The Women’s Center, which has operated in the city since 1990, stopped taking new patients over the weekend and is now referring women to clinics in Knoxville and Bristol, said clinic attorney Thomas Jessee.
The center is closing because the owners have agreed to sell the building and the details of the sale are being finalized, Jessee said. The Women’s Center intends to reopen and is now searching for a new location, he said. . .
The closure of the Women’s Center is a significant blow for women’s access to abortion in Tennessee. The center is at least the third clinic to close in recent years, leaving only seven others throughout the state. In Nashville, a national hub for the health care industry, Planned Parenthood is now the only abortion option. . .
In addition to being one of the few options for women in Tennessee, The Women’s Center also has a record of fighting in court to preserve women’s abortion options. In 2002, the Nashville center successfully challenged a law requiring abortion clinics to be licensed as ambulatory surgery centers, which would likely have increased abortion prices. The state reintroduced this law again in 2012, but later abandoned enforcement after it became clear the requirement was unconstitutional.
The Women’s Center also sued the state to challenge a new law requiring a 48-hour waiting period for all abortions. That lawsuit continues today, but will likely continue even if The Women’s Center shuts down because other clinics, including Planned Parenthood, later joined as plaintiffs. (Read more from “The Women’s Center, One of Only Two Abortion Clinics in Nashville, Closing Its Doors” HERE)