Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions indefinitely in its Nashville, Tennessee, facility due to a lack of abortionists.
“At this time, abortion services have been halted and we’re undergoing a period of quality improvement,” said Tereva Parham, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.
The halt on abortions at the Planned Parenthood facility means no abortions are currently offered in the city. The clinic was the largest provider of abortions in the state. Women from Middle Tennessee counties and neighboring Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi sought abortions in the Nashville facility.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Parham said she did not know when abortions would resume in Nashville and that the reason for the halt was a lack of abortionists.
In September, the Women’s Center – the other facility that performed abortions in Nashville – closed down.
The Tennessean reports the state now has six abortion providers, a significant drop from 16 in 2000, but still more than its neighboring states, with the exception of North Carolina.
Planned Parenthood representatives are referring women seeking abortions at the Nashville facility to clinics in Knoxville and Memphis. Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law requires women to obtain counseling two days prior to an abortion.
Diana Meinweiser at the pro-life Tennessee Right to Life told News 2 her organization has been much busier than usual, fielding calls from women looking for other options to abortion.
“We are just happy that the women are able to have a little bit more time,” she said.
As the outreach coordinator for the state Right to Life organization, Meinweiser helps women obtain free pregnancy tests, counseling, and other resources.
“You know when you’re in crisis everything seems urgent,” she said, “so when they have time to sit down with somebody on the outside, somebody that’s not related, somebody that can just understand where they are coming from a lot of times that gives them time to really think and to consider other options, such as parenting and adoption.”