Tennessee bans abortion in nearly all circumstances. But once the babies are here, the state provides little help. To chronicle what life truly looks like in a state whose political leaders say they are pro-life, ProPublica commissioned Stacy Kranitz to follow one woman for a year after she was denied an abortion for a life-threatening pregnancy.

Raised in the depths of Tennessee’s opioid epidemic, Mayron Hollis was three months postpartum and clinging to stability when she got pregnant again.

Doctors warned that she and the fetus might not survive. Abortion went against her beliefs, but the embryo had been implanted in scar tissue from her recent cesarean section and could rupture at any moment. She feared for herself and her family. But the Supreme Court had just overturned Roe v. Wade, triggering one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans in Tennessee.

At 26 weeks, Mayron began to bleed heavily and was rushed to the hospital. Her daughter Elayna was born weighing less than 2 pounds and unable to breathe on her own. Mayron lost her uterus in the surgery that saved her life.

The next year would reveal many of the gaps in Tennessee’s social safety net. “They forced me, basically, to have a child,” she said of the state after the abortion ban. But then, “They didn’t help me take care of that child.”

Artist Bios

  • Stacy Kranitz

    Stacy Kranitz

    Stacy Kranitz is an American documentary photographer based in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Tennessee.


  • ProPublica


    ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account. Find us at

The Year After A Denied Abortion

 coming soon

Featuring: Stacy Kranitz

Curated by: Andrea Wise Anna Donlan

Presented by: ProPublica
  • ProPublica


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