White House Funds Pregnancy Help, Pro-Lifers Say No Abortion Common Ground
by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House has dispersed $27 million in grants through a new Pregnancy Assistance Fund created under the ObamaCare health care bill that also funds abortions. However, some pro-life groups don’t see the fund as achieving any "common ground" on the issue of abortion.
The Obama administration hopes the fund will mute some of the extensive criticism Obama and his pro-abortion allies in Congress endured for not including sufficient abortion funding limits in the legislation.
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 White House announced that 17 states and territories and 13 Indian tribes are the first to receive the grants.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, who has alienated pro-life advocates by accusing other pro-life groups of lying about the ObamaCare bill and its abortion funding, claims the new program is "common ground" on abortion.
"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," Day told CNN in July. "Once we show how effective this is we can go back and expand this program."
But pro-life groups say the program may not do what it is intended to do, because states and tribal governments are in charge of dispersing the funds and because the money may go to programs like violence prevention — which is positive but not designed to help pregnant women decide against an abortion.
"This money is mandated for services for pregnant teens and women – violence prevention, vocational training," Carrie Gordon Earll, a spokeswoman for CitizenLink, the public policy arm of Focus on the Family, told CNN. "It would be inaccurate to characterize it as ‘abortion common ground’ since it doesn’t specifically address abortion."
"The fact that this is being pitched as a ‘common ground on abortion’ doesn’t ring true to me since these are supposed to be helping services, and they are not supposed to be tied to abortion," she added.
Care Net president Melinda Delahoyde said in a written statement that the money is a drop in the bucket compared to the funding the abortion industry receives from the state and federal government.
"With Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, receiving more than $350 million taxpayer dollars a year, we’re still a long way from ‘common ground’ on the abortion issue," she said. "The Pregnancy Assistance Fund appears to be a small step in a positive direction to support teens and young women who make the courageous and selfless choice to give life to their babies despite life’s challenges."
The awards — the first federal grants of their kind — were largely inspired by Feminists for Life’s work for pregnant and parenting students.
FFL director Serrin Foster said in an email to LifeNews.com, "We are eager to help those at the state and federal level who are working to serve pregnant women and victims of violence, and in particular, to share our unique expertise with university and college administrators."
The HHS department says the grants will likely wind up in the hands of "key stakeholders" such as "institutions of higher education, high schools, community organizations, and State Attorneys General offices."
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