Tennessee non-profit explores women’s abortion options if trigger law is abandoned

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Three days ago the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade which means Tennessee will have 27 days until a trigger law goes into effect making all abortions in the state illegal.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery III will be working hard to get that passed as soon as possible.

In 2020, the state passed the heartbeat bill, which bans abortions after six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. An injunction in Roe v. Wade blocked that from being enforced. Abortion experts have said that the heartbeat bill could go into effect any day, which is why they want women to know their options.

It was a decision that sent people to Legislative Plaza with signs and voices of opposition on Friday. The plaza was silent on Monday as Tennesseans anticipate state officials to put the trigger law in action before the 30 days.

“The way to look at it is if it’s going into effect today,” said Robyn Baldridge, president of Abortion Care Tennessee.

Abortion Care Tennessee is a non-profit that will be working to give patients money to travel and get an abortion elsewhere.

“We are looking at clinics in Illinois,” Baldridge said. “North Carolina is now a trigger state. There are a lot of networks developing for those in coastal states.”

One of those will be a Memphis clinic opening another location in Carbondale, IL. The city is located off of an Amtrak station and is a three-hour drive from both Nashville and Memphis.

“They are working to get that clinic built as fast as possible so all of the patients can have a place to go,” said Baldridge.

Baldridge added that crossing lines may soon not be a choice.

“They are going to start passing laws that make it illegal to go out of state,” said Baldridge.

Another option has been abortion pills.

Although Gov. Bill Lee made it illegal to deliver the pills by mail in May, Baldridge said that women will find a way.

“You can get a P.O. box in another state, and I know lots of people are doing that. And then there’s going to be networks established to get them sent here to us,” Baldridge explained.

It’s a start for the road ahead.

“I’ve seen lots of headlines that’s like ‘it’s time to establish the underground railroad for abortions,’ but we’ve already established it,” said Baldridge.

Baldridge also said Abortion Care Tennessee started three years ago. Since then, they have received $10,000 in donations, but in 72 hours since Roe v. Wade was overturned, they received $110,000

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