Florida leaders are taking action to stop tax dollars from flowing to the life-destroying abortion industry and redirect it to charities that help support mothers and babies instead.
Pro-life legislation (Senate Bill 300), sponsored by state Sen. Erin Grall, R-Fort Pierce, would provide $25 million to help pregnancy centers expand resources to pregnant and parenting families in need throughout the state. An additional $5 million would go to the state family planning program to provide contraception to low-income individuals.
“The $25 million appropriation is really to go to all families, all mothers who are looking for support at this time in their life,” Grall said Monday when the state Senate Health Policy Committee voted to pass her bill, which also bans most abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.
According to the Miami Herald and Reveal News, the bill would increase funding to the state alternatives to abortion program by five times; the state budgeted $4.45 million for the program in 2022.
Grall told the news outlet that she wants Florida to become a “beacon of hope for those who understand that life is sacred and must be protected.”
Pregnancy resource centers are community-based nonprofits that help pregnant mothers choose life for their unborn babies. Often, women have abortions because they fear they cannot afford a child, but pregnant mothers frequently change their minds when they find out that there are resources available to help them.
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Most pregnancy centers offer free ultrasounds, pregnancy and STI tests, baby and maternity clothes, cribs and diapers, counseling and referrals for additional support. There are nearly 160 in Florida, and many are located near abortion facilities so they can help mothers and fathers understand the facts about abortion, the value of their unborn child and the resources available to families in need.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Miami runs three pregnancy centers that receive funding through the state alternatives to abortion program, according to the report.
Angela Curatalo, director of the archdiocese Respect Life Ministry, told the news outlet that the funding increase would be an “immense” help to the families they serve.
Here’s more from the report:
She said her program would use the money for online parenting courses, supplies for those who are pregnant and new mothers, as well as administrative costs.
Women sometimes call the centers seeking to terminate a pregnancy, but staff there are clear that they do not offer or refer for abortions, Curatalo said. The centers offer counseling and free pregnancy tests, as well as ultrasounds that “show the mom that there is a baby,” she said. The centers then refer clients to medical providers for further care.
While Florida lawmakers work to ban abortions and expand support for mothers and babies, the state also is defunding the abortion industry. Earlier this month, state Attorney General Ashley Moody won a victory for life when a federal judge said the state may enforce a 2016 law that defunds the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
The law prohibits state and local taxpayer funding to abortion facilities and their affiliates. It is not clear how many state tax dollars go to abortion facilities every year, but Planned Parenthood estimated in its 2016 lawsuit that it would lose about $500,000 annually, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Currently, abortions are legal for any reason up to 15 weeks in Florida, and 82,192 abortions were reported last year, according to state health statistics.
If Grall’s bill passes, tens of thousands of unborn babies could be saved from abortion every year and mothers and fathers would have access to support to help them raise healthy families.