It was eerily quiet Monday morning outside the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, with only two anti-abortion protesters standing near the parking lot.
On Friday, the clinic announced that it was canceling all abortion appointments following the Roe v. Wade overthrow.
“Due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we will suspend all abortion services at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health while we assess the continued legality of abortion in Tennessee,” reads -on in a message on the center’s website. “All abortion appointments will be canceled until further notice. If you had an abortion at KCRH before June 24, 2022, please come to your follow-up appointment as scheduled. You can still reach a nurse if you are a recent patient.”
The Center for Reproductive Health was the only clinic performing abortions in Knoxville after Planned Parenthood’s facility on Cherry Street was destroyed by arson on New Year’s Eve.
The clinic is still open for family planning services, a staff member said Monday. Anyone wishing to have an abortion is referred abortionfinder.org; this website lists the nearest abortion clinic as a family planning facility in Asheville, NC.
North Carolina is one of the few states in the Southeast where abortion care should remain legal. The state will likely be the closest abortion provider for more than 11 million women ages 15 to 49 across much of the Southeast now that Roe is overthrown and states move to ban abortion .
Can you still get an abortion in Tennessee?
Abortion is still legal in Tennessee as of Monday. The annulment of Roe v. Wade triggered the state’s total abortion ban, which will go into effect within 30 days.
But on Friday, State Attorney General Herbert Slatery said Tennessee don’t want to wait 30 days, instead filing an emergency motion to allow the state to enforce a 2020 law banning abortion after six weeks. The law has been mired in legal proceedings since Governor Bill Lee signed it two years ago.
Demonstrations in Knoxville:Hundreds gather in downtown Knoxville to protest Supreme Court ruling and abortion ban
Planned Parenthood in Memphis said it was continuing to see patients and fill appointments on Friday.
Ashley Coffield, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, emphasized that her clinics are still able to work with those who need abortions, even if it helps them travel out of state.