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.

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.”

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.