Published: Sunday February 11, 2007
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A growing number of states are funding pro-life groups to counsel women with unplanned pregnancies, writes the LA Times.
Public funds are being used in at least eight states to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers and other programs designed to keep pregnant women from having abortions. In some cases, grants being awarded carry stipulations keeping counselors from referring women to abortion clinics or even talking about contraception.
Many of the groups receiving funding, in states including Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania, are faith-based. Tax laws bars groups from using federal money for religious purposes, but such groups can still participate in government programs.
The trend is disturbing to many abortion-rights advocates. But some supporters of the funding don't see it a threat to pro-choice. "I have heard many pro-choice people say, 'There ought to be fewer abortions.' [Funding] this is one way we can do that," Pennsylvania state Rep. Thomas A. Tangretti, tells the LA Times.
Excerpts from the article below:
Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning, but the flow of tax dollars to anti-abortion groups has surged in recent months, as programs have taken effect in Texas and Minnesota.
The trend alarms abortion-rights supporters, who assert that the funds would be better spent — and would prevent more abortions — if used to expand access to birth control. But to anti-abortion activists such as Nancy McDonald, the funding is both practical and symbolic, a way of putting the state's stamp of approval on their work.
Here in Texas, the state reduced grants to a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Austin — and began sending some of the money to the Roman Catholic diocese a block away.