Tennessee Physicians Call for Changes to State's Abortion Ban

Advocate Andy

Call for change comes after leaked phone call reveals legislative maneuvers to pass ban

A group of Tennessee physicians affiliated with the healthcare advocacy group Protect My Care is calling on the Tennessee General Assembly to make changes to the state's near total abortion ban.

The move comes after a news story about Tennessee Right to Life's work with lawmakers to prevent any exceptions to the state's abortion ban.

As reported in the story, during a call with lawmakers, Will Brewer, legal counsel for TN Right to Life, urged lawmakers not to agree to any calls for clarification or exceptions, and advised them to “wait for any backlash to die down."

The current abortion ban in Tennessee took effect on August 25th, 2022 and makes it a Class C felony to perform an abortion in the state. There are no exceptions to this law.

Physicians spoke of the challenges this law places on healthcare in the state.

“This trigger ban impacts physicians and patients in Tennessee daily and we need legislators to make significant changes to this dangerous law,” said Dr. Heather Maune, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Nashville, TN.  “It's challenging to do my job currently. I continue to hear from patients holding off on attempting pregnancy and from colleagues considering a move out of state because of this extreme law.” 

Dr. Katrina Green, an emergency physician in Nashville, stated, "I couldn't help but feel disappointed reading the ProPublica article. It's clear that our politicians passed a law they didn't bother reading or understanding and that law now affects the healthcare of so many Tennesseans. It also criminalizes physicians for providing necessary healthcare to our pregnant patients. It is outrageous to me that politicians would pass a law without fully understanding the ramifications, even if they thought it would never go into effect."

The group is calling on the legislature to reconsider the law when they go back in session in January of 2023.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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