Proposed Bill Aims to Protect Pregnancy Centers from Federal Funding Restrictions

A group of Republican Congressmen are sponsoring legislation aimed at stopping the “Biden administration’s attack on pregnant and parenting mothers and families” and advancing a pro-choice agenda.

In January, Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) introduced the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act (HR 6918), which was created in response to a proposed rule released last fall by the Department of Health and Human Services. The rule could be interpreted to restrict states from using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for pregnancy centers. TANF provides $16.5 billion in federal funding to states for cash assistance for low-income families and to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

HR 6918 seeks to prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from discriminating against pregnancy resource centers that receive federal funds under TANF.

Fischbach, who is sponsoring the bill with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), It refuted the Biden Administration’s argument that pregnancy centers should not be eligible because the centers “only help women after they get pregnant.”

“This bill should be a no-brainer. Pregnancy centers not only serve pregnant women, they offer a wide range of services and support for mothers, fathers, and families, Fischbach said. “Pregnancy centers provide treatment, counseling, ultrasound, parenting and prenatal education, diapers, baby clothes, referrals for housing and transportation, and much more. They provide support to new mothers and their babies.”

In 2022, pregnancy centers across the United States met with more than 16 million clients and provided more than $358 million worth of goods and services, according to Hope for a New Generation, a collaboration of national survey data provided by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), Care Net, Heartbeat International, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. The report including data from 2,750 pregnancy centers in the United States.

Congressmen Jason Smith (R-MO), Chairman of the House’s Ways and Means Committee, spoke about the value pregnancy centers provide when he introduced HR 6918 for the markup on January 11.

“Today, we are taking steps to stop the Biden administration’s attacks on pregnant women and nursing mothers and families,” he said. “The Biden administration is deliberately trying to sidestep Congress to advance its political agenda.”

Smith commented that nothing in the bipartisan legislation that created TANF gives the administration authority to unfairly target pregnancy resource centers.

“These centers provide expectant mothers with everything from diapers and prenatal vitamins to transportation and parenting classes. However, the Biden administration is preparing to make it more difficult for mothers to choose life for their unborn child and take care of themselves and their baby,” said Jason Smith. “If this rule goes into effect, American women will have fewer alternatives to abortion and less access to maternal care.”

HR 6918 would prohibit the Administration for Children and Families from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing (with respect to certain pregnancy centers) a provision of a proposed rule that changes the criteria for the reasonable use of funds of state under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). ) program.

The bill has the support of pro-life organizations.

“Pregnancy centers serve millions of clients each year and offer hope and support for women and their unborn children,” said Carol Tobias, President of National Rights in Life. “This legislation protects access to maternal care by blocking the Biden Administration from implementing a rule that could jeopardize funding for pregnancy centers… babies.”

“Women across the country deserve to receive the important care and support they need when facing an unplanned pregnancy,” said the Honorable Marilyn Musgrave, SBA Pro-Life America’s vice president of government affairs. . “Nearly 3,000 pregnancy resource centers across the country stand ready to provide mothers and their families with the critical material, educational and emotional support they need, offering women real choices.”

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