Tennessee women turn to 'safe haven' states for abortion care

tennessee abortions
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 19:28:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Faced with nowhere to go, Tennessee and Kentucky women could be traveling hundreds of miles away to receive an abortion.

"We have talked with our physicians about getting themselves licensed in other states and they've been working on that," said Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.

In Tennessee, Planned Parenthood leaders said they will do everything they can to help women, even if it means helping them travel out of state.

"That's why we are 100% committed to making sure that finances and logistics don't stand in somebody's way to get the health care that they need in another state," said Coffield.

In Indiana, providers are ready to welcome those from states like Tennessee or Kentucky.

"Patients are reaching out all across this country to safe-haven states," said Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaiʻi, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky.

Gibron said they've been preparing for this moment since the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion.

"We are starting to get patients who are so fearful of being able to get an abortion that they need that they are double and triple booking in multiple health centers in various different states just in case something happens, and they're not able to get to one health center over another," she said.

Gibron urges patients to reach out to their local clinics for support.

"Up until the very last minute that it is legally and lawfully allowed in the state of Indiana, Planned Parenthood will be here, and we are not going to let our patients down," she said.

As of now, abortions are legal in Indiana, but the state legislature is expected to hold a special session come July 6 where the issue will most likely be taken up there too.