Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion was already on the decline in Tennessee. The federal law change really did not affect the state as dramatically as it would have if this had happened a couple decades ago.
What was abortion like in the state before the Supreme Court Ruling?
The state amended its constitution in 2014 to say “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion.”
The state government was also already working to expand help for pregnant women. In 2020, Tennessee’s Department of Health funded $700 million in benefits for needy families, including pregnant women and their children.
In March 2022, the state expanded its existing coverage of Medicaid care for pregnant women.
Governor Bill Lee proposed the new pregnancy and postpartum benefits as a part of his Supporting Strong Families initiative. “Strong families begin with supported mothers who have access to maternal care,” said Gov. Lee. “We believe the increase in care will not only improve health outcomes for mothers but also significantly improve the first year of life for Tennessee children.
So what actually changed when Roe V. Wade was overturned?
The Supreme Court’s decision set in motion a TN trigger law that was supposed to go into effect 30 days later, banning all abortion from the point of conception.
So, in the months since Roe V. Wade was overturned, abortion has been illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
But on August 25 this law was replaced by Tennessee’s Human Life Protection Act, which was established in 2019. Under the new law, anyone performing or attempting to perform an abortion can be charged with a Class C felony, although women receiving an abortion are not criminally liable.
What Can You do?
If you have an unplanned pregnancy and are considering an abortion, getting an ultrasound is vital. This will confirm how far along your pregnancy is, and will alert you to any possible complications.
At our center we offer free ultrasound referrals and other services to help you get on your way to a confident decision about your pregnancy. Please contact us today for a free and confidential appointment.
NOTE: We offer accurate information about all your pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.