This blog recently wrote about their troubles with health violations and the impact of the new law here and here.
Here is a beautiful sight.
Read this farewell letter....
August 10th, 2012
I found out last night that I will have to close Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic in Knoxville TN, effective today. A law that went into effect July 1st 2012 called "The Life Defense Act", made it illegal for our local, Board Certified OB-GYN physician to perform abortions in our fully licensed Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center. The law requires Drs. who perform abortions to have local hospital admitting privileges. The law applies exclusively to abortion. One of our Drs., Morris Campbell, was actually able to reinstate his privileges a few weeks before the law went into effect. Sadly, he had a stroke and died a few days after receiving the news about his hospital privileges.
I've been able to keep the doors open and the phone staff working up until this week. We've been working on legal remedies, injunction, etc., but I was unable to bridge the financial gap of paying the monthly lease and operating expenses without knowing when we could resume seeing patients.
I'm supposed to be out of the building (5000+sq.ft.) before Monday morning and I plan to somehow achieve that. I have visions of carting all the furniture and equipment across the street to the Crisis Pregnancy Center and piling it up on their lawn rather than going through the tedious task of finding a place for everything.
The clinic has been open for 38 years and I have worked there for over 30 years. I still remember the name of the first patient I took care of on the day I started, and I remember the answer an eleven year old girl gave when, after days of counseling, I asked her what she wanted to do. She said "I just want to go ride my new bicycle". No kidding baby girl. So many images remain of the strength of women.......the day we looked out the front window and saw an Appalachian woman we'd just discharged pushing an electric blue Corvette Sting Ray fast enough that her husband could pop the clutch and start the engine.......the coal miner's daughter that was full term and about to go into labor but swore it couldn't be true because no one had ever been "up on" her.......the sorority girl that said she got pregnant by trying on her friend's diaphragm that "must have had sperm on it"......the woman I brought back to life when she stopped breathing who later told us she had withheld critical medical history from us because she was afraid we wouldn't let her have an abortion if she told us the truth......all the Catholic women who had abortions over and over again because taking a birth control pill every day added up to more sins than a few abortions a year.
I'm so angry about this, also sad, and I'm grateful for whatever wisdom I possess that keeps me from feeling like a victim.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with kind words during this nightmare. Now, I've got to get back to packing. Imagine it all working perfectly.