This week, Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee suggested allocating $100 million in public dollars to assist women experiencing “crisis pregnancies,” including other resources for crisis pregnancy clinics.
In his speech on Monday, Lee said the financing was essential to his commitment to pro-life principles. Various charitable groups will get the funding if they are authorized by the state assembly.
In his address, Lee stated, “This year, I am proposing $100 million to work with NGOs that support moms, dads, and families during crisis pregnancies. Our Division of Faith-Based Initiatives has a special capacity and a significant chance to include nonprofits and local organizations. In my opinion, it’s time to provide them with the tools they require in order to take on a larger role as we work to better assist families and children.”
“We might disagree on the finer points of policy, yet we can all agree that America is founded on a dedication to human dignity,” the speaker said. “This country saw a huge change last year in terms of defending the lives of unborn babies. We now all have the chance and the duty to help Tennessee families in need.”
The proposed financing comes after a wide state abortion ban went into force following the overthrow of Roe v. Wade back in June 2022, that gave the Volunteer State many of the toughest pro-life safeguards in the country. The funding proposal will be submitted to the state senate for approval.
The funds will go to nonprofit groups that offer direct resources for crisis pregnancies, counseling regarding pregnancy, adoption support, workforce support for new moms, housing support for mothers that need a place to live, and other “assistance services” that support mothers, according to the governor’s press secretary, Jade Byers.
Crisis pregnancy centers, which Tennessee has around 60 of, are among the organizations that are eligible for funds. According to the Associated Press, the $100 million in financing would seem to be greater than the sum of all state funding for such institutes in 2021–2022.
On behalf of moms who utilize TennCare, a health insurance program for those with lower incomes, Lee has also suggested utilizing state funding to cover newborns’ diapers for their first two years.
“After the Dobbs ruling last year, the state has the highest legal protection for unborn babies and the chance to greatly increase help for moms, kids, and families dealing with a crisis pregnancy, and Governor Lee is making it a major priority,” according to Byers.
Jonathan Skrmetti, the attorney general of Tennessee, and the attorneys general of 23 other states wrote to Yelp on Tuesday to inquire about any claimed bias against pregnancy assistance centers.