Tennessee Planned Parenthood reacts to potential overturn of Roe v. Wade

Abortion Tennessee
Posted at 3:14 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 16:14:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With the potential for a reversal of Roe v. Wade, Tennessee's Planned Parenthood CEO Ashley Coffield said the organization would provide abortion care until a trigger law would stop them in the state.

A draft of the majority opinion on the law from the Supreme Court of the United States leaked Monday night to Politico, with Chief Justice John Roberts verifying the authenticity of the document Tuesday morning. The majority of justices wrote in the document they would overturn the law because abortion wasn't outlined as a right in the U.S. Constitution. In Tennessee, a reversal would mean a trigger law would go into play after 2019 legislation from the Tennessee General Assembly. The law makes no exception for rape or incest, only noting an abortion could happen if it prevented the death of a pregnant woman.

“First and foremost, abortion is legal today in Tennessee, and our doors remain open,” Coffield said. “We will continue to provide abortion care up to the very minute when we can no longer do so legally. We know the harm that will come from this decision, and we know that it will most impact Black, Latino, and other people of color who already disproportionately feel the effects of abortion bans and restrictions, a product of this country's legacy of racism and discrimination. Eliminating the right to an abortion will have serious, life and death consequences for our patients, and we will fight like hell to defend their lives."

The trigger law would mean a ban on abortion in Tennessee would happen 30 days after a reversal from the Supreme Court. The Tennessee office also serves Northern Mississippi.

"Plans have been underway to hire and train patient navigators who will help people access safe and legal abortion outside Tennessee and Mississippi," Coffield said. “While our politicians are divided on this issue, a clear majority of Americans believe the government should stay out of private medical decisions, and many in our region will be shocked and outraged by this decision if it stands."

The court will not make a decision until they meet during the summer term.