Newsbreak

Nashville considers cutting city staff to help fund abortion travel and Planned Parenthood

Nashville

Nashville Metro council members have filed legislation that proposes creating a $500,000 fund for Metro residents to travel out of state for abortion. The proposal was announced hours after Tennessee’s law protecting all preborn children from abortion went into effect.

Main Street Nashville reports that council members Freddie O’Connell and Delishia Porterfield announced the plan, along with Sandra Sepulveda, Ginny Welsch, and Bob Mendes. Council member Emily Benedict is also co-sponsoring the legislation.

“Today is forced birth day here in Tennessee,” Porterfield said. “And while it is a terrible day here in Tennessee — it’s a day that has filled us with anger — we are not without hope.”

The council members propose that a portion of the $500,000 will be used as a grant to Planned Parenthood, which offers hotel vouchers and gas cards to women seeking abortion. The funds would also be used to expand comprehensive sex education programs and for “safer sex supplies,” like condoms.

Council members are proposing that the money come from the city’s already-approved budget, meaning that some funds would have to be reallocated. While he says it might be difficult to make this work, Mayor John Cooper supports the proposal and says he will work to see where the money can come from.

According to the Tennessean, the city is even considering staffing cuts or delaying necessary projects in order to make it happen.

READ: The latest abortion battlegrounds: City councils and county commissions

This is not the first pro-abortion push from the city since the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade. In July, the council approved a resolution ensuring that the police will deprioritize investigations and arrests for abortion-related cases while also requesting that city funds and staff not be used to investigate potentially abortion-related cases. Cooper has also pushed for health insurance coverage for city employees who want to travel for abortion. The city even passed its own resolution stating that it opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.

Nashville leaders appear willing to delay city projects, make staffing cuts, and spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to ensure that its city’s preborn citizens don’t have a voice. “So many people are feeling hopeless in Nashville and in the state of Tennessee today,” Porterfield said. “We want Nashville to know that their local leaders take this seriously and we’re doing everything we can in tandem with any and every organization that wants to work with us.”

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