The Washington Post

Michigan’s budget includes $800,000 for abortion alternatives

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has a history of supporting anti-abortion measures in the state. (Carlos Osorio/AP) Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has a history of supporting anti-abortion measures in the state. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

An organization to help pregnant women in Michigan say “no” to abortion could see an $800,000 boost next year.

Under its newly passed budget, Michigan would expand its partnership with a faith-infused nonprofit group called Real Alternatives to fund “life-affirming” pregnancy centers throughout the state. Stocked with free diapers, toys and clothes, the center offers parenting classes and counseling on topics like adoption. Staff also advise women on how to tell their boyfriends and parents that they have decided to keep their baby.

Michigan’s funding of the abortion alternatives program would be roughly equal to the amount it spends on pregnancy prevention education and family planning services, according to the Detroit News. Support for the program has drawn criticism from groups like Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, which blast it as politically motivated.

The budget has not yet been approved by Gov. Rick Snyder (R), although he has described himself as “firmly pro-life” and has a history of signing anti-abortion legislation with the help of the Republican-controlled legislature. A spokesman for Snyder did not immediately return request for comment.

Real Alternatives’ biggest presence is in Pennsylvania, where it says it has helped lower Pennsylvania’s abortion rate by about 7 percent. The group has a $5.5 million-a-year contract with the Pennsylvania Health Department, working with 95 centers statewide.

This is the organization’s second shot in Michigan. The state also approved a $700,000 contract with Real Alternatives last year, although it paid just a fraction of the cost after the organization failed to sign up new providers during the first eight months of the contract.

“Because they’ve had difficulty getting providers on board, we do have concerns about the effectiveness of this program. We are looking at ways we can improve the reports we receive from them,” said Angela Minicuci, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The number of abortions in Michigan has dropped by about 20 percent over the past decade, totaling about 23,230 procedures in 2012, according to the health department.

Real Alternatives also spends about $70,000 a year to support programs across the country, according to its most recent financial statement. The organization has trained health workers in Louisiana and Texas, while advising states including Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida and Minnesota on their own abortion alternatives programs.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.