Missouri Health Department Suggests Cutting Funds for Abortion Alternatives Efforts
by Steven Ertelt
July 15, 2009
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — In response to a request from pro-abortion Gov. Jay Nixon to identify cuts in the state budget given the current fiscal crisis in Missouri, officials with the state health department have proposed slashing the funding under the Alternatives to Abortion program (ATA).
Under the current Missouri Department of Health budget proposal, ATA funding for fiscal year 2010 could be cut entirely or reduced severely
ATA provides a wide range of emergency services to women facing crisis pregnancies.
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.
The Missouri Catholic Conference tells LifeNews.com that there are better priorities for budget cuts than sacrificing on the backs of pregnant women and their unborn children.
"Research shows that providing alternative services encourages more women to carry their unborn child to term thereby reducing the number of abortions," the group says.
The MCC has one idea for a specific budget cut.
"On Tuesday, July 14, Governor Nixon decided against cutting $1.5 million for the Tour of Missouri bike race," the group says. "Surely saving unborn children is more important than a bicycle race."
The Catholic pro-life groups says it understands the state of the economy, but urges the governor and health officials to make the abortion alternatives program more of a priority.
"No one disputes that the state budget is under severe constraints. Governor Nixon plans to withhold $325 million from the state budget proposed by the Missouri General Assembly," the MCC said. "Some budget cuts are certainly necessary, but the ATA program merits more budget protection."
"In the context of the multi-billion dollar state budget, the $1.9 million allocated for the ATA program represents a very modest investment toward saving unborn children and assisting women in crisis pregnancies," the group adds.
"Missouri has been a leader in reducing abortions and the ATA program has been a key component of that pro-life effort. Cutting ATA would be a step backward in our state’s efforts to save unborn children and to support pregnant women," it concludes.
The Missouri Catholic Conference also points out that, in January, Governor Nixon promised to fully fund ATA.
It says, "This is one campaign promise citizens need to make sure Governor Nixon keeps."
ACTION: Contact Gov. Jay Nixon and ask that he continue funding the abortion alternatives program. Contact him at PO Box 720, 2nd Floor State Capital Bldg, Jefferson City, MO 65102, call (573) 751-3222, or go to https://governor.mo.gov/contact to send an email.
Related web sites:
Missouri Catholic Conference – https://www.mocatholic.org
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