White House Announces New Pregnancy Assistance Fund, Pro-Lifers Skeptical
by Steven Ertelt
July 2, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House has announced an effort it hopes will mute some of the extensive criticism President Barack Obama has endured because of his aggressive pro-abortion agenda. Officials announced late today the creation of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, but pro-life groups are skeptical.
According to a press statement LifeNews.com received from the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Health and Human Services Department is behind the new $25 million program, which was part of the abortion funding health care bill.
The funds will be made available to states to support pregnant women and teen parents in what the White House calls an attempt to "build common ground" on abortion.
The grants are designed to do what many in the pro-life movement have done for a long time: provide scholastic assistance for pregnant and parenting teens, assistance for child care and housing, and other programs designed to help prospective young mothers. HHS will award $25 million annually through 2019.
"It was only a year ago that President Obama gave a seminal speech at Notre Dame urging our nation to find common ground on the issue of abortion and unintended pregnancies," the White House statement said.
"The Pregnancy Assistance Fund is a competitive grant program established by the Affordable Care Act to assist women who have decided to carry their pregnancies to term and those who are parenting," it read. "This funding is another critical step in the President’s vision for common ground."
"The opportunity created by the Affordable Care Act will provide States and Tribes needed assistance to support vulnerable teens and women who are pregnant and parenting," pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is quoted as saying in the statement. "The Pregnancy Assistance Fund provides States the opportunity to link these families to health, education, child care, and other supports that can help brighten the futures of parents and their children."
The press statement never mentions reducing abortions as a thrust of the programs or grants, which Carrie Gordon Earll, a spokeswoman for CitizenLink, a legislative arm of Focus on the Family, noticed.
She told CNN, "This money is mandated for services for pregnant teens and women – violence prevention, vocational training. It would be inaccurate to characterize it as ‘abortion common ground’ since it doesn’t specifically address abortion."
But Kristen Day, the head of Democrats for Life, which has come under heavy criticism from the rest of the pro-life movement for supporting the pro-abortion health care bill, told CNN the new program comes as a result of her networking with Obama officials.
"Pro-life and pro-choice people have gotten behind it so it’s a good first step at reducing abortion and providing support for healthier babes and mothers," she said. "Once we show how effective this is we can go back and expand this program."
The measure has no limits on abortion, which is why CNN indicates Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, has signed off on it.
The press statement LifeNews.com obtained indicates the grants will likely wind up tine hands of "key stakeholders" such as "institutions of higher education, high schools, community organizations, and State Attorneys General offices."
It is anticipated that up to 25 grants in the amounts of $500,000 – $2,000,000 per year will be awarded and the application deadline is August 2, 2010.
Potential grant recipients can learn more about the program at https://www.hhs.gov/ophs/oah/prevention/grants/announcements/index.html
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