Pregnancy centers advocate for Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program

Pro-life state funding serves thousands of women in need

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Today, Ohio Right to Life and representatives from two pregnancy help centers advocated before the House Finance Committee for the continuation of the Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program.

The program, which was first funded in 2013, allocates discretionary TANF [Temporary Cash Assistance For Needy Families] dollars to the work of life-affirming pregnancy centers across the state.

Jessica Koehler, director of legislative affairs for Ohio Right to Life, testified in favor of renewing the program, explaining how Ohio’s 142 pregnancy help centers and maternity homes assist mothers and fathers in need. Diapers, formula, clothes, and cribs are just a few examples of the resources pregnancy centers offer. Many provide parenting classes, free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds as well. Some even provide STD screenings.

“Pregnancy help centers are vital to the protection of human life here in Ohio,” said Devin Scribner, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “Not only do these centers empower new mothers throughout pregnancy, they go above and beyond to ensure that she and her child are supported well beyond birth. Pregnancy centers are good for the state of Ohio, and we urge the Ohio House to continue to support this important program.”

After its initiation in 2013, the program was renewed in 2015 with double the funding, providing a total of $1 million to pregnancy centers who applied and were chosen as recipients. The program needs renewed again in the 2018-2019 Budget to continue.

Pat Todak, executive director of Heartbeat of Toledo, and Beverly Oswalt, director of development at Elizabeth’s New Life Center, joined Ohio Right to Life in supporting the program at the Statehouse today. Both of their centers have received funding from the program and say that they have been able to serve thousands of women because of it.

“Without a doubt, these centers provide a range of resources and services that make them integral to community life in cities and towns across the state,” said Scribner. “Pregnancy centers show us what it means to truly love the mother, the father and the baby. Through the Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program, the State of Ohio has helped these centers serve thousands of women and families. We ask that the Ohio House ensure this program remains alive and well so that our state can continue to lead the nation with compassionate pro-life policies.”