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Clinic's closure cuts Knoxville abortion services by a third | News

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Clinic's closure cuts Knoxville abortion services by a third
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A crowd of East Tennesseans gathered in Knoxville's Tyson Park Monday afternoon to celebrate the closure of a local abortion provider.

Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic closed earlier this month, after state legislators passed a bill that required doctors at abortion providers to hold admitting privileges at local hospitals.

According to The Tennessean, the doctor who held such privileges at VWMC recently died.

Previous Story: Knoxville abortion clinic closes, citing new TN abortion law 

The group, 40 Days for Life, prayed together at Tyson Park across from the building where the clinic once operated.

"This clinic has been open for 38 years and people have been praying here for that long,"said Lisa Morris, co-director of 40 Days for Life.

More Information: 40 Days for Life 

She told 10News she had an abortion herself 33 years ago and wanted to spare other women from feeling similar emotional pain.

"I know the pain and the heartache that follows," she said.

Now, only two abortion providers exist in Knoxville.

Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee offers medicinal procedures at its location on Cherry Street, while the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health performs surgical abortions at its office in the Fort Sanders Area.

More Information: Planned Parenthood 

Tory Mills, the external affairs coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, said over the last few years Tennessee abortion clinics have seen an increase in the number of restrictive laws imposed against them.

"We believe that this law does nothing to protect and provide women safe medical care," Mills said.

She said many people are also not aware of the other services clinics like her's provide to women. For example, Planned Parenthood offers pap smears and cancer screenings.

However, Morris said women can get such services elsewhere for free.

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