Decision by PPFA clinic means Tennessee down to six abortion providers

By Dave Andrusko

The best news, of course, was that the final abortion provider in Nashville, Tennessee, has ceased to offer abortions. But the most fascinating sentence in Anita Wadhwani’s story (updated in today’s Tennessean) is this:

On Monday, the Nashville Planned Parenthood clinic was open for non-abortion services, but its waiting room was empty

Keep that in mind every time you read PPFA’s assurance that abortion constitutes “only 3%” of its “services.”

In 2016, there were more than 9,700 abortions performed in Tennessee.

Read the opening of Wadhwani’s story and you’ll be greatly encouraged:

The only remaining abortion clinic in Nashville has ceased offering abortions, instead referring patients to clinics hundreds of miles away in Knoxville and Memphis.

Officials with Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, which operates the north Nashville clinic, could not say when the clinic would resume providing abortions. The organization has a shortage of abortion providers, a spokeswoman said.

But note also

It is also “undergoing a period of quality improvement and will return with these services soon,” a statement said.

What exactly does that mean?

Meanwhile, Wadhwani writes, Tennessee Right to Life

is already seeing a spike in women callers who could not obtain abortion appointments in Nashville, said Brian Harris, the organization’s president.

The organization advertises services for women who are pregnant and need help, but does not perform abortions or refer women to abortion clinics. Instead the organization provides free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. It also offers to connect women to services intended to assist them in continuing their pregnancies to term.

As Tennessee Right to Life further explained in a press release today

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider and promoter of abortion and Nashville’s Planned Parenthood facility is reputed to be the busiest abortion center in the Volunteer State. With the suspension of abortion services in our capital city, Tennessee Right to Life is grateful for a Christmas miracle. With additional time, information, and alternatives we have already witnessed changed hearts and minds of women who have chosen life for their unborn children. Right to Life affirms the dignity of every person and we stand ready to assist any woman or girl in need of practical support to save the life of their unborn child.

According to Wadhwani, the decision by the north Nashville Planned Parenthood clinic (operated by Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi) not to perform abortions follows the closure earlier this year of The Women’s Center following the sale of its building. Although “its operators said then they hoped to reopen,” Wadhwani writes, “The center has not yet reopened.”

There is a wider context to the decision. In 2000, there were 16 “abortion providers.” Now there are six, “but more than in any other neighboring state except North Carolina. “

In addition, “The Planned Parenthood clinic in north Nashville was the largest provider of abortions in the state, serving women who live in rural Middle Tennessee counties as well as neighboring states such as Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama,” according to the Tennessean.