April 22, 2015 Pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are a source of encouragement and support for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, but the centers are again under intense attack from the abortion lobby. The latest vitriol against PRCs concerns a Texas budget proposal to increase funding to Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program. PRCs account for less than half of the providers in the A2A program.
Of the 200+ PRCs in Texas, only 25 receive funding from the A2A, and more PRCs are awaiting enrollment in the A2A program when more funding is available. All Texas PRCs provide services for free to all clients regardless of the center’s income or budget, relying on private donations. The A2A can be a boost in funding for PRCs, enabling them to expand outreach, education, and services.
Timed to derail support for an A2A budget increase, a 3,500 word propaganda piece was featured in the Austin Chronicle to mischaracterize PRCs. The author recycled many of the claims made by a NARAL Pro-Choice Texas publication entitled, “CPCs Exposed.”
The NARAL report recounts undercover visits by abortion activists to PRCs attempting to glean information to debunk their practices, but failed to produce any revelations; therefore, NARAL released false and sensational claims about PRCs. Through the “CPCs Exposed” report, the Austin Chronicle failed to note that much of the PRC information found in the NARAL report did not reflect the standards followed by the PRCs that participate in the A2A, even though those PRCs were the target of the Chronicle’s attack.
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The fact that many PRCs offer religious counseling is a central objection in the piece. Opponents claim that this religious counseling is underwritten by taxpayers, when in fact women who wish to receive religious counseling sign a form indicating this fact, and that counseling is subsequently ineligible for reimbursements through the A2A program. The PRC worker who renders A2A-billable services is not even allowed, under A2A rules, to administer any religious counseling requested by the client.
Oversight of PRC funding through the A2A is another major point of misinformation among opponents, who falsely claim that the “TPCN does not publicly release information about the funding they give to each organization, making it impossible to know how much taxpayer money is going to individual CPC or to CPCs as a whole.” In reality, the TPCN’s quarterly reports are publicly available and include over 450 pages of data per year detailing all quarterly and yearly reimbursements for each service provider.
Pregnancy resource centers in the A2A connect women with the resources they need to make non-abortion (as the name “Alternatives to Abortion” implies) pregnancy decisions—adoption or parenting. This objective is transparent among pregnancy resource centers. Those who seek to cripple this small but effective program betray their abortion agenda.
LifeNews Note: Melissa Conway is the Director of External Relations for Texas Right to Life.