Home Valuable stamps Texas Legislature seeks to increase funding for abortion alternatives, even though most abortions are illegal

Texas Legislature seeks to increase funding for abortion alternatives, even though most abortions are illegal


Although abortion is set to be banned in Texas, anti-abortion groups and key state lawmakers say they are determined to pour even more money into programs designed to discourage women from having sex. abort.

The state has already dramatically increased funding for “abortion alternatives” programs by more than 450% in the past six years, from $9 million a year to more than $50 million a year. .

“My goal is to increase funding for these programs,” said Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola. “These services will be even more needed in the future.”

Hughes said he will push for that funding when the Texas Legislature meets. in January.

It’s not just Hughes, who was the key lawmaker in creating Texas’ so-called heartbeat bill that allows any citizen to sue those who help a woman get an abortion. after six weeks of gestation. Texas Right to Life has also made protecting and increasing funding for abortion alternatives, often called crisis pregnancy centers, a top priority.

Annual State Funding for Abortion Alternatives Programs in Texas

2023: $50,011,366

2022: $50,011,366

2021: $30,855,425

2020: $29,020,634

2019: $9,150,000

2018: $9,150,000

2017: $9,150,000

2016: $9,150,000

2015 : $5,150,000

2014 : $5,150,000

John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life, told Republican activists at the state’s GOP convention last month that even if they won the fight against abortion, now was not the time to calm.

“Now is not the time for us to retire from the fight,” he said. “It’s time to double down and be bolder than ever.”

Pledges to send more money to the programs began last week when the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established constitutional protections for abortion rights. Texas is among more than a dozen states with a trigger law that will soon go into effect and ban nearly all abortions. Last week, two of the state’s largest abortion providers, Whole Woman’s Health and Planned Parenthood Texas, announced they were no longer providing the service.

Republicans, including Governor Greg Abbott, have touted alternatives to abortion programs as providing valuable counseling and mentorship to mothers in need.

Critics say the program is a waste of taxpayers’ money with virtually no oversight or evidence that it actually deters women from having abortions or helps them access long-term assistance like Medicaid and food stamps.

Former State Representative Sarah Davis, a Republican from Houston who supports abortion rights, has long criticized programs that she says often give false medical information to pregnant women to dissuade them from having abortions.

She said proponents of the program insisted it helped women in need, but Davis said they lacked the metrics to prove it.

“It’s a program to make Republicans feel good, like they’re helping women,” Davis said in a recent interview on NBC Nightly News.

Proponents of the programs, on the other hand, defend their work.

The Texas Pregnancy Care Network, one of the state’s largest recipients of abortion funding alternatives, says it has helped hundreds of thousands of clients with basic necessities such as clothing maternity and baby clothes, food and shelter, in addition to parenting classes and job and career support.

The nonprofit received more than $37 million from the state in fiscal year 2021, according to a Texas Health and Human Services Commission report released in December.

The network has 79 contractors with a total of 167 physical locations across the state. Two of its biggest contractors are the Houston Pregnancy Help Center and Providence Place, both of which received more than $1.5 million in funding through the Texas Pregnancy Care Network, according to state reports.