Groups warn against Biden's 'twisted attempt' to cut federal funding for pro-life pregnancy centers

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-lifers are alarmed by a proposed Biden administration rule that could potentially end federal funding for pregnancy resource centers and other organizations that provide free resources and counseling services to pregnant women in need. 

In October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed tightening regulations for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a national resource for low-income families. The program rules outlined the purposes of TANF, which include preventing and reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies. 

The proposed rule claims that the link between pro-life pregnancy centers and preventing or reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies “is tenuous or non-existent,” noting that these centers counsel women who are already pregnant. The suggested rule would require states that provide funding for pregnancy centers and similar programs to demonstrate that they accomplish the “TANF purpose.” 

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“If pregnancy prevention programming is a part of an ongoing program, such as year-round after-school programming, only those costs associated with delivery of pregnancy prevention should be cost allocated and non-TANF funds used to fund other activities,” the rule states. 

Kristi Hamrick, vice president of media and policy for Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action, questioned why Planned Parenthood continues to receive taxpayer funding without issue compared to pregnancy resource centers. 

“It seems a violation of the regulations along with the letter and spirit of the law to cut out groups serving pregnant and parenting mothers while supporting those who want to make sure that your parenthood plans include zero children,” Hamrick told The Christian Post about the proposed rule.

“Especially as young families are struggling in Biden's economy, the many hundreds of pregnancy care centers set up in communities across America need to be utilized to provide support.” 

The pro-life advocate argued that the Biden administration’s opposition to funding pregnancy resource centers is indicative of what Hamrick described as “abortion bias” among the Democratic Party’s leadership. She also asserted that abortion appears to be the only “choice” that the Biden administration supports. 

In response to the proposed rule change, U.S. Sens. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the "Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act" earlier this month. The act would prohibit the secretary of Health and Human Services from restricting funding for pregnancy centers.

As Risch noted in his press release announcing the legislation, there are more than 2,700 pregnancy centers throughout the United States. According to a December 2023 report released by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, pregnancy centers provided more than $350 million worth of services and goods in 2022. 

The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America joined multiple advocacy groups in supporting the legislation introduced by Risch and Scott. Kelsey Pritchard, SBA Pro-Life America’s director of state public affairs, told CP the proposed rule change to TANF under the Biden administration is not surprising. 

“It's really a twisted attempt on their part to hinder pregnancy centers' ability to serve women who may experience an unplanned pregnancy,” Pritchard said. “And it really demonstrates that the Biden administration is not pro-choice; they are pro-abortion.” 

After the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June 2022, a decision that restored regulatory authority over abortion to the states, Pritchard said she noticed an increase in political attacks against pregnancy resource centers. 

Last October, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., held a press conference outside one pregnancy center, vowing that he would “shut down these brainwashing cult clinics.”

Pregnancy centers in Pennsylvania also faced a new challenge after Gov. Josh Shapiro announced in August an end to a contract with Real Alternatives, an organization that distributed funds to pregnancy resource centers. 

Pritchard believes there is some good news, however, citing a poll CP reviewed in 2022 that found 74% of Americans surveyed support the public funding of pro-life pregnancy centers after learning about their services. Forty-two percent of 1,600 likely voters said they strongly support the public funding of pro-life pregnancy centers, and an additional 32% said they somewhat support the idea.

“People value these pregnancy centers and what they offer to our communities and how they help women,” Pritchard said. “And so, I think it's a matter of people being more vocal in that support, in expressing their opposition to this extremism that we're seeing from Biden and the other Democrats.”

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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