Ohio moms and babies are getting a wonderful Christmas present from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
The state announced Tuesday that it will provide $1 million to 13 pro-life pregnancy centers in the 2016-2017 state budget, according to Ohio Right to Life. Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the budget, which included the funding, in July; but the recipients of the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program funding were just announced this week.
“Ohio is blessed to be home to more than 140 pregnancy centers that are actively assisting new mothers during and after pregnancy,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “Centers like this year’s awardees continue to show us what it means to truly care for Ohio’s most vulnerable across the span of life. They are true community leaders who will turn every dollar they’ve earned into saved lives.”
These organizations provide free material assistance to pregnant women in need, as well as parenting classes for mothers and fathers alike, a service that many centers consider a core element in empowering families. Many also offer free pregnancy tests, diapers, maternity clothes, baby supplies, counseling and assistance referrals.
The 13 life-affirming organizations under the Ohio Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program are located throughout the state, according to a press release from Ohio Right to Life. Elizabeth’s New Life Center, for example, operates seven women’s centers in southwest Ohio, three in Montgomery County and others in Warren, Hamilton, and Shelby Counties; and they run a mobile center at college campuses, the release states. Another recipient, Heartbeat of Toledo, also is working to expand its two centers by purchasing a mobile unit, according to the press release.
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“Ohio’s pregnancy centers continue to represent the heart of the pro-life movement through active compassion,” said Krider. “We are grateful to our pro-life legislators and our pro-life governor for prioritizing funding for those who serve the pre-born and their mothers. Our team looks forward to the many ways in which this new funding will facilitate these organizations’ outreach to their communities.”
Several other states also provide funding for alternatives to abortion programs. Indiana recently expanded its program, awarding $3.5 million to life-affirming organizations across the state. Michigan and Pennsylvania also distribute money to programs that provide pregnancy and parenting support to families. These states’ right to life groups credit the programs with helping to reduce abortion rates by giving women hope and help for themselves and their babies.