AP: Lawyer’s Mission: Translate Tenn.’s bewildering abortion ban

UC’s Danielle Bessett speaks to national media on abortion care research

The state of Tennessee now has the most restrictive abortion bans in the country. The law is written as such that a physician might have to defend themselves for providing an abortion, regardless of medical necessity, according to an AP article that profiles Tennessee attorney Chloe Akers.

Akers quit her job at a law firm and started a nonprofit she named "Standing Together Tennessee" to help providers interpret the state’s abortion law language and navigate patient/provider decisions so that they won’t land in jail.

Supporters of the abortion ban tell the AP that it’s not likely anyone would be prosecuted for doing what is medically necessary.

“That no one was prosecuted because of them does not reflect the true toll they have taken on doctors, said Danielle Bessett, an associate professor of sociology and faculty affiliate of both UC’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Medical Scientist Training

Bessett, who co-leads OPEN, the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network, which conducts rigorous, interdisciplinary research to assess the reproductive health and well-being of Ohioans in the context of federal and state laws, regulations, and policies, told the AP that they held focus groups with 35 Ohio physicians working in hospitals and private practice, not abortion clinics, and found that doctors reported feeling “demonized, confused, powerless” under new restrictions.  

Read the article

Featured image at top courtesy of Unsplash

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