In open letter, 700 Tennessee healthcare providers call on Legislature to ‘reconsider’ abortion ban

BY: ANITA WADHWANI
OCTOBER 10, 2022

More than 700 Tennessee doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are calling on the state’s GOP-super majority Legislature to revisit an abortion ban that criminalizes the procedure with no exceptions and subjects doctors who perform it to prosecution, fines and jail time.

In an open letter to the legislature, published in a full page ad in The Tennessean on Sunday, the healthcare professionals are asking the General Assembly to “reconsider the ‘trigger law.'”

Continued: https://tennesseelookout.com/briefs/in-open-letter-700-tennessee-healthcare-providers-call-on-legislature-to-reconsider-abortion-ban/


Her mother’s abortion was required under China’s one-child policy. Her own would be illegal under Tennessee’s post-Roe ban

by Eric Boodman
Sept. 29, 2022

It started as a joke. Jen was early in her first pregnancy, sitting with her husband after lunch. You know those gimmicky websites, he was saying, where you can name a star after someone and the person gets a certificate in the mail? What if, instead, we named our child after the biggest planet in the solar system?

He was kidding, but Jen kind of liked it. Jupiter. She liked the sound of it — and how awesome, to share a name with something so huge, encircled by so many moons. She hadn’t imagined herself as a mom. When they were looking at houses, she’d insisted on a yard for their dog; she hadn’t been thinking about room for kids. But then something in her shifted, and here they were, in their dining room, in a green-lawned Tennessee neighborhood, joking about what to call their first child. Jupiter was a perfect middle name — semi-secret, a nod to this wild gravitational pull.

Continued: https://www.statnews.com/2022/09/29/abortion-roe-tennessee-ban-fetal/


Fear, confusion, anxiety, stress: Tennessee doctors describe care under abortion ban

They worry about what consequences they may face for providing essential care.

By Nadine El-Bawab
September 16, 2022

Weeks after a trigger ban criminalizing providing abortions went into effect in Tennessee, doctors told ABC News the ban created fear, confusion, anxiety and stress among patients and providers.

Physicians from different parts of the state are pushing back against claims made by lawmakers, including Gov. Bill Lee, who say the ban allows exceptions for pregnancies that threaten a woman's life or could cause serious bodily injury, saying this is not the case. Under the law, performing or attempting to perform an abortion is a Class C felony.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/fear-confusion-anxiety-stress-tennessee-doctors-describe-care/story?id=89878848


Lawyer’s mission: Translate Tenn.’s bewildering abortion ban

Chloe Akers considers herself a grizzled criminal defense attorney

By CLAIRE GALOFARO, AP National Writer
September 4, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Chloe Akers considers herself a grizzled criminal defense attorney. Until a few months ago, she didn’t spend much time thinking about abortion — for all her 39 years, abortion was not a crime, so she’d never imagined having to defend someone accused of performing one.

That changed in June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Akers sat down in her law office and pulled up Tennessee’s new criminal abortion statute.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/lawyers-mission-translate-tenns-bewildering-abortion-ban-89341542


A Planned Parenthood Was Burned Down. This Is Just the Latest in Knoxville’s War Over Abortion

This is the second violent act against the clinic since an evangelical protest organization moved in a year ago, ramping up anti-abortion rhetoric in the city

By MARISA KABAS
Jan 7, 2022

As the ruins of the Knoxville Planned Parenthood smoldered in the background, vocal Pastor Ken Peters, a prominent anti-abortion figure, spoke to a reporter from the local ABC affiliate. “This is not gonna stop abortion,” he told them. “It’s the changing of hearts and minds, it’s the changing of laws. This might temporarily halt abortion, but this doesn’t stop it. We just pray that nobody was hurt and that who whoever did this is caught and prosecuted, and we pray that abortion would stop right here in the state of Tennessee.”

This past New Year’s Eve, less than one year after a gunman shot out the glass doors of the Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Tennessee, the entire clinic burned to the ground in the midst of a $2.2 million renovation and expansion project. (No one was injured.) Investigators from the Knoxville Fire Department have ruled it an intentional fire — an arson, started by a person or persons who, just like the gunman, have yet to be identified. As investigators continue putting together the pieces, abortion rights activists can’t help but wonder: Did the rhetoric of Pastor Peters’s extreme anti-abortion church literally help stoke the flames?

Continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/knoxville-planned-parenthood-fire-arson-1280947/


Long Drives, Costly Flights, And Wearying Waits: What Abortion Requires In The South

August 2, 2021
SARAH VARNEY

Just a quick walk through the parking lot of Choices-Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, in this legendary music mecca, speaks volumes about access to abortion in the American South. Parked alongside the polished SUVs and weathered sedans with Tennessee license plates are cars from Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida and, on many days, Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Choices is one of two abortion clinics in the Memphis metro area, with a population of 1.3 million. While that might not seem like much for women seeking a commonplace medical procedure, it represents a wealth of access compared with Mississippi, which has just one abortion clinic for the entire state of 3 million people.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/08/02/1022860226/long-drives-costly-flights-and-wearying-waits-what-abortion-requires-in-the-sout


USA – The strictest abortion ban in the nation targets communities of color

Tina Vasquez 
Jul 03, 2020

As pro-choice advocates in Louisiana breathe a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the June Medical Services case last week, Tennessee is gearing up for a fight against one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the country—one that advocates say targets people of color.

Used as a bargaining chip while negotiating the state budget, the bill was passed in the early morning hours of June 19 when the Tennessee Senate made a last-minute deal with the House to pass a six-week abortion ban, which is unconstitutional because it makes it medically and logistically impossible for most people to determine that they are pregnant and arrange for abortion care.

Continued: https://www.ourprism.org/1957853


Why Tennessee’s Quickly Passed Abortion Ban Is Racist

Why Tennessee’s Quickly Passed Abortion Ban Is Racist

Lauren Rankin
June 25, 2020

In the early-morning hours of June 19, the Tennessee Senate rallied to pass a last-minute healthcare bill. It had nothing to do with mitigating the coronavirus pandemic that had claimed the lives of more than 530 Tennesseans, nor did it address the widespread police violence on display in cities across the country. Instead, it was a wide-ranging anti-abortion bill. Passed in the dead of night after back-room negotiating with Republicans in the Tennessee House, it included one of the most extreme abortion bans in the U.S., banning the procedure at six weeks, before many people even know they’re pregnant.

Simply put, Tennessee just signed into law a near-total abortion ban.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/2020/06/9882861/tennessee-abortion-ban-racist


Tennessee lawmakers pass fetal heartbeat abortion bill backed by governor

Tennessee lawmakers pass fetal heartbeat abortion bill backed by governor

by Veronica Stracqualursi and Caroline Kelly, CNN
Fri June 19, 2020

Washington (CNN)Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill backed by the state's Republican governor that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Early Friday morning, the Tennessee Senate approved the bill, 23-5, after the House had passed the legislation earlier, 68-17. Republicans control both chambers.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/19/politics/tennessee-abortion-heartbeat-bill/index.html


USA – The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Abortion Providers to Make Impossible Decisions

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Abortion Providers to Make Impossible Decisions

Molly Osberg
Mar 24, 2020

The Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, a small clinic in Tennessee, had two doctors providing abortion care until a few days ago. The center, which draws patients from all over the region, sees anywhere between 20 and 40 patients a week, according to its assistant director Katy Leopard: They come from Mississippi, where there is only one clinic providing this kind of care, and from Arkansas, where abortions can be hard to come by, and sometimes from even as far as Kentucky.

In the United States, an estimated 11.3 million women live more than an hour’s drive from an abortion provider, and often doctors will split their time between clinics to provide more geographically comprehensive care. Last year, the Los Angeles Times shadowed a provider who performed 50 abortions in 60 hours when she “commuted” from California to Texas, a feat that now given a roiling pandemic and orders from state governments to “just stay home” seems difficult, if not impossible, to imagine. But clinic workers and reproductive health advocates are trying to manage, considering that even in moments of global crisis, unwanted pregnancies don’t stop.

Continued: https://jezebel.com/the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-forcing-abortion-providers-1842455205