BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – After 30 years of offering services in Northeast Tennessee, the Bristol Regional Women’s Center — one of the only clinics to offer abortion services in the region — will close.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday that the state’s so-called “trigger law” banning all abortions would take effect on Aug. 25, 2022. The Bristol facility will cease to offer abortion services at midnight on Aug. 24.
“I’m not getting any younger,” Dr. Wesley Adams told News Channel 11.
Dr. Adams has worked at the center for over 30 years. He said he has helped thousands of people over the decades by providing services that would save either or both of the lives of the person who is pregnant and/or the fetus.
“It was controversial 50 years ago, and it will be controversial 50 years from now,” he said, adding that he was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Apart from offering abortion services, Adams’ practice offered a myriad of gynecological services as well.
These services will continue to be available to patients through the end of November, after which facility staff will take the month of December to take care of administrative duties connected with closing a medical practice.
“We have 11, 12-year-old rape victims too”
Adams said that though the Tennessee practice is closing and he is retiring, abortion services will still be available to people of the region at a new Virginia facility. It will be called the Bristol Women’s Health and will be located on Osborne Street in Bristol, Virginia.
“What people don’t understand is we have 11, 12-year-old rape victims too that we’ve helped over the years,” he said.
He said people will always need abortions, and banning the procedure has caused a major influx of cases in areas where it is not banned.
“As strict as Tennessee laws are, that’s how lenient Virginia laws are,” he said.
Adams added that he will have a limited role at the new facility on Osborne Street in Bristol, Virginia.
He also recalled helping many pregnant people with the adoption process over the years as well as with fertility treatments.
Adams said if patients of the Bristol facility wish to collect their medical records, they should visit his office at 2901 West State St. Bristol, TN 37620, and collect them.