NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville doctor said if Tennessee’s abortion law existed decades ago, then his wife would have died.
In 1997, Dr. Richard Orland and his wife, La Quita Martin, were trying to get pregnant. It was quite the journey for the young couple. Five miscarriages and rounds of fertility treatments later, finally, they received good news.
“We were overjoyed when we learned that my wife was pregnant,” said Dr. Orland.
But at 19 weeks, doctors told them the fetus had four fetal heart defects.
“There was no way that the fetus would exist outside the womb. We also consulted with our clergy, family, and friends. This, coupled with health risk to my wife, we decided to terminate the pregnancy,” he said.
Their dream of a second child, a sibling for their only son, Eli, did not happen. And Dr. Orland fears because of Tennessee’s new abortion law, couples today will face an even more dreadful decision.
“It was one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make. This was 24 years ago. Should this occur today, I’d be planning two funerals, that of the fetus and that of my wife.”
Stacy Dunn, president of Tennessee Right to Life, said there’s a lot of what she describes as deceitful information coming from the abortion rights side.
“This kind of information, misinformation, is being spread mainly by those in the past who have profited from the destruction of unborn children. Again, good doctors practicing good medicine looking after both mother and child have nothing to fear under this law,” said Dunn.
Dr. Orland said he is so troubled by the abortion legislation that he spoke in front of a special judiciary committee at the State Capitol. That individual committee bill was killed, but in the end, the abortion law passed. However, Dr. Orland does not see it having much of a future in Tennessee.
“My gut, and my hopes, tell me that this will be changed so that women will have a choice,” said Dr. Orland.
Dr. Orland said politicians who passed this abortion ban are practicing medicine without a license and taking away the choice for women to make the best decision for their health.
Dunn said legislators with good intent may feel it’s necessary to clarify something in the law during the next session, but she also said Tennesseans do not want this law weakened.