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Healthy and Free Tennessee has started researching feasibility and connecting with folks in other states about what it would take to start a statewide abortion fund in Tennessee. Some Tennessee clinics offer small amounts of financial assistance, but it does not give patients the freedom to choose whichever clinic is most convenient for them, and does not cover most of the costs of the mandated first appointment, the procedure itself, transportation, lodging, childcare, or translation services.
With only 8 clinics offering abortion in the state -- Planned Parenthood on Poplar, Planned Parenthood near Summer and I240 and CHOICES in Memphis, Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Bristol Regional Women's Center in Bristol, and Planned Parenthood and carefem in Nashville-- many Tennesseans will have to travel more than 100 miles to obtain this safe and routine medical procedure. And with a state government mandated 48-hour waiting period, this creates expensive logistics for people that are difficult if not impossible to overcome.
Furthermore, with abortion services unavailable in Nashville as of December 2018 until further notice, there will be a greater travel burden on middle Tennesseans. *Update: Planned Parenthood plans to resume abortion services in Nashville as of February 2019.
Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective offers transportation and lodging options for people seeking abortion in Knoxville and the surrounding region. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their anonymous support line at 865-320-9085.
Please contact Anna Carella email@example.com if you would like to volunteer to be part of efforts to start a statewide fund.