Battle between two lawmakers set to play out Monday - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers set to battle at Shelby Co. Commission meeting

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Planned Parenthood performs abortions and is supported by women's groups. Planned Parenthood performs abortions and is supported by women's groups.
The County Commission vote to go with Christ Community services was very controversial. The County Commission vote to go with Christ Community services was very controversial.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A battle between two lawmakers will play out at Monday's Shelby County Commission meeting. It all centers on a commission vote two years ago to end the county's family planning contract with Planned Parenthood and to grant that contract to Christ Community Health Services.

"It's just very hypocritical for him two years ago to think it was the right thing to slams now because he's running for mayor, he needs the female vote from Planned Parenthood groups so he's going after that," said Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas.

The County Commission vote to go with Christ Community services was very controversial. Planned Parenthood performs abortions and is supported by women's groups. Some feared a Christian group would discourage abortions, yet the vote passed.

"In 2011, I voted against it in committee. When I realized the votes were there and I was going to lose, I made a deal trading support for compliance monitoring to make sure they would do the contract properly," said Steve Mulroy, Shelby County Commissioner.

Monday, Mulroy will propose a resolution to revisit the issue.

"Has no teeth to it. It's not binding. It's urging the mayor and the administration to re-bid the contract. It's obvious the mayor doesn't have to do it," said Thomas.

Thomas is a Republican, as is Mulroy's opponent, incumbent Mayor Mark Luttrell. The two are running against Deidre Malone, a female Democrat and Democrat and Pastor Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

"Well, of course he's trying to do that. He's trying to distract from the merits of this issue where the numbers speak for themselves and clearly, the current contractor is not doing the job and we need to re-bid it," noted Mulroy.

But Thomas' Christ Community stats are different than Mulroy's.

"They are only getting approximately $300,000 and that's supposed to service 2,000 visits, but they're actually going to service 2,800," said Thomas.

Mulroy says he was quoted in a 2011 Memphis Flyer article supporting the return of Planned Parenthood that pledged 3,500 visits.

"The level of service has gone down and thousands of low-income women are not getting the family planning services they so desperately need," said Mulroy.

The meeting starts 1:30 Monday afternoon, Action News 5 will let you know if the Commission votes the resolution up or down.

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