Texas is part of trend that has alarmed some rights activistsI have been trying to get the Dallas Morning News to realize that no one in the pro-life movement calls themselves an "anti-abortion advocate," yet they insist on labelling us this way. That coupled with scare words used in reference to funding a paltry amount of money ($13 million dollars through 8 states) that is going to these centers tells me that the real shock is that this is happening at all.
12:00 AM CST on Monday, February 12, 2007
From Wire Reports Los Angeles Times
AUSTIN – In an experiment that's opening a new front in the culture wars, a growing number of states are paying anti-abortion activists to counsel women with unplanned pregnancies. At least eight states – including Texas, Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania – use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers or other programs explicitly designed to steer women from abortion.
As a condition of the grants, counselors are often barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either.
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 grants took effect in Texas and Minnesota.
The trend alarms abortion-rights supporters, who say that the funds would be better spent – and would prevent more abortions – if used to expand access to birth control. But to anti-abortion advocates such as Nancy McDonald, the funding is both practical and symbolic, a way of putting the state's stamp of approval on their work.
States will spend at least $13 million this year to direct women away from abortion.
© 2007 Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas. All rights reserved.