Two men protest outside Nashville’s Planned Parenthood Clinic in 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Metro Nashville Police officers arrested four people Thursday for misdemeanor trespassing at Planned Parenthood.
Authorities charged Rickey Williams, Bevelyn Williams, Edmee Chavannes and Brea Crum. Three of them were physically arrested at the property except for Crum, who was arrested by citation as she had her infant child with her at the time.
“Today’s extremist activity makes clear that this is not about abortion,” said Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood Tennessee-North Mississippi. “This is about hate, intimidation, and control — full stop. We put these and other extremists on notice: Your attempted acts of terrorism are unacceptable and a waste of time because you will never break our resolve to provide the compassionate healthcare that our patients need and deserve.”
The trespassing arrests come after Planned Parenthood ceased providing abortion care at its two Tennessee locations. The organization hasn’t provided abortion procedures since June 27, but Thursday’s incident marks the second incident targeting Middle Tennessee womens health clinics this week.
On Tuesday, protesters attempted to block the door to carafem, a Mt. Juliet clinic providing medication abortions, which are legal until Tennessee’s abortion ban takes effect on August 25.
On July 1 – a week after the Supreme Court of the United States reversed Roe v. Wade – officials with Hope Clinic for Women, a crisis pregnancy center, reported a window at the Midtown facility was broken, a molotov cocktail-type device was found inside and an exterior wall spray painted with the words “Jane’s Revenge.”
Gov. Bill Lee, a founder of Hope Clinic who remains on the advisory board, tweeted after the vandalism that the act was akin to domestic terrorism. Lee made no comment when Knoxville’s Planned Parenthood building was torched in January.
The governor has also issued no statements in relation to the arrests at the Planned Parenthood in Nashville after it happened.
“I am incredibly thankful for the swift action of our patient escorts, team members, security officers, and the Metro Nashville Police Department which prevented these terrorists from entering the building and ensured the safety of everyone in and around our health center,” Coffield said.
A hearing hasn’t been set for the four.
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