Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

More states provide funding for anti-abortion counseling

February 12, 2007

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— 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 Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania - use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion. As a condition of the grants, counselors often are 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 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 practical and symbolic, a way of putting the state's stamp of approval on their work.

"It's a subtle thing," said McDonald, who runs five crisis pregnancy centers in south Florida. "But people seem to think if you're affiliated with the state, you must be good."

In Texas, the state reduced grants to a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Austin - and began sending some of the money instead to the Catholic diocese a block away.

There, counselors can collect $1.05 in public funds for every minute they spend encouraging women and teens not to abort.

Crisis pregnancy centers have received tens of millions of dollars in the last six years from the federal government, mostly to support abstinence education.

On the state level, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Texas approved funding in 2005. Louisiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania have longer-running programs. Arizona and Kansas have offered one-time grants to anti-abortion groups.

But the vast majority of states still send grants to Planned Parenthood - in amounts that dwarf the funding for anti-abortion activity. Last year, Planned Parenthood received $80 million from states, plus another $200 million from the federal government.

Tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions; they cover birth control, gynecological exams, cancer screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Comments

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 3 months ago

When oh when are these people going to realize that abstinence education DOES NOT WORK???? As long as 15 years ago I lived in a small town in SW Missouri where it was the common thing for high school girls to have a baby. I was pregnant myself at the time and half of my Lamaze class was under the age of 17. The one high school senior in my group was there for her SECOND baby. Believe me folks, statistics have gotten WORSE.

jonas 8 years, 3 months ago

"More states provide funding for anti-abortion counseling"

Hmmm. . . . sounds reasonable. No one wants more abortions.

"At least eight states - including Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania - use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion. As a condition of the grants, counselors often are barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either."

Oh, okay. NOW we have a problem.

"Crisis pregnancy centers have received tens of millions of dollars in the last six years from the federal government, mostly to support abstinence education."

Oh, well, as long as it's going primarily to a method that doesn't, has never, and will never actually work, then great, what do we need our tax dollars for anyway?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

"Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning" Read: taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and its abortion clinics.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

The author writes, "Tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions."

But the biased author intentionally neglects to inform readers that Planned Parenthood is the LARGEST ABORTION PROVIDER in the country.

Planned Parenthood receives more than a quarter of a billion dollars annually FROM TAXPAYERS, and we're supposed to believe that those dollars don't enable it to provide abortions?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

"Read: STRS doesn't mind killing babies--(s)he'd just rather do it after their born, so (s)he can hear their pitiful, mournful cries."

Agnostik, I just went from respecting you because of your usually-thoughtful commentary, to viewing you as an immature nuisance. Please, don't respond to my posts any longer.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

"I have a HUGE problem with government money being funneled into 501(c)3 religious organizations. The more federal money these organizations get to support their crisis pregnancy work, the less of their own money they have to dump into it."

That is exactly why I don't want taxpayer money used to fund Planned Parenthood.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

And if PP wants to see abortion become more rare, why don't they design "homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion"?

Why? Because, next to involuntary taxpayer contributions, performing abortions is how PP makes its money!

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

Why, oh why doesn't PP's website tell us how many abortions it performs each year?

Why won't they tell us how many abortions they've performed since 1973?

Why won't they tell us how much in revenue they bring in from "abortion services"?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

"How about some factual content to support what you're saying?"

Okay. Let's deduce. 9% of 5 million clients annually is 450,000 abortions per year. 450,000 suctions; dialations and curretage procedures; and dialation and extraction procedures at X $500 a pop = $250 million per year.

Pretty profitable that abortion business, huh?

Add another $280 million per year from outraged (or ignorant) taxpayers and you have DOUBLE PP's annual budget. Abortion is easily the second largest line item on PP's income statement.

It's a disgusting, filthy shame.

jonas 8 years, 3 months ago

"Posted by SettingTheRecordStraight (anonymous) on February 12, 2007 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why, oh why doesn't PP's website tell us how many abortions it performs each year?

Why won't they tell us how many abortions they've performed since 1973?

Why won't they tell us how much in revenue they bring in from "abortion services"?"

Ready for it?

Because they don't have to, and it's not your business.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

"Because they don't have to, and it's not your business."

I know that's not how you really view taxpayer subsidization programs, is it? I, for one, demand greater transparency than what you'll settle for. You should expect more.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

I used the statistics from your PP link. It's all there.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

I could be wrong about the cost of PP abortions, though. Maybe they're cheaper than the for-profit docs out there.

Still, at $350 per grisly procedure, it's $157 million annually.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm still trying to put my two brain cells together, Agnostick. Remember?

jonas 8 years, 3 months ago

"Okay. Let's deduce. 9% of 5 million clients annually is 450,000 abortions per year. 450,000 suctions; dialations and curretage procedures; and dialation and extraction procedures at X $500 a pop = $250 million per year.

Pretty profitable that abortion business, huh?"

Actually, in order to determine profitability we would need to have the necessary costs involved. Can you go find those for us?

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

"Posted by Dambudzo (anonymous) on February 12, 2007 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More meddling from the christians.

When will they learn to leave liberal women alone?

If liberal women can't control their own body, do we really want their unwanted offspring running around?"

'Cause lawd knows, conservatives don't have kids that get knocked.

bunnyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

how is this NOT a violation of federal law??? only because all of our protections to personal freedom have been destroyed in the past 8 years. WAKE UP!!!!

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