Human life is intrinsically valuable and should be protected by law from conception, which happens at fertilization, to natural death. The family is the sanctuary where parents teach children how they ought to live. The TCCB opposes direct threats to innocent human life, from conception to natural death, and promotes strong, stable, and healthy families. One way we do so is by supporting funding to abortion alternatives and for expectant mothers.
Every person has a right to life and to the material and spiritual support required to live a truly human existence, especially mothers and families experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) is a program crucial to promoting childbirth and providing support services to women, children, and families.
A2A services include:
- Counseling and mentoring
- Care coordination for prenatal services, including connecting clients to health programs
- Information about pregnancy and parenting (brochures, pamphlets, books and digital resources)
- Referrals to county and social service programs such as childcare, transportation, housing and state and federal benefit programs
- Classes on life skills, budgeting, parenting, stress management, job training, job placement and getting a GED certificate
- Material items such as car seats, cribs, maternity clothes, infant diapers and formula
- Support groups in maternity homes
The program is available to any Texas resident who is a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant and is: a pregnant woman, the biological father of an unborn child, the biological parent of a child 36 months or younger, an adoptive parent, a program participant who has experienced the loss of a child, or a parent or legal guardian of a pregnant child who is a program client.
A2A services are provided through a Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted service provider, such as the Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TCPN). These contractors and providers perform admirable work to serve women, children, and families. TCPN data shows they served 330,118 clients and adoptive parents through Aug. 31, 2020. 1,430,264 clients and adoptive parent visits were provided through Aug. 31, 2020. There are 170 TPCN providers of A2A services in Texas who serve Texans in 234 out of 254 counties with an administrative overhead of 3 percent.
We recommend the state use general revenue to fully fund the program, without TANF funding.
For the fiscal years ending 2022 and 2023, the A2A appropriations request in SB1 is $40,011,366, respectively. HHSC may transfer an additional $20M during the biennium if the agency determines that there is more demand. The TCCB supports maintaining or increasing this level of funding.
By supporting programs such as A2A, legislators can help foster a culture of life in Texas, and can accompany mothers with an unplanned pregnancy to welcome their children with “tender love.”