NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee abortion advocates said although they were disappointed by Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion, which appeared to overturn Roe v. Wade, they were not surprised.
Pro-life advocates standing outside Nashville’s Planned Parenthood cloning on Tuesday said they were glad to read the leaked opinion and hoped it would effectively end abortion in Tennessee.
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi CEO Ashley Coffield said if the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, they expect to see a Tennessee abortion ban within 30 days. If that happens, Planned Parenthood does not plan to shut its doors. Instead, they plan to stay open and educate patients on their options and provide other healthcare-related services.
Right now, Planned Parenthood is working to recruit “patient navigators” who would help women find abortion access, even if it’s out of state. Currently, the closest abortion providers for women in Nashville would be in Southern Illinois.
On Tuesday, Coffield explained what she expects to see happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“We have the trigger law, which is a complete abortion ban, which is supposed to take effect within 30 days of the Supreme Court decision, but we have a six-week ban also and the Sixth Circuit could lift that injunction immediately after the Supreme Court releases its final decision,” Coffield said.
In addition to Coffield, one Nashville emergency medicine physician voiced her concerns with the Supreme Court opinion.
Dr. Katrina Green told News 2 she regularly sees patients needing access to abortion due to life-threatening conditions. Another concern of hers is women who might try to access illegal abortion if the Supreme Court decision is overturned.
“I have never in the 10 years that I have been practicing as an ER doctor had to treat a woman who has taken matters into her own hands and self-induced an abortion or had a ‘back-alley’ abortion. But when abortion [becomes] illegal here in Tennessee, that’s a very real possibility. And that scares me. I’ve never had to be a doctor who treats a woman who’s hemorrhaging to death,” Dr. Green said.
Tennessee currently has a 48-hour waiting period in place for women seeking an abortion.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Tennessee’s trigger law will go into effect within 30 days. The law would make performing an abortion a criminal act, except in extreme cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother. The law would prosecute the abortion provider, not the recipient.