There is not a whole lot the mayor can do about abortion. Regulation of abortion is a function of the state government within the limits of Roe vs Wade which says a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion. A mayor could ensure the city has no contracts with Planned Parenthood and do a few minor things, but not much. That has not kept the issue from entering into the mayor's race. If you are a subscriber to The Tennessean, you can read about it at this link.
In summary, this is what happened according to the Tennessean article. Bill Freeman was somewhere where some pro-life activist were demonstrating. The asked Freeman what he thinks about abortion and he said, "I think it's a horrible choice for a method of birth control, OK?" After further pressure to state a position, Freeman said, "I appreciate what you're doing, and get out there and fight the fight."
Well, his comments were caught on camera and mayoral candidate and at-large Council member Megan Barry say's that Freeman can't be trusted to stand up for women's reproductive rights. She also called it "demeaning to all women" to say that women terminate pregnancies as a form of birth control. I don't quite get how that is demeaning to women. If women are careless or if other forms of birth control fail, or a women changes her mind about becoming a mother, is not an abortion to control a birth? Control it, as in abort it?
In response to the controversy, Freeman said he supports a women's right to to make her own health care decisions and that the issue has no place in the mayor's race. "I am pro choice," he says. "Those decisions are between a woman, her doctor and her God."
I think Freeman's position is like that of a lot of liberals in that they support the right to abortion but do not think an abortion is something to celebrate. I wonder if Megan Barry is elected if she will issue a proclamation declaring a "Celebrate Abortions Day?" It wouldn't surprise me. Of course liberals do not like to call an abortion, an abortion, so she would call it "Reproduction Rights Day" or "A Women's Right to to Make Her own Health Care Decisions Day."
Below is the video of Freeman's exchange with the pro-life demonstrators that started this controversy.