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Where women can find healthcare resources in East Tennessee

Tennessee's abortion trigger law has raised questions about access to healthcare resources and options for women across the state.

TENNESSEE, USA — Tennessee's trigger law, or the Tennessee Human Life Protection Act, went into effect on Aug. 25, banning doctors from giving most abortion treatments in the state.

Hannah Howard was 18 years old when an unplanned pregnancy came her way. She said she was scared and stressed out and was looking for help.

"It's a lonely process because, at the end of the day, us women experience an abortion," Howard said. "So, even a man saying, 'Hey, let's get an abortion,' that has a lot of weight for us as women who have to experience that experience."

Howard at the time found the Hope Resource Center where they helped her through her pregnancy and today she has a young little boy. 

This center offers medical care and makes things affordable. If you don't have health insurance and you walk in to receive help from Hope Resource Center - you walk out with no bills at all, because donors pay for everything, according to the center.

"For folks that are like, 'Well, you know, it may hit the low-income folks harder, it may hit the middle class harder,' or wherever the reality is, unplanned pregnancy affects everyone," said the executive director of Hope Resource Center, Andrew Wood. "Everyone's situation is different, they may have a very supportive family, they may have no family at all."

The law does not have exemptions for cases of rape, if a child is pregnant, cases of incest, or many other scenarios. It does allow doctors to perform abortion treatments if a woman's life is at risk.

This has raised questions about access to healthcare resources and options for women across the state.

Below is a list of resources in East Tennessee providing access to affordable healthcare, supplies for mothers and infants, and other options.

Healthcare services

Hope Resource Center: a free healthcare center for women, which offers "medical care by licensed professionals for reproductive health concerns, education and connection with community resources."

Planned Parenthood: provides affordable reproductive services and education

InterFaith Health Clinic: provides accessible, affordable and quality health care services to low-income working people without health insurance

Catholic Charities of East Tennessee Pregnancy Help Center and Project Rachel: offers counseling, resources for navigating pregnancy and other options

RELATED: Resources: Where to find mental health help in East TN

Access to essentials

Helping Mamas: a donation-based supply bank that gives clothing, diapers, car seats and other family essentials to moms in need.

Mother's Milk Bank Tennessee: nonprofit milk bank that provides safe, pasteurized donor human milk to vulnerable babies.

Knox County Health Department's Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Program: provides Knox County families with good food, helpful advice and referrals to community resources. It also serves pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding mothers as well as infants and children under 5 years old.

Other options

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee: educates people about Tennessee's Safe Haven Law, which "allows mothers of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated facilities within two weeks of birth without fear of being prosecuted."

Tennessee Department of Children's Services: resources for foster care and adoption services

RELATED: Bristol clinic crosses state lines, offers abortion treatment in Virginia

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. If you have a suggestion, please send it to [email protected]

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