• Sat, Dec 1 2012

‘Pregnancy Resource Center’ That Uses Bible Study To Prevent Abortion Will Not Get Federal Funding – And They’re Pissed

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.  If not, eff you – you’re on your own.

I’ve paraphrased the mission statement of 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  refused a request for a $100,000 loan to expand their facilities due to the “inherently religious” nature of some of its programming. The USDA’s Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loans program makes and guarantees loans “to develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.” They do not fund “inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization,” as well activities where religious participation is not voluntary. From RH Reality Check:

 Care Net’s most troubling offering, as far as USDA officials were concerned, was a rewards-based learning program called “Learn to Earn,” wherein expectant parents had to take a certain number of parenting and Bible study classes in order to receive free baby supplies. (Care Net’s executive director has said the center has since suspended the Bible study requirement.) The center also offers, according to a brochure, a “bible centered program” called “Post Abortive Teaching and Healing” that “enables women to process their abortion-related experiences and emotions with the goal of healing and recovery.” In addition, Care Net conducts an abstinence-only sex-education class called “Why Am I Tempted?” 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 the USDA’s actions violated the Fair Housing Act and its constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under the law. “Care Net’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.

(photo: LiliGraphie/ Shutterstock.com)

Share This Post:
  • Melody

    When I was pregnant with my first (at 16) my mom dragged me to one of these places. It was awful. So much judgment and the incentives program was ridiculous. It was less childcare classes and more ‘let jesus save you’ classes. We went only twice, when my mom made us try it out and never went back. I’m not at all religious so the whole thing was torture. I already felt bad enough but having to sit for several hours with a bunch of holier-than-thou bible thumpers lecturing me on my choices was too much.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      That sounds awful.

  • b3v

    They’re all part of a network, so they all have the same programs, etc. Once upon a time, when I was much younger and desperate for money, I ended up working for one for 2 months…it’s a bizarre place, especially when you are not at all from a religious background :S I remember calling my mom, mid-translating something super anti-choice and asking her how I could write such an awful thing as a pro-choicer. Or I took some pamphlets home for me and my friends to check out and we would be horrified about all the lies they were spreading (did you know condoms are a government conspiracy?) Those were the times, and now it’s mostly an anecdote. Still drink my coffee in the Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) mug they gave me though. :)

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      Oh my god – that must have been really hard to do!

    • b3v

      It was. Glad I’ve had the experience because it reaffirmed my views, but I don’t think I could do it again. :)

      2012/12/1 Disqus

  • Katia

    It would be nice if there were people trying to prevent abortions and leaving the bible out of it… Maybe these groups should change their ways

  • http://twitter.com/MightyLetters T

    This is such a bigoted article. Oh for shame! A group that believes the Bible is true and will help people lead more moral lives (which, given that these women were clearly making bad choices to begin with is probably true) want to use this resource to help said women! How abusive! To give them food, shelter, clothing, education and medical support, and to want to share what they consider to be true at the same time—it’s almost like Planned Parenthood taking 300 million dollars in federal funding a year and providing little more than abortions and the contraceptive methods that fail and lead to more abortions, except, not really. People don’t come out of PP in better shape than they go in.

    Coincidentally I was at a home for women/babies, sort of like this one, for an article I’m writing. I couldn’t believe how much time, sweat, and money people were pouring into helping a dozen women and their children just because Jesus told them to help the poor.

    I noticed a comment below, about how it’s a shame that people can’t run these programs and leave the Bible out of it. Yes, Christians everywhere are waiting for atheists to start demonstrating that “you don’t need God to be a good person.”

    • jessica

      The bible says we should help those in need without expecting anything in return. Policies requiring those in need to first attend bible study classes before receiving the goods and assistance they need violates this principle. I think you need to read the good book again.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Abortions make up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. 3%, and none of it paid for by federal funding. The rest of their services include pap smears, breast exams, prenatal care, and STD screening for both women and men, among other OB/GYN services. Yes, some of that does include birth control, but hardly the majority. Pretty sure Jesus liked facts, too.

    • meteor_echo

      T, if I’m not mistaken, you’ve blamed a woman who was raped for getting an abortion before (in the comments to another article). You have no damn business criticizing Planned Parenthood. You really don’t.

    • lea

      Really, T? You honestly believe that you must believe in God to be a good person? How offensive. Maybe I should let Medicins sans Frontieres, The Red Cross, Amnesty International, UNICEF, SHARE, etc etc that they are just wasting their time and may as well quit with all of their good works.

    • LoveyDovey

      “(which, given that these women were clearly making bad choices to begin with is probably true)”

      Screw you. You don’t know their circumstances and it’s not your place to comment on them.

      “it’s almost like Planned Parenthood taking 300 million dollars in federal funding a year and providing little more than abortions and the contraceptive methods that fail and lead to more abortions, except, not really.”

      So much misinformation in one sentence. That’s amazing.

      Freedom of religion also means not forcing yours down the throat of another who doesn’t want it. That’s WHY the first pilgrims came to America.

    • Scarlette

      If there was a Troll seal of approval, all of your comments would get one.

    • CMJ

      Faith-Based Institutions are allowed to receive federal grant funds like secular organizations. The caveat being, however, that those funds can’t be used for religious things. For example, Habitat for Humanity (a faith-based organization) receives large amounts of money from the Federal Government. They do not use that money to promote any religion over another or make people participate in any religious counseling, classes, etc. Now, if a Muslim organization applied for grant funding to hold a mandatory Koran class for people in its affordable housing units, that would be ineligible for funding.

      So, you don’t have to “leave the Bible out of it” or even God. You just can’t use those Federal funds specifically for religious purposes (any religion).

      Here’s some of the rules and information:

      http://www.commerce.gov/office-secretary/center-faith-based-and-neighborhood-partnerships/frequently-asked-questions-faqs-ab

    • Melody

      So I never said that my choices were bad. Getting pregnant with my daughter was one of the best things to ever happen to me, and it’s made me the person I am today. I needed to grow up and take responsibility for my actions, which I had already begun to do before I went to that place. I don’t need god to be a good person, and I certainly didn’t need some zealots shaming me and degrading me and trying to make me admit that I was wrong, in order to get their discounted baby clothes and diapers. I managed to keep my kid clothed and happy all on my own, with my dignity intact and without their “help”. Why don’t you leave the judgment to your god and maybe do a little research before making sweeping statements about things that you clearly know next to nothing about.

  • meteor_echo

    MUAHAHAHAHA!
    Finally, crazy anti-choice people get the taste of the crap they do to Planned Parenthood offices. Seriously, this made my damn day :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carmen-Finnigan/841528248 Carmen Finnigan

    Well that is good news. If they want to spread lies and misinformation they can can do so on their own dime. Taking advantage of scared women is just wrong.

    • Derec

      Taking advantage of scared women is just wrong.

      Good thought by the way …

      plagiarism detector

  • Nat

    Wait a minute, wasn’t the conservative platform against government spending and government funding for social programs? Why would “Care Net’s attorneys hope the case will have a broader impact and will
    help lead to more religious groups being able to access government
    funding”, being conservative, want the government funding them and other religious groups? Hmmmm….

  • Pingback: How Internet Pregnancy Centers Lie To Desperate Women