‘It breaks my heart’; Women consider leaving TN due to abortion ban

Women are feeling conflicted after the trigger ban went into effect in the state of Tennessee, banning abortions.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - With the abortion ban, some women are contemplating moving away from Tennessee.

Leaving Tennessee after buying a home to settle down in wasn’t a part of Laura Brown’s plan.

“It breaks my heart that I have to leave this place that I have grown up in and loved my whole life,” said Brown.

Brown packs her collection of books from her bookcase into several boxes, getting ready for her move to Virginia. She’s moving because of the recent abortion ban that took effect Thursday-making it illegal to have an abortion.

Her sole purpose for moving is due to the state’s recent abortion ban. She’s been a proud Tennessean for decades graduating from Brentwood High, attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for undergrad, and receiving two master’s degrees from MTSU and Vanderbilt University. She says the decision to leave Tennessee became clear after returning from a study abroad trip when the news of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft of Roe v. Wade occurred earlier this year.

“I just had this moment of clarity that if the decision to overturn Roe is what the supreme court decided to do and if that meant that Tennessee was going to take this right away from me, that I was going to have to leave,” said Brown.

The state’s trigger law went into effect Thursday, making it one of at least eleven states where abortion is illegal.

“I have plenty of women in my life who have had just absolutely horrible stories of having miscarriages or having fetuses that are not viable with life.

And to know that the medical care that women need is no longer available to them in this state is a deal breaker for me.

She’s concerned about the potential lives at risk now the ban is in place.

“My intention when I came back here was to stay here for the rest of my life. And this has been a roadblock. It has completely changed, so I’m going back to a place where I have a network and where I feel like my decision over my own over my own life and my own choices will be respected,” said Brown.

Laura is planning to move to Virginia at the end of September. She says she’s had conversations with other women in the state who are now considering a similar move because of the ban.