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In his state of the state speech, Tenn. Gov. Lee proposes $100 million grant program for crisis pregnancy centers

by | Feb 7, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

On Monday, in his State of the State address, Tennessee’s pro-life Gov. Bill Lee boldly announced that his administration seeks to establish a $100 million grant program to assist pregnancy help centers also know as crisis pregnancy centers.

“If approved, Tennessee would become one of the top spending states on such organizations known for dissuading people from getting an abortion,” Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise wrote for the Associated Press.

In another snarky sentence, Kruesi and Mattise wrote

The crisis pregnancy centers Lee is banking on, meanwhile, have shifted to touting that they offer pre-natal and post-birth classes.

“Shifted”? Hardly. At the core of these women helping centers is that they do far more than “dissuading” pregnant women and girls from aborting. They are there to show how, going forward, there is a better “solution” than killing their unborn children. They’ve offered pre-natal and post-birth classes for years.

“We can have a healthy debate about the policy specifics, but we can also agree that America is rooted in a commitment to human dignity,” Lee, who cruised to a second term, said. “There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”

Gov. Lee added, “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”

According to Kruesi and Mattise, in addition to the creation of a $100 million grant fund for crisis pregnancy centers, “Lee also proposed expanding paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents. His administration also plans to ask the federal government to cover the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for two years.”

Governmental assistance to women helping centers has shown a modest but steady growth, “An Associated Press tally based on state budget figures reveals that nearly $89 million was allocated to such centers across about a dozen states during the 2021-2022 fiscal year,” Kruesi and Mattise report. “A decade ago, the annual funding for the programs hovered around $17 million in about eight states.”

The story ends by noting that “Lee is also on the advisory board for the Hope Clinic for Women, a crisis pregnancy center in Tennessee.”

Categories: State Legislation