Missouri Panel Restores Funding to Abortion Alternatives Program
by Steven Ertelt
March 11, 2004
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A state legislative panel on Wednesday voted to restore funding to an abortion alternatives program that previously had its budget slashed by pro-abortion Gov. Bob Holden (D). Holden’s decision caused the program to end in May of last year.
The legislature voted to fund the program last year, but Holden withheld the money, citing budgetary concerns.
Now, a House appropriations subcommittee has restored funding to the program. The request amounts to $575,000 that will begin in the next fiscal year, starting in July.
The program existed for 12 months before Holden cut its funds. During that time, it helped 648 women with pregnancy assistance while only two women in the program had abortions.
Mike Halterman, CEO of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was one of the people involved with the program who was disappointed by Holden’s decision.
Tricia Schlechte, deputy director for health and public health in the Department of Health and Senior Services, told the Associated Press that the program wouldn’t be difficult to restart even though it has been dormant for over a year.
The abortion alternatives program was the only one at the state health department canceled under Holden’s budget slashing. Other program lost funds, but were kept in place.
Thirty-one Democratic House members sent a letter to Holden asking him to renew the funding, but he refused.
"The Missouri Alternatives to Abortion program is a pro-woman, pro-family effort that helps working people and the poor," the Democratic lawmakers wrote in their letter to Holden.
"It benefits families from both rural and urban areas, and is available to women of color and from ethnically diverse backgrounds. That is certainly in the finest traditions of the Democratic Party."
Related web sites:
Missouri Legislature: https://www.moga.state.mo.us