakers passed HB0013/SB0187 on first consideration on Wednesday.
It's sponsored by Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) and Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma). While there's no requirement in Tennessee to get the COVID-19 vaccine - this piece of legislation would make sure it's illegal.
The measure sparked heated debate, with some lawmakers calling the pressure to take the vaccine "medical tyranny."
“What gives a right to any of you to tell me what I have to inject in to my body? I’m sorry this is America we have some individual freedoms and liberties that the government does not have,” Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) said.
Others are concerned the new proposal sends the wrong message. Lawmakers spoke about encouraging residents to get the vaccine.
“I can name at least five families this morning that I’ve been to the cemetery with because there were people who didn’t want to take the vaccine and took it home to grandma, to uncles, to nephews and nieces and they died from it because there was somebody in the house because they felt like it was against their freedom to take this vaccine,” Rep. Johnny Shaw (D-Bolivar) said.
Gov. Bill Lee has remained adamant that getting the COVID-19 is a personal choice.
This bill now moves on to the Senate.