NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling was met with more controversy in Tennessee, roughly five months after the state’s abortion “trigger law” took effect.
“What should have been the 50th anniversary celebrating national abortion rights and all the progress we have made now serves as a gloomy moment because we are reminded that for the first time in history, rights have been taken away from us,” said state Sen. London Lamar, chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
For others, though, it’s a move they’ve wanted for years.
In May 2022, Bo Linam told News 2 he was hopeful after hearing rumors of Roe v. Wade being overturned. Linam stood outside of Nashville’s Planned Parenthood, offering women abortion alternative resources through his Wilson County organization, Hope Beyond Abortion.
On Sunday, Jan. 22 — five months after a trigger law took effect in Tennessee — News 2 asked Linam if his offer still stands.
“As far as women in Tennessee, or women anywhere, our offer still stands,” Linam said. “If you’re thinking abortion is the only thing you can find your hope in, we’re telling you that that’s not accurate, that’s not true, and we’re willing to help you.”
In addition, Linam said his organization is still willing to help women financially.
“If they need help paying a bill, if they need groceries, if they’re having a hard time figuring out childcare, we have avenues to get that handled for that woman,” Linam said.
Since the end of August 2022, Hope Beyond Abortion said it hasn’t seen the influx you might expect from women unable to have abortions in state. Instead, much of the organization’s work now involves reaching women who are going out of state for the abortions.
“We were working an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., yesterday,” Linam said. “A mother chose life for her child, and I told her, ‘Our promise to you is not up to the child being born. We would be offended if you didn’t invite us to this child’s high school graduation.'”
While many feel women’s rights in Tennessee have been stripped away, Linam said he’d like the law to be taken even further.
“A bill that would stop the flow of pills coming in where a woman is simply not going to a clinic, she’s going to her living room for her first trimester abortion,” Linam said.
However, the possibility of making laws more strict is unthinkable for others.
“Under Republican control, Tennessee is a forced birth state. They are forcing women to give birth in a state where we are not already doing a good job of taking care of the kids that we have here now,” Lamar said.
This news comes just weeks after Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) expressed support for clarifying part of the state’s abortion ban.
Meanwhile, Rep. Debra Moody (R-Covington) has filed a bill that would prohibit local governments from “expending funds for the purposes of assisting a person in obtaining an abortion.”