TRAP regulations are designed to do one thing and one thing only: drive abortion clinics out of business. And in Tennessee, they’ve succeeded.
The Tennessee’s women’s health clinic Volunteer Women’s Medical Clinic in Knoxville will close after 38 years thanks to a new law that requires doctors who provide abortions to be both board-certified OB-GYNs and have hospital admitting privileges. A similar bill almost closed the only abortion clinic in Mississippi earlier this year.
The clinic managed to have one of its doctors receive the appropriate credentials, but he died shortly afterwards. The clinic is challenging the law in court but for the time being does not have a doctor associated with the clinic that can meet the laws latest requirements.
In her goodbye letter, clinic owner Deb Walsh recounts the stories of the lives the clinic has served. These stories are not glamorous and Walsh doesn’t try to sugar-coat them, which is a testament to the kind of non-judgmental treatment these women could expect from their providers.
Sadly, for the women of Tennessee they now have one fewer option in accessing reproductive health care. Of course the need to access abortion services has not and will not change, which means life just got more dangerous for women in Tennessee.
Photo from Tallent Show via flickr.