LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Ahead of the signing of the state budget, officials with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said more than $20 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to promote pregnancy resources are expected to be vetoed because the governor feels they don’t tackle the real problem.
The list of expected cuts ranges from funding for a tax credit for adoptive parents to grants for pregnancy resource centers that critics said do not give pregnant women a clear idea of all their medical options.
The legislative director with Right to Life Michigan said the veto will do more harm than good.
“This governor is all abortion all the time and anything that diverts anything from abortion, she doesn’t like. It’s disappointing but not surprising,” director Genevieve Marnon said.
Whitmer is expected to veto $21.4 million in line items from the state budget. Among the cuts: $2 million that would be used to fund an adoptive parent tax credit, and $1.5 million in grants for nonprofit pregnancy resource centers. Another $3 million grant program would award funding to nonprofits that provide counseling that focus on childbirth and alternatives to abortion.
Marnon called the cuts “disappointing” and pushed back on the idea that the resource centers do not give women the full help they need.
“There are 150 of them and they are all funded by nonprofit dollars through voluntary donations from pro-life people. And they give out millions of dollars worth of goods and services throughout the state,” Marnon said.
But state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, said the items carried a load of questions and she worries the funding would create a barrier to care.
“When you actively prohibit pregnant people from accessing abortion or seeking out resources for abortion care, and that is what these crisis pregnancy centers are set up to do. They are not set up to make sure people have every resources available. They have an ulterior motive,” Pohutsky said.
She said the tax credit lacked structure and failed to provide a real solution to some that are struggling with a pregnancy. Pohutsky said she would rather see funding used to ensure that Michiganders had a full understanding of their options as well as reminders that abortions are still being offered in the state.
The budget is expected to be signed Wednesday.