Thursday, July 16, 2009

Urgent Action - Alternatives to Abortion Program in Jeopardy

From the Missouri Catholic Conference:

Action Alert

Alternatives to Abortion Program (ATA) In Jeopardy

Missouri Department of Health proposes funding cuts to ATA

In response to Governor's Nixon's request for state departments to identify programs that can be cut to address the current state budget crisis, the Missouri Department of Health is recommending cuts to the Alternatives to Abortion program (ATA). ATA funding for fiscal year 2010 could be cut entirely or reduced severely.

ATA provides a wide range of emergency services to women facing crisis pregnancies. The Missouri Department of Health contracts with a consortium of faith-based providers, including Catholic Charities of St. Louis and Kansas City-St. Joseph. Services provided include housing, counseling, prenatal care, job placement assistance, and adoption referrals. Research shows that providing alternative services encourages more women to carry their unborn child to term thereby reducing the number of abortions.

On Tuesday, July 14, Governor Nixon decided against cutting $1.5 million for the Tour of Missouri bike race. See this link for more information. Surely saving unborn children is more important than a bicycle race!

No one disputes that the state budget is under severe constraints. Governor Nixon plans to withhold $325 million from the state budget proposed by the Missouri General Assembly. Some budget cuts are certainly necessary, but the ATA program merits more budget protection than, say, enrichment programs for gifted children (surely, these kids can get along without enrichment for a year in order to save unborn children).

In the context of the multi-billion dollar state budget, the $1.9 million allocated for the ATA program represents a very modest investment toward saving unborn children and assisting women in crisis pregnancies. Ultimately, a state budget is a moral document: it shows what our state's priorities are. Missouri has been a leader in reducing abortions and the ATA program has been a key component of that pro-life effort. Cutting ATA would be a step backward in our state's efforts to save unborn children and to support pregnant women.

In January, Governor Nixon promised to fully fund ATA (see the MCC Press Release or Life News article). This is one campaign promise citizens need to make sure Governor Nixon keeps!

ACTION REQUESTED:

Contact Governor Nixon immediately!!! See contact information below.

THE MESSAGE:

Please don't cut funds from the Alternatives to Abortion program. This program offers women in crisis pregnancies a wide range of services, such as emergency housing, counseling, prenatal care and adoption referrals. ATA is one way our state can reduce abortions while supporting women in need. In the context of a multi-billion dollar state budget, the $1.9 million allocated for ATA is a very modest investment in protecting unborn children and helping women in crisis pregnancies. Saving unborn children is more important than a bicycle race!

Contact Gov. Nixon
PO Box 720
2nd Floor State Capital Bldg
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222