Metro Council looks to provide access to abortion for Metro employees

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - On Tuesday evening Metro Nashville council will be looking at ways to provide access to abortion for metro employees if they ever need it.

The resolution is not a bill and that means if the council passes the resolution, it won’t be law.

This will just be another way council members will go on record to show support for important issues and the issue this time is access to abortion.

The resolution asks the Metropolitan Employee Benefit Board to look at the current availability of benefits providing transportation, accommodation, and related costs when necessary to obtain medical treatment unavailable in Tennessee; and to extend such coverage if not currently provided.

The resolution passed unanimously at the meeting.

“Asking them to look at that and try to figure out a way to make that happen should a situation ever arise where it’s needed,” said Ginny Welsch, Metro Nashville Councilwoman For District 16. “Because we believe that all our employees should have access to the full arrange of healthcare that is available and necessary to live the life that they want to live.”

In anticipation of the resolution, Metro’s Employee Benefit Board On Monday morning looked at two things:

  • What are the current reproductive benefits covered by Metro’s two self-insured medical plans?
  • What benefits, if any, are currently covered by Metro’s two self-insured plans that provide coverage for travel and/or lodging coverage?

We asked the council if the city can afford the requests and councilwoman Welsch if the benefits board does find a way to add travel and accommodation costs to the insurance, how would the city pay for it.

“There’s always the question of where you find the money for things you want to do. I can say that when we’re talking about spending $1.8 million to build a stadium for men to run around and play a game, I think we’ll be able to find the money necessary to guarantee that all of our employees within the metro area have access to the healthcare that they deserve,” Welsch said.

She said a pretty big percentage of metro employees use metro’s health insurance plan.

During a presentation on Monday at Metro’s Employee Benefit Board meeting showed that Metro’s PPO and HRA plans currently offer travel and lodging coverage (with limitations) as part of the organ transplant benefit.

The resolution will go before a Rules Confirmation Committee on Monday before it gets to the whole council late on in the evening.

Welsch believes it will pass but doesn’t think it will be smooth sailing during the council meeting.

“I don’t think it’s going to be unanimous by any stretch of the imagination but that said I don’t really think we’re going to have many problems getting it passed,” Welsch said.

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