Tennessee governor proposes $100 million grant for pro-life pregnancy centers

by Jacob Fuller

Vicky Arias, FISM News

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Monday proposed a $100 million grant to help fund pro-life crisis pregnancy centers throughout Tennessee.

Pregnancy centers typically provide counseling for pregnant mothers, free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, and adoption information.

In his State of the State address, Lee declared the need to protect babies in the womb and beyond.

“Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,” Lee stated. “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”

In addition to the pregnancy center support, Lee also proposed millions of dollars in funding to extend postpartum medical coverage, expand access to the state’s Medicaid program for pregnant women, provide more funding for adoption care, and issue eligibility for a year of continuous aid for low-income children.

Lee’s plan also included a proposal for Medicaid recipients to receive free diapers for the first two years of their baby’s life and a “paid parental-leave program for state employees.”

When speaking about the potential diaper program, Lee explained that, if it gets passed, it would “be the first Medicaid program in the nation to implement [that] kind of support.”

Tennessee’s legislature, which is made up of a Republican majority, will likely approve many, if not all, of Lee’s proposals.

In addition to the pro-life measures proposed by Gov. Lee, Tennessee previously enacted anti-abortion laws last year in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

“There was a significant shift in this country last year … [in] protecting the lives of the unborn,” Lee said. “We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”

In a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Lieutenant Gov. of Tenn., Randy McNally, issued his support of Lee’s pro-life measures.

“Now more than ever, it is important to remember that being pro-life is more than just being anti-abortion,” McNally said. “In a post-Dobbs world, it is essential to support mothers in crises and new families in general … I wholeheartedly support the direction of state dollars to the crisis pregnancy centers most qualified to help new mothers. I am grateful for Governor Lee’s leadership on [the] issue and support this holistic pro-life approach wholeheartedly.”

Valerie Millsapps, CEO of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Tennessee, told the Catholic News Agency that “the governor’s proposals are ‘just the beginning of what [Tennessee] can do to foster environments where families flourish.’”

If you would like to help clinics assist mothers and not-yet-born babies, please consider making a donation to our partners at Pre-Born! as they continue their life-saving work offering free ultrasounds and counseling, and sharing the message of Jesus Christ.