by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2006
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A network of crisis pregnancy centers across the state of Texas has received $5 million in family planning dollars from the state government. The money will help pregnant women avoid abortion and provide them with financial and practical pregnancy resources, but it upsets abortion advocates.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission awarded the grant to the Texas Pregnancy Care Network. The contract came after the state legislature approved shifting family planning funds from pro-abortion agencies like Planned Parenthood to pregnancy centers that help women.
Lawmakers crafted the rules for applying for the grants in such a way that those agencies that also perform or refer for abortions were not eligible.
Officials with Planned Parenthood Trust of San Antonio and South Central Texas filed a complaint about the pro-life requirements and made changes to their application for funding but it didn’t make a difference.
Jennifer Bilbrey, director of public policy for the abortion business complained that "so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ are applying for money that is being taken away from qualified, experienced family planning providers like Planned Parenthood."
But HHSC spokesperson Jennifer Harris told the San Antonio Express-News, "We still had to ensure that the active promotion of childbirth is a fundamental aspect of the statewide program that will be developed."
The money will be given to the groups over a period of two years and they will likely use it to provide housing, baby needs, health care and insurance, educational assistance and other help for pregnant women.
The pregnancy center network is working in conduction with the Pennsylvania-based Real Alternatives and The Heidi Group of Round Rock and with the Texas Association of Women’s Resource Organizations.