Missouri Pro-Life Advocates Applaud Gov Nixon Not Cutting Abortion Alternatives
by Steven Ertelt
January 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Missouri pro-life advocates are elated by the news from the office of Governor Jay Nixon that he will not cut the current state funding for abortion alternatives. The Alternatives to Abortion program has been in place for a dozen years and over the span of four gubernatorial administrations.
Because Nixon is pro-abortion and because of the difficult economic times, pro-life groups were concerned he may seek cuts in the funding for the program.
They feel the Alternatives to Abortion program has proven year in and year out to be an effective means of providing help to pregnant women who may be at risk of an abortion.
Governor Nixon has recommended that the state fully fund the alternatives program.
Mike Halterman, the chief executive officer of the Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph told LifeNews.com he’s happy with the decision.
We are pleased with Gov. Nixons inclusion in his budget for the ATA program which has greatly reduced the number of abortions in Missouri as well as provided valuable case management to these women in need," he said.
Sam Lee, the director of Campaign Life Missouri, is also delighted.
This is the time not to cut back services to pregnant women and their unborn children. We are pleased that Gov. Nixon chose to fully fund this valuable and proven program that helps pregnant women and their families in need and saves the lives of the unborn," he said.
The program provides services during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of the child including prenatal care, medical and mental health care, parenting skills, newborn and infant care, education services, housing, clothing, food, supplies related to pregnancy, newborn care and parenting and adoption assistance.
Catholic Charities of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph are among a consortium of faith-based agencies that provide these vital services.
Former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt increased funding for the program during his tenure.
"I believe the vast majority of Missourians agree that we should do all we can to encourage young parents to choose life. That is why my budget again includes increased funding for the Alternatives to Abortion program," he said last year.
The state of Missouri has battled for years to shift public funding in its family planning programs from Planned Parenthood and divert the money to pregnancy centers that help women with unplanned pregnancies.
Blunt furthered that goal in 2007 when he pulled state taxpayer funding of a Planned Parenthood program that provides breast cancer screenings. Instead of funding Planned Parenthood, the money was given to another health initiative that didn’t involve abortion.
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