Senator to Oppose Budget Because of Pro-Life, Pregnancy Center Donation Cutoff

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senator to Oppose Budget Because of Pro-Life, Pregnancy Center Donation Cutoff

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 2
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life U.S. senator says he intends to oppose the $3.6 trillion budget proposed by President Barrack Obama and Congressional Democrats because it would hurt donations to pro-life groups and pregnancy centers.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas says there are several reasons why he will vote no on the budget, but he points to attacks on charitable donations as one of them.

Under the budget, Obama would limit this deduction for charitable contributions, which Cornyn says would cost charities nationwide anywhere from $4 billion to $9 billion.

Obama has proposed to reduce the tax incentives for charitable giving and wants Congress to limit to 28 percent the tax saving from contributions for taxpayers who itemize their deductions.

The president wants to use the money to fund universal health care that, ironically, could include taxpayer coverage of abortions.

"Charitable organizations depend on the generosity of donors to serve our communities, and for decades we have encouraged this generosity by making charitable donations deductible," he said.

Cornyn says the negative potential impact can be seen in his own back yard and pointed to the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides counseling and services to women who are pregnant or who may think they are pregnant.

"Some of their clients are students. Some are homeless. Some are victims of domestic violence and other abuse," Cornyn says.

"The center provides these confidential services at no cost to women in need. It relies completely on donations from individuals and businesses to fund its programs. Thanks to the generosity of the Austin community, the center now has two full-time employees, one part-time employee and about 60 volunteers," Cornyn adds.

"The recession has made it harder for the center to raise money — even as the demand for its services increases. In just one day this month, the center received nearly 20 calls from women who could not afford to buy diapers," Cornyn continues.

In the words of center Executive Director Lori DeVillez, "There are many times where a bag of diapers or a can of formula truly means the difference between ‘Do I eat today, or provide for my baby?’"

The center works to ensure that its clients don’t have to face such a terrible choice, but Cornyn says DeVillez estimates that up to 10 of the center’s largest donors would see their taxes go up under the president’s plan.

"She would like to see policies that would expand her pool of potential donors — rather than dry it up," Cornyn says.

"I believe that charitable organizations like the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center help make Texas a better place," the senator concludes. "They deserve our support. They do not deserve to suffer the impact of higher taxes."

Colleen Parro, the head of the Republican National Coalition for Life, a group that works to keep the GOP pro-life, applauded Cornyn’s principled stance.

"Senator Cornyn’s focus on the importance of charitable organizations such as the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center is most welcome," she told LifeNews.com.

"Thousands of centers across the country are dedicated to offering help and hope to mothers who otherwise may have nowhere to turn," she said. "Their dedicated staff members, many of whom are volunteers, carry out their mission supported through the tax-deductible financial gifts they receive from generous donors."

"We are deeply appreciative of Senator Cornyn’s efforts to prevent the Obama administration from limiting charitable income tax deductions," she added.

Cornyn’s comments came in an editorial published today in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

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