Parents, Caregivers and Families: Add your name to this Open Letter to Governor Bill Lee and the General Assembly in Support of Abortion Rights.
Dear Governor Lee,
We, the undersigned, are called by our lived experience as parents, caregivers, and family members to stand up for the dignity and autonomy of pregnant people. We have lived through typical and complicated pregnancies, and we are raising children we love deeply. We oppose all attempts to criminalize and restrict abortion access.
One in four Tennessee women will need an abortion at some point in their lives, and we understand how difficult this decision can be. Many of us have had abortions ourselves. In fact, 59% of people who have abortions already have a child.
Our reasons are our own, made in deep consultation with faith, family and medical providers. At no point did we ask our governor or state legislator for an opinion.
When a person does decide that abortion is their best option, they need community support, not obstacles preventing safe access to medical care. These bills will not eliminate abortion, but will force pregnant people to turn to unregulated and often dangerous attempts to end their pregnancies, and force pregnant people to become parents, including survivors of rape and incest. Rather than force people to have babies, our state lawmakers should focus on broadly popular ideas to support new families, such as paid leave, access to affordable care and reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.
We believe, simply, in treating pregnant people as we teach our children to treat others — with dignity, compassion, and respect.
As parents, caregivers, and family members, we often fight on behalf of our children while putting our own needs aside. It’s time for us all to recognize that abortion access is a critical issue for current and future families. We trust people who are pregnant to make thoughtful, moral decisions and urge our state leaders to do the same.