Are you pregnant? Scared? Unsure? Alone? Care Net Pregnancy Center is here for you. That is, if you plan on carrying God’s precious little gift (i.e. embryo) to term and breeding a little religious zealot. Â If not, eff you – you’re on your own.
I’ve paraphrased the mission statement ofÂ Care Net Pregnancy Center of Windham County, Vermont just a little. The scared, unsure, and alone part is on their website, but they sort of neglect to mention the fact that in order to receive any help or stuff from them, you need to complete an incentive-based program of bible study. Hmm.
The USDA Â refused a request for a $100,000 loan to expand their facilities due to the â€śinherently religiousâ€ť nature of some of its programming. TheÂ USDAâ€™sÂ Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loans programÂ makes and guarantees loans â€śto develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.â€ť They do not fund “inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization,â€ť as well activities where religious participation is not voluntary.Â From RH Reality Check:
Â Care Netâ€™s most troubling offering, as far as USDA officials were concerned, was a rewards-based learning program called â€śLearn to Earn,â€ť wherein expectant parents had to take a certain number of parenting and Bible study classes in order to receive free baby supplies. (Care Netâ€™s executive director has said the center has since suspended the Bible study requirement.) The center also offers, according to aÂ brochure, a â€śbible centered programâ€ť called â€śPost Abortive Teaching and Healingâ€ť that â€śenables women to process their abortion-related experiences and emotions with the goal of healing and recovery.â€ť In addition, Care Net conducts an abstinence-only sex-education class called â€śWhy Am I Tempted?â€ť or WAIT.
Abstinence only sex education and praying-away the desire to terminate a pregnancy? Why wouldn’t the government support that? Telling someone not to do something and then throwing a bible in their face is way more effective than actual sex-education, birth control and access to abortion.
The USDA made a sound decision here, but the Alliance Defending Freedom – an influential Conservative Christian Legal group – is all up in arms, saying theÂ USDAâ€™s actions violated the Fair Housing Act and its constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under the law. “Care Netâ€™s attorneys hope the case will have a broader impact and will help lead to more religious groups being able to access government funding.”
I think churches and religious organizations should use all the money they save not paying taxes to fund any “expansion” of their facilities. If that’s not enough, they can always reach a little deeper into the pockets of their congregations to push their religious agendas on scared, pregnant women who need help.