Texas has allocated $20 million in its 2018-2019 budget to go to a pro-life program that offers alternatives to abortion and provides services to new parents.
“If they’re self-sufficient through the process of childbirth and afterward, that saves the state money and makes for much happier women and children and families,” Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman said, according to The Texas Tribune. The $20 million brings the program’s total operating budget to over $38 million.
The Alternatives to Abortion program provides pregnant women with support groups in maternity homes and referrals to community and social service programs like child care, transportation, and housing. It also offers support to new parents on how to best handle the stress of raising a new life. The program also has classes on life skills, stress management, budgeting, as well as items that new parents need like car seats, maternity clothes, infant diapers, and formula.
“Clearly the state is prioritizing ideology over public health because a true alternative to abortion would be ensuring access to health care, especially family planning,” NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby said, according to The Texas Tribune.
The new funds will be used to provide services not just for newborns but also for youngsters up to age 3, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which is in charge of overseeing the Alternatives to Abortion program. It intends to provide pregnant mothers with access to Medicaid services, food stamps, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The new funds will also go toward job training in order to fuel “greater self-sufficiency and lower reliance on health and human service programs across the lifespan,” the Health and Human Services Commission report says.
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