Tennessee’s total abortion ban, or “trigger” law, has gone into effect, bringing an end to CHOICES’ 48-year history of providing abortions in Memphis, TN. This is heartbreaking, but our commitment to the communities we serve has not wavered.
Abortion is healthcare. No one — not abortion seekers, providers, or supporters — should face legal consequences over essential, and often life-saving care. Abortion bans like this one disproportionately affect marginalized populations, such as people living in poverty, people of color, immigrants and migrants, transgender people, and young people. Abortion bans are also linked to bad health outcomes related to infant and maternal health. Despite Tennessee ranking 44th in women’s health outcomes, lawmakers have chosen to prioritize politics over the health and well-being of pregnant people and families in our state. Jennifer Pepper, President and CEO of CHOICES, commented, “We are devastated by this cruel reality. Tennesseans deserve to make decisions about their own bodies and futures without the imposition of elected officials. For those seeking abortion care, please know that you can find confidential, up-to-date information about where to access an abortion at AbortionFinder.org.”
Despite the devastating loss of access in Tennessee, CHOICES is here to stay. Though we will no longer be providing abortions in our Memphis facility, we will continue operations in Memphis to provide all other sexual and reproductive health care, such as birth control, HIV testing and prevention, gender-affirming hormone therapy, STI testing, sexual wellness check-ups, perinatal and birth services, and more. Our patients depend on us for these services, and we will continue to provide them high-quality care in an inclusive, welcoming environment.
About CHOICES: Center for Reproductive Health
CHOICES is an independent, nonprofit reproductive and sexual health clinic founded in 1974 and dedicated to empowering individuals in the Mid-South to make informed choices for and about their health. Historically offering services such as abortion care, hormone management for transgender patients, HIV testing and prevention, gynecological wellness care, no-cost birth control, and midwife-led prenatal care and births, CHOICES’ model of comprehensive, patient-centered care has made waves in the reproductive and sexual health community. With the opening of their new health and birth center in 2020, which includes the first licensed birth center in Memphis, CHOICES became the only nonprofit health care provider in the country to offer both birth services and abortion care under one roof. Abortion bans following the Dobbs v. JWHO Supreme Court decision in 2022 have forced CHOICES to suspend abortion services at their Memphis location, but the organization will continue operations of all other sexual and reproductive health services in the Mid-South. A new clinic will be opening in Carbondale, IL this year which will offer abortions.