Tenn. abortion ban takes effect

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Following the decision by the 6 Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday that allows Tennessee to ban abortions after six weeks, Planned Parenthood providers have now suspended all abortion services in the state.

“Our skilled and passionate providers and staff should not be forced to deny the health care they really need,” said Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.

Despite the suspension of abortion services by PPTNM, the organization said women still have access to their navigation services.

“For as many people as possible, we are providing financial resources to travel outside of Tennessee. We don’t want finances to stand in the way of anybody accessing working services,” said Coffield.

Clinic officials said they have started screening patients for the service. They predict that 30,000 additional women may travel to Illinois for abortion care using available funds.

“It might be in the form of a gas card. It might be in the form of support for overnight accommodations or more,” said Coffield.

Planned Parenthood said abortion pills by mail and telehealth services for abortion are banned in Tennessee, but women do have access to those services in other states.

“They can have a telehealth visit in Illinois across the state lines, and they can have the pills mailed somewhere in Illinois where they could pick them up,” said Coffield.

Tuesday’s appeals court ruling means that performing an abortion is now a felony in Tennessee.

Doctors could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for performing the procedure.

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