Longtime Knoxville abortion clinic closes doors

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new Tennessee law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is being blamed for the closure of a longtime Knoxville abortion provider.

An executive director of the Abortion Care Network confirmed to The Tennessean that the Volunteer Women's Medical Center closed Friday.

The clinic had been operating for 38 years.

Executive Director Deb Walsh posted a public letter on the Abortion Care Network website saying the clinic was unable to keep operating in part due to the "Life Defense Act," which requires abortion physicians to obtain admitting privileges at area hospitals.

Walsh said while working on legal remedies, the clinic was unable to pay its bills because it could not see patients.

She said one of the clinics physicians had successfully obtained privileges, but recently died.

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