Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed funding last week to help pregnant and parenting mothers who choose life for their babies.
Whitmer, a Democrat who claims to be pro-choice on abortion, used her line-item veto to cancel $700,000 for the Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services program in the state budget, MLive.com reports.
Since 2013, the program has helped more than 8,700 pregnant and parenting mothers and their babies, according to Real Alternatives, the nonprofit that oversees the program. Mothers receive free pregnancy tests, counseling, mentoring, baby clothing, diapers, furniture, referrals for financial and medical help, and other support through the program.
Kevin I. Bagatta, Esq., the president and CEO of Real Alternatives, said they were “perplexed” to hear about Whitmer’s veto.
“The Michigan taxpayer’s investment of $3.3 million dollars since 2013 in funding the work of Catholic Charities and pregnancy support centers has provided life-affirming counseling, mentoring and support to over 8,700 women during their unexpected pregnancy,” Bagatta said. “During that time, 17 percent of women served through the program, reported that someone pressured them to abort.”
He said the program not only helps mothers and children, it also saves money for taxpayers.
“According to cost saving formulas from the Center of Disease Control, the program saved the taxpayers of Michigan $161 million by preventing low-birth weight babies and $35 million in medical and societal costs due to the program’s high vaccination rates,” he said.
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“Women deserve better than this veto, and we look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to reinsert this funding into the state budget,” said Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate Rebecca Mastee.
Whitmer has said she is open to putting some of the money she vetoed back into the budget and asked lawmakers to come back to the table and negotiate a supplemental. So far, lawmakers have not committed to doing so.
According to Right to Life of Michigan, Whitmer also line-item vetoed funding to help pregnant and parenting college students. The $150,000 budgeted for the Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act would have helped colleges establish programs to help students who are pregnant or parenting children.
“Governor Whitmer is now an abortion ideologue,” Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. “If this program included funding for students to have abortions instead of helping them parent through school, she would have never touched it.”
By vetoing funding for these programs, Listing said Whitmer has made it clear that she supports abortion, not choice.
“Abortion advocates claim pro-life people don’t care about women facing crisis pregnancies,” she continued. “But when pro-life people try to help, these same abortion advocates do everything they can to shut us down.”
Despite the governor’s cuts, Listing said pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, maternity homes and other nonprofits will continue to provide support to families in need.