Report: At least 10 states giving federal welfare funds to anti-abortion clinics

At least 10 states are giving million of dollars in federal funds set aside to help needy families to anti-abortion clinics, according to accountability organization Equity Forward, which shared a report with The Guardian.

States including Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas are reportedly using money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, often referred to as welfare or direct aid cash, to put toward programs that work to dissuade people from getting abortions. 

The funds were reportedly given to “alternatives to abortion” programs, which are run through state budget programs that have been established through conservative legislatures.

Reforms made during the former Clinton administration resulted in “a fundamental shift in how cash assistance to families with children with little or no income was funded,” Ife Floyd, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the outlet. 

“States have control over those dollars in a way they didn’t necessarily have before,” Floyd said. 

Therefore, states have more control over how and when they use federal dollars for TANF, according to the news outlet. 

The news comes after underserved populations in the U.S. were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with many losing their jobs due to business closures. Low-income families relied on federal assistance throughout the pandemic due to widespread unemployment. 

Conservative lawmakers argue these anti-abortion clinics help the needy and women who find themselves with an unexpected pregnancy.

The clinics look to help women through their pregnancy and financial struggles as an alternative to abortion.

Pennsylvania was the first state to take funds from TANF and give it to an alternatives to abortion program in 2001, The Guardian noted. The effort was led by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R).

Many Republican-led states have moved to restrict abortion. Texas implemented a law in May that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Tags Anti abortion

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