'We are going to fight:' Planned Parenthood prepares for Tennessee abortion trigger laws

Abortion Tennessee
Posted at 2:43 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 13:25:32-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — In a conference call across the state, Planned Parenthood CEO Ashley Coffield said Friday that trigger laws in Tennessee would soon render abortions unavailable.

After the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery already asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its current injunction of the six-week abortion ban — known as the heartbeat bill, which passed the Tennessee legislature in 2020. A decision hasn't yet been rendered.

Additionally, Tennessee's trigger law would make abortion a felony. That would take effect in 30 days.

"Planned Parenthood won't be able to provide abortions under the trigger law," she said.

This strips more than 1 million Tennesseans and Mississippians of the ability to control their bodies, Coffield said.

"Let me be very clear, banning abortion will cause a public health crisis and we will not forget the Tennessee and Mississippi lawmakers who have systematically rolled back rights and bartered our bodies for votes are the ones who got us here," she said.

As of Friday, Planned Parenthood in Tennessee is booked through July 1 with abortion appointments already scheduled.

"Planned Parenthood has launched a patient and navigation and assistance program," Coffield said. "We are offering that today to patients — the logistical support and financial support. For people in Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee, Illinois is a good option. For people in East Tennessee, we have partnered with those in North Carolina."

Coffield said she had concerned about the ramifications for women with ectopic pregnancies in the state.

"An ectopic pregnancy is life endangerment," Coffield said. "I hope we are able to take care of them. We are very concerned about these laws. It's only going to get worse and it's going to get worse fast."

After abortion services end in Tennessee, Coffield said Planned Parenthood will offer resources for women looking in other states along with other reproductive health care and family planning needs.

"We will fight like hell to get this right back in Tennessee," she said.

Coffield said for those looking for services to use or call Tennessee Planned Parenthood for resources.