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Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lose Funding Source with the Rejection of Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in 25 States

According to the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding, 25 states are no longer participating in this program. Moreover, ACF acknowledges that two more states will be out at the end of Fiscal Year 2008. With states rejecting Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are losing a significant funding source. 

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are anti-choice organizations that often pose as family planning/reproductive health clinics. They typically advertise as providing medical services and then use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women facing unintended pregnancy from exercising their right to choose. 
Though CPCs began as medical centers for women, as the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry grew, CPCs soon developed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and sharply increased their federal funding. CPCs teach abstinence-only-until-marriage on site, as well is in communities and public schools.[i]

A July 2006 report released by Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) titled False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers found that CPCs had received over $30 million in federal funding under the Bush administration between 2001 and 2005.[ii] Virtually all of that funding has been funneled through federal abstinence-only-until-marriage funding streams, including the Title V and Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE).[iii]

In Fiscal Year 2007, 34 CPCs in 18 states received Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding totaling nearly $3 million. In addition, 22 CPCs across the country also received CBAE funding, which comes directly from ACF, totaling almost 12 million dollars in that same year. A number of CPCs, like New Hope Center, Inc. in Kentucky, received both Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage and CBAE funding in Fiscal Year 2007. 

Certain states have greatly increased their investment in these organizations.  In particular, CPCs in Kentucky are currently the only type of community-based organization to receive any of that state’s Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funds. Between Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007, Illinois doubled the number of Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage-funded CPCs from two to four. CPCs in Illinois are mainly concentrated in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago. The same trend follows in Missouri, where the state uses the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program to fund three CPCs —two of which are located in low-income neighborhoods of St. Louis and Kansas City.

As states withdraw from the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program, however, some CPCs are losing funding. Between Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007, three CPCs lost their funding in two states (Colorado and Montana), totaling nearly $100,000. In Fiscal Year 2007, six CPCs in four geographically diverse states (Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee) lost their funding totaling $892,712. In fact, since 2006, CPCs have lost nearly $1 million in Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding.  
“It is encouraging to see that as states move away from the harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs supported by Title V funds, more and more CPCs are losing their funding and with it their ability to spread misinformation to young people,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. “We hope that moving forward more states decide to opt out of the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding, and that those states who continue to receive the funds reconsider their investments into these dishonest establishments.”

[i] False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers (United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform—Minority Staff, Special Investigations Division, 17 July 2006).

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.