Four Oak Ridge and Tennessee organizations are having a forum today (Tuesday, November 1) about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in 1973.
This summer, almost 50 years later, Roe was overturned by the court in a 5-4 vote.
“The over-turn of Roe v. Wade destroyed 50 years of legal precedents—and along with the trigger ban law of the state of Tennessee—placed the health, lives, livelihood, and families of Tennessee women in serious jeopardy,” a press release said. “The physicians and health care providers who have met the needs of these women for decades could now face felony charges. No exceptions are allowed under the law.”
The forum today will feature five female experts, including professors of nursing and medicine, a criminal defense attorney and nonprofit founder, a state senator, and a family nurse practitioner, the press release said.
They will “continue the conversation on the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the trigger ban in Tennessee,” the press release said.
The five women are:
Dr. Carole Myers—moderator.
Myers is a professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She teaches graduate level health policy and health services courses.
She is also the creator and co-host of “Health Connections” on WUOT-FM.
She is a fellow of several professional organizations and an avid writer/speaker of health, the press release said.
Akers has served as a criminal defense attorney in both the public and private sector, the press release said.
She is founder and current chair of the board of directors for Standing Together Tennessee. That is a nonprofit legal resource center that was established in response to Tennessee’s trigger ban on abortion, the press release said.
Senator London Lamar—panelist.
Lamar is a Tennessee state senator from the 33rd senate district (Shelby County) in west Tennessee. She is a Democrat who previously served in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Her platform includes healthy families. She is particularly interested in providing women of color with quality reproductive health services, the press release said.
Rovetti is a certified family nurse practitioner, and she practiced at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health.
The center is now closed and does not offer any reproductive health services to women in need, the press release said.
Rovetti came to Oak Ridge in 2014 to discuss a state constitutional amendment related to abortion.
Dr. Nikki Zite—panelist.
Zite is a UT professor in obstetrics and gynecology and vice chair of education and advocacy. She specializes in complex family planning, the press release said.
“She, among other physicians and health care providers, is particularly concerned about the no exceptions aspect of the law that is devastating the quality of care for pregnant women and places felony charges on doctors who provide that care,” the release said.
The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge, American Association of University Women-Oak Ridge, Tennessee Health Care Campaign, and Women’s Interfaith of Oak Ridge.
Part of Lunch with the League, the forum starts online in a Zoom meeting at noon Eastern time.
The press release said the League of Women Voters has studied reproductive health care extensively prior to Roe v. Wade and “has engaged with all significant abortion-related lawsuits and federal legislation since Roe. The League believes that all people should have access to a basic level of quality healthcare at an affordable cost, including abortion, and that public policy must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.”
The forum is open to League members and community members. To access the meeting, use this Zoom link, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84258578548, or you may send an email to [email protected] for more information.
The forum will also appear on the League’s website at (https://my.lwv.org/tennessee/oak-ridge) a few days after the forum, the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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