Ohio doubles its funding for pro-life pregnancy resource centers

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a two-year budget in late June that more than doubles the state’s funding for pregnancy resource centers (PRCs).

According to NBC 4, the new budget will allocate $14 million in state funding for the centers, up from $6 million in last year’s budget. Ohio Senate Majority Caucus spokesperson John Fortney said the money will be used as part of the Parenting and Pregnancy Program within the Department of Job and Family Services. This program, established in 2013, allocates grants to nonprofits, including PRCs.

Pregnancy resource centers offer help to women and families in need so that they feel more empowered to choose life for their children. The centers offer a variety of services including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and maternity and baby items like clothing, food, and furniture. The centers also refer women for medical support, the state nutrition program, maternity housing, professional counseling, child care, and prenatal care.

“The majority of women who have abortions report that they did it because they lacked resources and they lacked community,” Beth Vanderkooi, executive director of the Greater Columbus Right to Life, told NBC 4. “They’re alone – they don’t have a partner; they don’t have a family; they don’t have that support. Pregnancy centers are there to walk with women.”

Despite the help they offer, PRCs are widely vilified by abortion supporters who don’t seem to want women to have such support and help to raise their children; instead, their answer is abortion. This sentiment was expressed by Sen. Bride Rose Sweeney, who disagreed with the budget increase.

“It’s unfortunate that we are spending quite significantly – any public money – towards health care that is not trusting women to make their own decisions and get all of the information that they need,” Sweeney said.

A study conducted by Ohio State University in 2021 found that one in seven women in the state had received help from a PRC. Vanderkooi said that even more women will benefit from this budgetary increase.

“The real beauty of the work being done by pregnancy help centers is that they offer women another choice,” she said. “They offer women who think they have no support and they have no other options – they give them another option.”

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