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Hyde-Smith leads introduction of federal bills to support and protect pregnancy centers

by | Jan 19, 2024

With House Counterparts, Senate Pro-Life Caucus Chair Proposes Federal Tax Credits to Boost Pro-Life Services for Pregnant Women, Mothers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of the national March for Life, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) led the introduction of two bills to support and protect pregnancy centers and maternity homes, including a proposal to create the first-ever federal tax credit to spur greater private sector donations for these centers.

The Pregnancy Center Support Act would implement a 50 percent tax credit to incentivize voluntary contributions to pregnancy centers that provide life-affirming support to help pregnant mothers to choose life for their babies instead of abortion.  U.S. Representative Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) introduced a House companion measure.

“The life-affirming impact of pregnancy centers is considerable and growing following the Dobbs decision that allows life-saving laws to take effect across America,” said Hyde-Smith, chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus.  “Despite what the radical pro-abortion left wants us to believe, the pro-life movement is also a pro-woman movement with a long history of empowering women during pregnancy and after.  This legislation builds on that history by creating the means for pregnancy centers to access much-needed resources to meet the growing demands of supporting women and families in a post-Roe America.”

“Pregnancy resource centers across the United States value the sanctity of life and make it their mission to care for women and families in their time of need,” Miller said.  “Many lives have been saved because of volunteers who provide services such as parenting education, job training, ultrasounds, diapers and baby clothes, and more to expecting parents.  This tax credit will encourage individual donations in support of pregnancy resource centers to ensure they can continue providing free services to mothers and families. I look forward to this bill’s passage in Congress as we continue the fight for life.”

The Pregnancy Center Support Act would:

  • Allow for a nonrefundable tax credit (i.e. a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed) of 50 percent of contributions to qualifying pregnancy centers, up to $10,000 in donations per year ($20,000 for joint filers), for individuals and businesses.
  • Allow the credit to be available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they itemize or take the standard deduction.  For filers who itemize, amounts taken into account for this credit could not be double counted for the charitable contribution deduction.  Any amounts of the credit that exceed taxes owed may be carried forward up to five years for individuals. 

Pregnancy centers rely on the donations and time of individuals who are committed to caring for the needs of women, children, and their families.  In 2022, 2,750 pregnancy centers met with clients more than 16 million times and provided over $358 million in free goods and services.  Mississippi,  Missouri, and Louisiana enacted laws that provide tax credits for private donations to pregnancy centers, and more states are considering similar laws.

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), cosponsored the Pregnancy Center Support Act. 

It is supported by March for Life Action, Students for Life, Catholic Vote, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life, Human Coalition Action, Heartbeat International, Care Net, National Right to Life, SBA Pro-Life America, American Family Association Action, Concerned Women for America LAC, the National Association of State Pregnancy Wellness Coalitions, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Hyde-Smith also teamed with House Pro-Life Caucus Chair Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) to introduce the Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act.  This legislation would nullify a Biden administration proposed rule that would deny Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program funding to pregnancy centers even if they meet one or more of TANF statutory purposes.

“With this bill, we’re fighting the Biden administration’s targeted efforts to strip away millions of dollars from pregnancy centers through TANF.  Our bill would block the administration’s proposed action and protect pregnancy centers that are serving women and their born and unborn children,” Hyde-Smith said.

The Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act bill would:

  • Clarify the longstanding authority of States to provide TANF funds to pregnancy centers and alternatives to abortion programs for services that fulfill the purposes of TANF.
  • Provide a private right of action to protect pregnancy centers that suffer federal discrimination.

The Senate measure is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).

This measure also has the support of SBA Pro-Life America, National Right to Life, March for Life Action, Americans United for Life, Ethics & Public Policy Center, HHS Accountability Project, Catholic Vote, Heartbeat International, Care Net, National Right to Life, Students for Life Action, and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

In December, Hyde-Smith and Smith led bicameral opposition to the proposed rule that targets the use of TANF funding by pregnancy centers and alternatives to abortion programs.