New Mt. Juliet women's clinic may face issues in the future due to newly passed ordinance

Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 19:52:41-05

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — A clinic that provides the abortion pill in Mt. Juliet is already being met with push-back.

The city held a special meeting on Sunday to respond to the clinic, known as Carafem, opening its doors.

Mount Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty explains that the city held a special meeting to amend a zoning ordinance. The ordinance passed unanimously. That change now requires clinics that perform surgical abortion procedures to be located in industrial zoning districts.

This meeting was called after Carafem's new women's clinic, which provides abortion pills, was met with a lot of mixed reactions.

Right now, the health center offers early abortion care up to 10 weeks with the medical abortion pill. But on Carafem's website, the company explains they plan to eventually bring surgical abortion to their Tennessee office. This ordinance would prevent that.

Now, the mayor explained that the nonprofit never filled out the proper paperwork with the city.

"The proper way to apply is coming to city hall, there are different forms they fill out. There are inspections they need to request," said Mayor Hagerty, "and then the inspectors go in and inspect and then issue a certificate of occupancy. None of that was done."

We reached out to Carafem and in a statement to NewsChannel 5, Melissa Grant, COO of Carafem, says:

“Carafem selected the Nashville area for its fourth U.S. abortion clinic after seeing an increase in the number of women traveling to our Atlanta clinic. About 5 percent of the women seeking abortions at their Atlanta location come from the Nashville area. Carafem opened a reproductive health care and family planning center in the Nashville metro area to provide safe, convenient and affordable health care options with a licensed, quality health provider to serve women in Tennessee. The health center offers early abortion care up to 10 weeks with the medical abortion pill, STI testing, a wide selection of birth control options---such as IUDs, birth control implants, Depo Provera shots, birth control pills, and emergency contraception. With one in four women in the U.S. that will choose to have an abortion before the age of 45, carafem remains committed to ensuring that she has access to a safe, affordable medical care. We are proud to continue our mission to allow a woman to decide when and if she is ready to become a parent. Our doors remain open to serve clients in Mount Juliet.”

As for what may be next for Carafem if this is true, the mayor explains that city inspectors could issue a stop work order.