Letter: A Political and Religious Crossroads

The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health would like to commend Rikki Hall's recent coverage of the critical condition of abortion services in Knoxville, which serves all of East Tennessee and bordering states. ["Safe, Legal, and Hours Away," Citybeat, July 5, 2012] While we continue to grieve the loss of our beloved physician, colleague, and friend, our hearts are warmed by the outpouring and response of local physicians and community supporters who understand the dire need to maintain safe and legal options for the women of our region.

As controversial as abortion has become in this country since the hallmark decision of Roe v Wade, the heightened attacks, legislatively and otherwise—and yes, terrorist activities of those whose opinions oppose abortion—have seriously escalated in the last couple of years, again. (The '90s were particularly violent and turbulent years). What is true is that throughout human history, people and cultures have confronted the issue of desired and unwanted pregnancies. The history of how people have dealt with this issue is both fascinating and worth exploring to see how we have arrived at our present political and religious crossroads. As we are often known to say at KCRH, our services keep us humble and honest regarding abortion at the same time that it reinforces the absolute need to ensure safe and legal access to services.

There is one correction to the article. The Center for Reproductive Rights is well aware of Tennessee's new legislation, the Life Defense Act of 2012. We have close communication and working relations with CRR. The conservative right movement has a national "strategy manual" of sorts that shares information for local and state strategies to derail abortion services, including filing bogus health claims against clinics as well as legislative initiatives. CRR is one of the legislative watchdogs apprised of these attempts nationwide.

Kudos to Metro Pulse for giving attention to the issue in a way that investigates rather than sensationalizes this topic, which is what we tend to see, get, and expect from our local news media.

Corinne Rovetti APRN-BC

Co-Director, KCRH

Knoxville