Missouri Budget Keeps Abortion Alternatives Funding Despite Health Department

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Budget Keeps Abortion Alternatives Funding Despite Health Department

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 20
, 2009

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Over suggestions from the Missouri Health Department, the new state budget includes the funding for an abortion alternatives program. The Alternatives to Abortion program (ATA) provides a wide range of emergency services to women facing crisis pregnancies.

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 proposed slashing the program’s funding in June.

However, a review of the new budget Nixon submitted shows funding for ATA is fully intact for the full amount of nearly $2 million.

That the program remains is significant given that Nixon included $60 million in spending cuts in his new budget.

Larry Weber, the director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, shared the good news with LifeNews.com.

“We thank Gov. Nixon for securing ATA funding during these difficult economic times," he said. "The ATA program is very important for thousands of women and their children, born and unborn."

Weber says the program has spanned a dozen years and four gubernatorial administrations and "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.”

He calls the program a "very modest investment toward saving unborn children and assisting women in crisis pregnancies."

"Research shows that providing alternative services encourages more women to carry their unborn child to term thereby reducing the number of abortions. Missouri has been a leader in reducing abortions and the ATA program has been a key-component of that pro-life effort," Weber added.

Nixon has promised as early as January of this year that he would fully fund the ATA program.

The Alternatives to Abortion program provides services during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of the child including prenatal care.

Other services include 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.

ACTION: Contact Gov. Jay Nixon and thank him for 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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