The new budget passed by the Michigan legislature includes almost a million dollars in funding for a group that helps set up “crisis pregnancy centers” (read: anti-choice propaganda centers that lie to women). Gov. Rick Snyder is almost certain to sign it as is.
If the budget is approved by Gov. Rick Snyder (R), an anti-abortion organization named Real Alternatives will be the sole recipient of the $800,000 contract. The group had a similar partnership with Michigan during the state’s last budget cycle.
Real Alternatives helps crisis pregnancy centers — faith-based organizations that use deceptive tactics to counsel women against ending a pregnancy — navigate the requirements that regulate the separation of church and state. They stipulate that CPCs need to separate prayer and Bible studies from their other services. Through Real Alternatives’ help, CPCs can still receive state funds.
For instance, over the past 18 years, the organization has gotten millions of dollars through the Pennsylvania Health Department to administer the state’s “Alternatives to Abortion Services Program.” Real Alternatives has also advised similar abortion alternatives programs in Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida, and Minnesota…The Detroit News reports that family planning groups in Michigan are upset that the state is spending so much money on “abortion alternatives” when it could be funding preventative services like birth control instead. Real Alternatives’ $800,000 contract is roughly equivalent to the amount the state is spending on pregnancy prevention and family planning services in 2014 and 2015. On top of that, the state is discontinuing a public family planning program for low-income women at the end of this month.
“We all want to reduce unplanned pregnancy and abortion, but my conservative colleagues don’t want to talk about contraception, about what works,” State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D) pointed out. “They want to talk about using state resources to advance their religious ideologies.”