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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Red States Generously Funding Pregnancy Centers After Dobbs

'We’re trying to build strong individuals and strong families. And isn’t that what we all want?'

(Headline USAAfter the overturning of Roe v. Wade, red states are looking to put even more taxpayer money into organizations that convince mothers not to kill their babies and support mothers and their children after birth.

The efforts show pro-lifers are addressing families’ social and financial needs beyond the pregnancy, contradicting the leftist trope that they only care about unborn children.

The Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature is considering allocating millions of dollars in state funds to pro-life centers that encourage people to bring their pregnancies to term by offering free pregnancy tests and sonograms, as well as counseling and parenting classes taught by volunteers.

The Legislature is also considering offering millions more in income tax credits for donors supporting crisis pregnancy centers.

Committees also held hearings Thursday on proposals for a 70% income tax credit to donors who support anti-abortion centers, with a cap of $10 million in total credits.

The proposed legislation is similar to a longstanding Missouri law that provides income tax credits to donors supporting pregnancy centers. Arizona has such a law, and Mississippi’s Republican House speaker is trying to expand a cap on tax credits to $10 million from the $3.5 million authorized last year.

Arkansas and Oklahoma are considering adding similar tax credits, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

In Missouri, donors to pregnancy centers have received $15 million in total state tax credits over the past five years, and one state analysis estimates the centers served about 43,000 people last year.

Pro-lifers have operated pregnancy centers for decades, and the practice of conservative-led states offering financial aid to them predates Dobbs — the decision in June overturning Roe v. Wade.

Kansas already provides grants to programs that provide prenatal care and encourage people to carry their pregnancies to term. But it spends less than $339,000 in a state budget of $24 billion on the program — and made only two grants totaling less than $74,000 to anti-abortion centers.

Now, some pro-lifers talk about emulating Missouri’s more than $8 million annual funding, plus the income tax credits.

In Lawrence, 28-year-old Korbe Bohac is still visiting a pregnancy center nearly 8 months after her son Winston was born. She told legislators the classes and counseling make her a better, more confident parent — and helped preserve her mental health. She called it “a safety net.”

One such organization, The Insight center, has two sonogram nurses, and a doctor and radiologist sometimes volunteer their time. But services depend mostly on about 50 volunteers. The $340,000 annual budget is mostly supplied by private donations, but the organization received a community development grant in 2014 to launch parent education programs.

Smith said she believes the proposed tax credit would increase donations, helping Insight start a maternity home for people without shelter.

“We’re trying to build strong individuals and strong families. And isn’t that what we all want?”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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