The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
The Metro Council is forbidding law enforcement officials from using license plate readers to enforce laws against abortion. They also decided to defer the allocation of $500,000 of Metro funds to go towards a grant to Planned Parenthood.
These are just two of several recent steps that Davidson County leadership has taken to provide residents with a way around the state’s recent abortion ban if the “choose to explore any reproductive rights options.”
The legislation against the use of license plate readers, or LPRs, was approved at last Tuesday’s meeting. It bans law enforcement officials from using the technology for the purpose of “assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain abortion.”
There is no law in Tennessee that currently makes it a criminal offense to travel out-of-state for an abortion, but pro-life advocates have indicated that they will seek to have this added in later legislative sessions.
Davidson County does not currently have any LPRs in use, but the Metro Council did approve a six-month trial run of the technology earlier this year.
The pilot, which has not yet been initiated, will allow Nashville police to capture images of license plates and check them against the plate numbers of vehicles that have been reported as stolen or labeled as potentially being connected to any violent crime, felony offense, or missing person.
In August, the Council also passed legislation that banned the use of LPRs for helping to catch illegal immigrants.
Metro Council also chose to defer their plans to provide a $500,000 grant to Planned Parenthood. This decision was made to comply with the rules for transferring funds and will likely take place in their October meeting.
The grant would give $500,000 to Planned Parenthood with $200,000 being spent on “comprehensive sex education,” $150,000 going towards “safer sex supplies,” and a final $150,000 being allocated to provide financial assistance to Davidson County residents who wish to travel out-of-state for an abortion.
Funding for the grant would come from the salaries of Metro Council and the Mayor’s Office staff and from the traffic signal maintenance fund.
The Tennessee Right to Life organization expressed their opposition on Tuesday:
“Instead of the City Council working to undo the work of our duly elected state legislature, we urge them to join with us in thanking our state legislators who saw the need to pass (the Human Life Protection Act) to end the legalized destruction of innocent human lives,” read the statement.
Metro Council also moved forward on a proposal that would require the Davidson County Department of Health to provide free family planning counseling, birth control counseling, and birth control products to residents. The bill will be discussed again by the Council on September 20.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com