State legislatures around the country should take note: Texas is putting its money where its pro-life mouth is. Recently, the Lone Star State’s lawmakers approved an extra $20 million for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program. That brings the total sum that Texas will spend on providing mothers with care, counseling, baby supplies and other resources over the next two years up to $100 million.
In announcing the legislative budget victory on its website, Texas Right to Life said, “In 2019, the program received $80 million in the state budget, but demand for life-affirming options is SKYROCKETING! A2A saw a 52% jump in services provided since then.
“Yesterday, we increased funding to $100 million! Think of how many more centers, like those in your community, can encourage parents to choose Life!”
A2A services include:
- Counseling, mentoring, educational information and classes on pregnancy, parenting, adoption, life skills and employment readiness.
- Material assistance, such as car seats, clothing, diapers and formula.
- Care coordination through referrals to government assistance programs and other social services programs.
- Call center for information and appointment scheduling.
- Housing and support services through maternity homes.
The popular program served over 100,000 women in fiscal year 2020, according to the program’s annual report, reflecting over one million discrete services provided. And as Texas Right to Life noted, the demand for help from women and families in need is growing.
The goals of A2A are life-affirming and laudable. The program is designed to:
- Reduce abortions and improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women practice sound health-related behaviors and improve prenatal nutrition;
- Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care for their children; and
- Improve families’ economic self-sufficiency by helping parents continue their education and find a job.
Although the Texas bill to increase the A2A budget seemed to be a no-brainer for a state with a strong pro-life public policy, Texas Right to Life reports that pro-abortion members of the state House of Representatives attempted to kill it with amendments designed to make the resulting bill objectionable to the chamber’s pro-life members. The attempt failed.
Robyn Chambers is the Executive Director of Advocacy for Children for Focus on the Family. She spoke with The Daily Citizen about the Texas legislative effort to save babies.
“Focus on the Family is excited to see an entire state take such a strong stance for life,” she said. “To see elected officials, pro-life organizations, private citizens and many others join in unity to protect women and their pre-born children gives us hope for the future. The Sanctity of Human Life team is committed to continue working with all the groups in Texas – we are stronger together. In fact, we are hosting a large pro-life event in Dallas TX on August 28, 2021 and would love to have these groups join us!”
Focus on the Family has been partnering with pregnancy resource centers around the country since 2004 through its Option Ultrasound program to provide training and grants for the purchase of ultrasound machines. Giving pregnant women considering an abortion the ability to see their baby on a sonogram has proven to be invaluable in changing hearts and minds. Since its inception, Option Ultrasound is credited with saving the lives of over 470,000 babies.
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