Lawmakers in Michigan are considering ending public funding for a program that counsels pregnant women on alternatives to abortion, prompting concern from the Michigan Catholic Conference, which has been advocating for the program since its inception five years ago.
The program, administered by a nonprofit called Real Alternatives, began in Pennsylvania in 1996 and has since helped thousands of women, across several states, facing unplanned pregnancies by providing counseling and material resources such as baby formula and other necessities. The program expanded its operations to Michigan beginning in June 2014 with the backing of the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC).
Two Democratic Michigan state senators introduced amendments to the state budget this year to block funding for Real Alternatives, which failed to pass. The funding for the program— $700,000 in total— is still included in the legislature’s budget for 2020.