KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Melissa Cox in Hardin Valley is a mother of three children. She said that supports a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade.
As a result of that decision, people across Tennessee and in many of the southern U.S. could lose access to abortion. The state is one of many with laws on the books that automatically start banning abortion treatments if the landmark ruling is overturned.
Cox has two biological children, and her third child is adopted.
“My daughter obviously was given life when her first parents weren't able to raise her,” she said. “I said, 'You know, you could have chosen not to give her life. I am a mother again.'”
Cox said she believes because her adopted daughter's mother chose to give birth, and she said she believes it gave them both a chance. Data has shown that most women who choose to get abortion treatments already have children.
The Hope Resource Center also supports the ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying that receiving abortion treatments go against their faith. They said they believe God is involved in every child's birth.
“So we're kind of the beginning stage when someone's facing an unplanned pregnancy. We have great community partners, we have great partnerships with OBs in our community,” said Andrew Wood, the organization's executive director.
However, the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health takes a less faith-based approach to issues related to abortion treatments.
"We all know somebody who's had an abortion," Corinne Rovetti said previously, a nurse practitioner at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health. "If people felt comfortable and they weren't judged and criticized and stigmatized so much, then we would know how common this procedure is."
Cox said she believed women who are pregnant can still choose to carry the child to term and give birth, but instead of raising the child themselves, they can give the child up for adoption.
However, almost half of new mothers reported developing a post-traumatic stress disorder after giving birth, causing emotional and mental harm, according to researchers.
"Abortion has always existed. Abortion will always exist. It's just a matter of whether it'll be safe and legal," said Rovetti. "The vulnerable women will be scrambling and finding black market medications and/or finding other ways to be able to get medication."