Georgia’s Lt. Governor Casey Cagle said what pro-life advocates in Georgia want to hear from all our pro-life lawmakers. In a letter addressed to the Department of Community Health and the Department of Public Health, Lt. Governor Cagle formally requested the Departments prepare “a plan to ensure not one penny of Georgia tax dollars is spent supporting Planned Parenthood clinics either through contracts or through provider payments.”

But in addition to this directive, Lt. Governor Cagle has actually highlighted the opportunity to support a tried and tested provider of women’s healthcare in our state: our medical pregnancy resource centers. These non-profit organizations exist across the state in urban and rural areas and provide free care for Georgia’s pregnant women.

At least eighty (80) pregnancy centers in Georgia offer free assistance to women. According to Donna Perry of Life Resources of Georgia, a statewide pregnancy help organization that assists sixty-five (65) of Georgia’s pregnancy centers, the centers saw 25,699 new clients and conducted 22,793 free pregnancy tests in 2014. LRG assists at least thirty-nine (39) actual pregnancy medical clinics which provided 9,706 free ultrasounds in 2014.

Numerous states have already seen the potential for meeting women’s healthcare needs through non-profit pregnancy centers. These include, but are not limited to, Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado and Texas. Some programs have existed for over twenty (20) years and have seen the benefit of directing state dollars to these truly non-profit organizations dedicated to healthy mothers and babies. For example, Minnesota routinely directs $2,000,000.00 of its annual budget through a carefully designed grant program offering alternatives to abortion. As a result, Minnesota has seen the rate of abortion go down as women are assisted in exercising the choice to save their unborn children.

Georgia Life Alliance is committed to exploring these positive alternatives and is grateful to Lt. Governor Cagle for his creative and direct instruction to our state agencies to look into these opportunities.