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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Planned Parenthood providers in Tennessee performed their last abortion yesterday, according to News Channel 5.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction against the so called “heartbeat” law, allowing it to be enacted immediately.
The legislation, that was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee in 2020, means that abortions are no longer legal in Tennessee once cardiac activity is detected. Mail order pills are also illegal in the state. Physicians are prohibited from prescribing medications that induce abortion if the doctor is not physically with the patient at the time.
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In May, a bill that would penalize physicians for breaking the law was also signed by Governor Lee.
Of the six abortion clinics in Tennessee – a seventh has been closed due to arson since last December – five have messaging on their websites about the change in Tennessee law, and one is scrambling to relocate across state lines.
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi which has two offices in Memphis, and one in Nashville has added the following message to their website:
Due to recent changes in Tennessee law, [Planned Parenthood] can no longer provide medication or surgical abortion services at our health centers.
Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health stated, “In compliance with Tenn. S.B. 2196, our facility cannot provide abortions to patients with detectible embryonic or fetal cardiac activity, which typically starts around 6 weeks gestation”.
Carafem in Mount Juliet posted a similar statement: In compliance with Tennessee law, our facility cannot provide abortions to patients with detectible embryonic or fetal cardiac activity, which typically starts around 6 weeks after a person’s last menstrual period.
Bristol Regional Women’s Center is located in a small city that’s half in East Tennessee, half in Virginia. The center has decided to move their abortion services to an office on the Virginia side of the border. They are raising money to purchase equipment and get in compliance with Virginia’s state laws. The center believes abortion will remain legal in that state until January of 2024.
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi CEO Ashley Coffield said that since the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, demand for birth control and vasectomy in Tennessee has significantly increased.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.