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Pro-life pilgrims demonstrate at the Nation's Capital for the 2024 national March for Life Pro-life pilgrims demonstrate at the Nation's Capital for the 2024 national March for Life Lisa Bourne

Federal lawmakers advance pro-life measures as thousands gather to march for life

Pro-life Members of the U.S. Congress took several legislative actions this week in support of pregnancy help. The measures coincided with the 51st national March for Life in Washington D.C., which had the theme Pro-Life: With Every Woman, For Every Child, referencing pregnancy help. 

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed two pro-life bills on Thursday; H.R.6914, the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act, and H.R.6918, the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act.

The Pregnant Students' Rights Act aims to inform pregnant students of their rights and the resources available to them at U.S. colleges and universities. The bill also amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to mandate that institutions of higher education to provide students with the following:

1.      A list of the resources that exist to help pregnant students and students who are caring for a baby after birth.

2.      Information about the accommodation available for pregnant and parenting students.

3.      Information on how to file a complaint with the Department of Education based on Title IX and file a discrimination complaint with the institution of higher education.

The Pregnant Students’ Rights Act was sponsored by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 212-207.

The Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act (H.R. 6918) blocks the Department of Health and Human Services from finalizing the Biden Administration’s proposed rule change governing the Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program regarding payments for any pregnancy center.

The proposed rule published October 2, 2023, targets pregnancy centers, suggesting that TANF funds may not be given to them. 

Numerous states fund Alternatives to Abortion programs, including Louisiana, which currently provided $1 million to pregnancy centers via TANF), Indiana, which currently provided $2.5 million through TANF, and Ohio, which provided $7.5 million between FY20 to FY21.

The Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act was sponsored by Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) and passed the House of Representatives in a 214-208 vote.

Tweet This: “The life-affirming impact of pregnancy centers is considerable and growing" - Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus

Also on Thursday, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) led the introduction of two bills to support and protect pregnancy centers and maternity homes, including the first of its kind proposal to create a federal tax credit to incentivize more private sector donations for the pregnancy help centers.

The Pregnancy Center Support Act would implement a 50 percent tax credit to incentivize voluntary contributions to pregnancy centers that provide life-affirming support to help pregnant mothers to choose life for their babies. U.S. Representative Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) introduced a House companion measure.

The Pregnancy Center Support Act would:

• Allow for a nonrefundable tax credit (i.e., a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed) of 50 percent of contributions to qualifying pregnancy centers, up to $10,000 in donations per year ($20,000 for joint filers), for individuals and businesses.

• Allow the credit to be available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they itemize or take the standard deduction. For filers who itemize, amounts taken into account for this credit could not be double counted for the charitable contribution deduction. Any amounts of the credit that exceed taxes owed may be carried forward for up to five years for individuals.

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), were cosponsors of the Pregnancy Center Support Act.

The bill has the support of numerous pro-life organizations, including March for Life Action, Students for Life, Catholic Vote, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life, Human Coalition Action, Heartbeat International, Care Net, National Right to Life, SBA Pro-Life America, American Family Association Action, Concerned Women for America LAC, the National Association of State Pregnancy Wellness Coalitions, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Hyde-Smith also joined with House Pro-Life Caucus Chair Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) to introduce the Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act. This bill would annul the Biden administration proposed rule that would disallow Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program funds to pregnancy centers even when they meet one or more of TANF’s statutory purposes.

The Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act bill would:

• Clarify the longstanding authority of States to provide TANF funds to pregnancy centers and alternatives to abortion programs for services that fulfill the purposes of TANF.

• Provide a private right of action to protect pregnancy centers that suffer federal discrimination.

Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) are cosponsors.

The Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act also has the support of SBA Pro-Life America, National Right to Life, March for Life Action, Americans United for Life, Ethics & Public Policy Center, HHS Accountability Project, Catholic Vote, Heartbeat International, Care Net, National Right to Life, Students for Life Action, and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

In December, Hyde-Smith and Smith had led bicameral opposition to the Biden administration proposed rule that targets the use of TANF funding by pregnancy centers and alternatives to abortion programs.

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.

Lisa Bourne

Lisa Bourne is Managing Editor of Pregnancy Help News and Content Writer for Heartbeat International. She has worked for more than 20 years in journalism and communication for the pro-life community, the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and secular media. 

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