Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Could Soon Get State Grants

Elly Yu / WABE

A Georgia House committee passed a measure Tuesday that could provide up to $2 million in state grants for nonprofit pregnancy resource centers that discourage women from getting abortions.

The bill, SB 308, would set up the “Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program” through the state Department of Public Health.

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, the bill’s sponsor, said these centers provide positive alternatives for pregnant women, offering services like ultrasounds,  and could help reduce the number of abortions in the state.

“It’s a better thing for people to have better decisions,” Unterman said. 

Several people testified against the bill in the committee hearing, saying the centers don’t provide adequate medical care and can be misleading.

Rebecca DeHart said she visited a facility while in college when she was in need of critical medical care for what turned out to be an ovarian cyst that had burst.

“It felt very judgmental. It didn’t feel like I was there to be helped, and I felt very swindled. I thought it was a medical facility,” said DeHart, who’s also executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Unterman said the bill could help bring transparency to centers that opt in to the grant program because the centers would be under state oversight.

The bill has already passed the state Senate and now moves to the House Rules Committee, which will decide if the bill will get a vote in the full House.

If approved as is, the bill would then go to the governor for his signature to become law.