Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoes funding aimed at promoting adoption, aiding women

Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer

Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed $16 million in funding for alternatives to abortion in the state’s budget. Some of the provisions she cut included resources that would help encourage adoption, promote alternatives to abortion, and give funding to pregnancy resource centers, which provide much-needed help to pregnant women in need.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Whitmer said that the initiatives “would have used state funding to pursue an anti-abortion political agenda.”

The funds she vetoed had been allocated for the following:

  • $10 million “to fund marketing programs that promote the adoption of infants and to develop factual educational information materials on adoption as an alternative to abortion, including the ability of the birth mother to establish a pre-birth plan.”
  • $3 million to use within nonprofits to create a “maternal navigator pilot program” which would promote alternatives to abortion
  • $1.5 million for pregnancy resource centers
  • $1 million for colleges and universities to help pregnant mothers and parents, provided the organizations do not promote abortion
  • $700,000 for “pregnancy and parenting support services program, which must promote childbirth, alternatives to abortion, and grief counseling.”
  • $50,000 for the health department to inform the public that taxpayer funds are not used for elective abortions

“The vetoes in SB 82 and HB 4400 relate to funding that would be targeted to programs or organizations that purportedly focus on maternal health, but in reality do not fully support reproductive health and choice,” said the Governor’s spokesman, Bobby Leddy.

READ: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: Abortion is ‘life-sustaining’

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan lauded the move, with executive director Nicole Wells saying, “In vetoing the blatantly anti-abortion provisions inserted by legislative Republicans, Governor Whitmer put people before politics and demonstrated her commitment to protecting access to safe, legal abortion in Michigan,” Wells said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to make their own medical decisions free from interference from certain politicians.”

In reality, though, there was nothing in the funding that would have prevented women from obtaining abortions. Instead, by allocating funds for adoption resources and pregnancy centers, the money would have ensured that women had more choices, and greater opportunity to keep their children. The statement is a clear indication that abortion advocates don’t want women to have choices available to them — they simply want abortion to be the only option.

Pro-life organization Michigan Right to Life expressed its dismay at Whitmer’s veto. “It is very disappointing that the governor is unwilling to help women in crisis pregnancies who are looking for assistance to carry her child to term,” legislative director Genevieve Marnon told the Detroit Free Press. “In addition, with 29,669 abortions occurring in the state last year and only a few hundred infant adoptions, it is again very disappointing that she is unwilling to help advertise and encourage this life-giving and family-building alternative to abortion.”

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