Missouri Gov. Removes Budget’s Funding of Abortion Alternatives
by Steven Ertelt
July 15, 2003
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Less than a week after upsetting pro-life advocates in Missouri by vetoing a pro-life law to give women more information about abortion risks and alternatives, pro-abortion Gov. Bob Holden (D-MO) removed funding from the state budget for abortion alternative programs.
The governor took out $570,000 that would have been used to fund such programs. It was removed as part of a reduction in the state budget to balance it.
"The governor had originally funded this, but when we were given a budget $240 million out of balance, we had to make some cuts," said Mary Still, Holden’s spokeswoman, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
The governor, who supports abortion, is "not philosophically opposed to this type of counseling," Still added. "But it wasn’t reaching very many people and there are more important programs."
Last year, the state spent $400,000 on the program and was able to help 650 women find practical help and assistance to support their pregnancies. Such services included prenatal care, housing, and parenting classes.
According to the state’s health department, just two of the women in the program had abortions.
Mike Halterman, CEO of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was disappointed by the decision. He said this will jeopardize many of the programs his organization offers to young mothers.
Sam Lee of Campaign Life Missouri, said the abortion alternatives program was the only one to lose all funding. Other programs under the Department of Health and Senior Services budget lost funding but weren’t cut entirely. Lee believes the program was gutted because Holden and other abortion advocates are upset that the legislature cut $5.1 million from the state’s family planning program.
Pro-life lawmakers in June had to vote to restore funding to the program after Governor Holden’s original veto of the budget. It was slated to receive $700,000, but was cut to help accommodate a more balanced budget.
ACTION: Please contact Governor Holden with your thoughts on his actions. You can reach him at Governor Bob Holden, Missouri Capitol Building, Room 216, PO Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0720;
Telephone: (573) 751-3222, FAX: (573) 751-1495, Email: [email protected]