Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi released a statement addressing their efforts to continue health services after six months.

Ashley Coffield, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, respond by acknowledging their patients as the top priority while trying to expand the clinic.

“Abortion services will resume incrementally as we build capacity, but we always put our patients at the center of our decisions,” Coffield said in the press release. “Any interruption we take is not our first choice but we do it when it’s the only option in the short term to achieve the best outcomes for our patients in the long run. We are proud to be a trusted provider for so many people throughout Tennessee and surrounding states. I remain grateful for the community’s continued support.”

The clinic's service were interrupted, prohibiting certain procedures to happen for the patients. In the letter, Coffield informed the public about how changes to the staff was being made in efforts to accommodate those in need.

Vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood Aimee Lewis addressed the reason behind disconnecting certain services at the clinic for a short period of time.

“The interruption in services came six months after the statewide merger of all Tennessee Planned Parenthood locations and was implemented to allow for physical and operational upgrades at the location as well as new physician and staff recruitment and training,” Lewis said. “The Nashville health center continued to offer a broad range of services to patients, including cancer screenings, birth control, transgender care and sexually-transmitted infection testing and treatment, and abortion services resumed in early March 2019.”

Lewis and faculty members continue to care for those in Nashville, Tennessee, while legislature makes a decision about having access to abortion.

“State politicians are pushing an aggressive anti-abortion agenda that seeks to do one thing, ban abortion outright,” Lewis said. “And a post-Roe future is nearing at a rapid pace. It is clear that anti-abortion politicians, emboldened by the Trump administration and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, will say and do anything to put safe, legal abortion out of reach for people nationwide... Without policies that protect and expand abortion access, 25 million women of reproductive age could lose access to abortion if Roe is overturned or severely restricted.”

If legislature decides to eliminate access to abortions in health centers, it would affect some people in the community. Lewis said she also thinks the choice of removing it as option may have an influence from Trump administration.

Proposed abortion bans have increased since last year,” Lewis said. “Proposed bans before many people know they are pregnant skyrocketed by 63 percent.”

Lewis said banning abortions can cause harm for those trying to make the decision regarding their future. Proposing the policy on the behalf of women would shape society as a whole. Lewis said her advice to lawmakers is to finalize their decision by keeping others in mind.

“Abortion care is health care,” Lewis said. “Every person deserves access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe legal abortion no matter where they live or how much they earn. When politicians attack health care, they disproportionately impact people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and young people. We must work to ensure access to health care does not depend on who you are, where you live or how much money you make.”

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