Twenty-five years ago, Chattanooga was embroiled in a heated debate over abortion. Today, all is quiet. Both abortion clinics are closed. Six area hospitals stopped doing abortions and Planned Parenthood left town. Not one doctor in town will admit to doing elective pregnancy terminations.
Many have remarked that "Chattanooga is an abortion-free city done right." Even a local doctor who used to do abortions stated, "I think the pro-lifers here have been very responsible. They have used political, economic and social pressure to push their agenda, not violence." -- Chattanooga Times, 2/27/95
Others at the time made similar observations. A local medical ethics professor said, "To speak in favor of abortion in this town is like saying that you are in favor of sin."
There will be a "Give Thanks to God" service on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the National Memorial to the Unborn at 6230 Vance oad. The public is invited to come and hear and give testimonies, sing and give thanks to God.
"This Sunday people of our city will come together to celebrate 25 years of being abortion-free. We give thanks to God," said Charles Wysong, president of American Rights Coalition an organization that helps women sue abortion clinics for malpractice and is one of the organizers of the event. "Abortion may be legal, but malpractice is not."
"Seeing Chattanooga become abortion-free is a great story, and we have created a website to help other cities become abortion-free, www.abortionfreecity.com," said Mr. Wysong.
Chattanooga pioneered the effort of targeting abortion clinics for malpractice. As the effort has spread to other communities, there has been a drastic drop in both clinics and abortions. In 1991 there were nearly 2,200 surgical abortion clinics nationwide, today that number is under 500. Abortions in that same period dropped from 1.6 million to 926,000. In 2017 Planned Parenthood closed 32 offices. Only 12 percent of U.S. counties still have an abortion clinic.