NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - An Alabama law banning abortions could drive women seeking the procedure in Tennessee.
“We are horrified and angry,” said Lizzy Thomas, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson, about the measure signed into law Wednesday will create momentum for lawmakers in Tennessee.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law a controversial abortion bill that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison.
Now that there’s a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, lawmakers across the country are pushing for stricter abortion laws to challenge Roe v. Wade.
“This bill's purpose is to, hopefully, get to the Supreme Court and have them revisit the decision which is ‘is the baby in the womb a person?’” Rep. Terri Collins (R-Alabama) said.
Tennessee tabled its own abortion bill earlier this year that would have banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected, which can be as early as six weeks.
“We have every reason to believe that they will try to bring this bill about again in 2020,” Thomas said.
According to the National Abortion Rights Action League, 63 percent of women in Tennessee live in counties with no abortion clinic.
An abortion ban in neighboring states could mean more women seeking services in a state where providers are already limited.
“Access to abortion remains an issue in Tennessee,” Thomas said. “We would see an influx. We're seeing patients from around the Southeast come to abortion providers in Tennessee for a variety of reasons.”