Metro Nashville Council’s Planned Parenthood Grant Will Not Include Out-of-State Abortion Travel

Image Credit: Paul Brennan / Public Domain

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

A $500,000 grant is still expected to be given to Planned Parenthood by Metro council members. The funds, however, are no longer designated to support out-of-state travel for women seeking an abortion or any services related to such. 

A half-million dollar proposal was made by five council members in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade when Tennessee’s full abortion ban went into effect. It was originally designed to include financial assistance for women seeking to get an abortion outside of Tennessee.

Council Member Freddie O’Connell proposed an amendment. The removal of provisions allowing funds to be used for out-of-state travel for abortions is a change in response to concerns from the Metro Department of Law about potential exposure under Title X. This prohibits government funds from being used for abortion or any services related. 

“We originally tried to suggest to the attorneys that perhaps that could be the obligation that was imposed on the Metro Department of Health, but not to all of Metro,” said Mike Jameson, legislative advisor to Mayor John Cooper. 

Grants are accepted by the Metro Council on behalf of the Health Department because the department does not have a separate grant acceptance authority. Funds to support any abortion-related services cannot be provided by the Metro government. 

Proposed funds will exclusively support contraception services, family planning counseling, and sex education materials from here on out. 

“This is a profound issue for the city,” O’Connell told Mainstreet Nashville. “If we are not prepared to respond to this with the very limited toolkit that we have to do so, then I’m not sure how we’re judging our priorities.”

The pay plans from the 14 metro departments’ budgets provide the funding for the $500,000 grant. 

The largest deductions are $60,000 each from the Metro Parks Department, the Nashville Public Library, the Department of Health, and the Nashville Department of Transportation as well as $90,000 from the Metro Nashville Police Department’s pay plan. 

O’Connell said he plans to have a new amendment to restructure funding for the council to consider after having several council members say that departments had contacted them concerned that they would have to eliminate positions. 

At-Large Council Member Bob Mendes said, “For $500,000, to have a statement once every half-century when a Constitutional right is eradicated by the Supreme Court – that fits into my definition of moral budgeting. We need to put our resources where our values are.”

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *