Baton Rouge, LA — The final Louisiana budget, LA H.B.1, is on its way to the Governor with an appropriation of $1.5 million in federal TANF dollars to fund abortion alternative services, such as crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes and adoption centers.
Louisiana is the second state in the nation to provide funding for life-affirming services, based on the program in Pennsylvania instituted by Governor Casey in 1995. The next step is the development of a private non-profit corporation to administer the funding.
The Louisiana initiative was led by the legal department of Americans United for Life in collaboration with the Louisiana Catholic Conference, Louisiana Right to Life, Louisiana Lawyers for Life, Real Alternatives of PA, the Caring Foundation and valuable assistance from the North Dakota Catholic Conference and the Florida Catholic Conference.
The appropriation was shepherded through the Louisiana House of Representatives by Representative Steve Scalise (R-Metairie), and championed in the Senate by Senator Nobel Ellington (D-Winnsboro).
Dorinda Bordlee, legislative counsel for Americans United for Life commended the Louisiana Legislature. “Louisiana has always led the nation in life-affirming legislation. This appropriation now provides much-needed funding to already existing pregnancy help centers to give hands-on help to women who courageously choose life for themselves and their children.” Bordlee also pointed out that the funding can be used to buy print, television and radio advertising to make women aware of existing abortion alternative services. “It will enable existing centers to hire trained counselors and keep their centers open for the same full-time hours that abortion counseling services have been keeping for years,” said Bordlee
Peg Kenny, executive director of the Louisiana Pro-Life Council said that it would be several months before the funding is available to qualified providers.