Did you know that over the last 15 years Texas lawmakers have funneled more than $200 million in public funds to unlicensed and unregulated anti-abortion centers that intentionally mislead pregnant people? They’re about to give them even more — $120 million over two years — if we don’t step in and fight back.
Anti-abortion centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers, masquerade as real clinics in order to dissuade people from getting abortion care. They’re a critical component of the anti-abortion movement’s dedicated campaign to stigmatize abortion care, providers, and people who get abortions. In recent years there has been a trend of these centers medicalizing in an attempt to legitimize themselves, but the goal is still the same – to shame and coerce Texans needing abortion care.
Anti-abortion centers don’t only harm individual Texans who go to them expecting care and find nothing but lies and propaganda — they build and reinforce the stigma that allows for the cruelest and most extreme abortion restrictions.
Propaganda, political agendas, and coercion do not belong in medicine.
Anti-abortion lawmakers created the “Alternatives to Abortion” budget item in 2005 by redirecting money from the Federal Temporary Assistance Aid to Needy Families grant (TANF). Since then, the program’s funding has increased by a whopping 1600% in 15 years.
These centers collect personal medical information from patients despite not being legitimate health centers, which is alarming because these centers are not governed by the privacy protections afforded under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Worse, there is no oversight on how Alternatives to Abortion funds are used. That’s because lawmakers didn’t write any legislation or direct any agency rulemaking, they just diverted the money to these fake clinics. That makes it the largest publicly-funded state program with no oversight, accountability standards, or transparency.
The lack of clarity and truth about anti-abortion centers is exactly what allows them to thrive, especially in Texas where many actual clinics have closed and where residents who need abortion care are desperate for resources amid a total abortion ban. While abortion clinics across the state have been forced to close, there are well over 200 anti-abortion centers across the state.
The Alternatives to Abortion program isn’t about public health — it’s about giving handouts to the anti-abortion movement. Instead of wasting our public funds, Texas needs to invest in proven public health strategies like expanding Medicaid and increasing family planning services, including allowing CHIP to cover birth control.
Are you ready to take action against anti-abortion extremists in Texas? Text ACTION to (833) 947-3755 or sign up below for SMS messages from Avow to get the latest updates and action alerts to fight back.