This week, Ohio Right to Life urged the Ohio Senate to fund the Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program in the Ohio Budget.
To make our case, we collaborated with pregnancy center representatives from across Ohio, inviting them to the Statehouse to testify in favor of the program. This program, which was created in 2013, provides funding to pregnancy centers through a competitive application process with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. It was initially funded at $500,000 during the program's first two years. In 2015, the amount was doubled to $1 million.
With these funds, pregnancy centers have served over 4,000 TANF-eligible women and their children. Elizabeth's New Life Center runs 6 women's centers in Dayton and has received funding for the last two cycles. Rosie Prier, director of operations at ENLC, explained in testimony how the funds have positively impacted their services:
"With OPP funding, we have served 2,766 TANF-eligible clients who are pregnant or have a child under 12 months old. Of these, 90% were pregnant. We provided pregnancy tests to all, prenatal vitamins to 1,848 and provided 2,796 ultrasound scans, all free of charge. Because so many low-income women come to us to find out if they are pregnant, we are in a unique position to encourage early prenatal care, which in turn reduces infant mortality. With OPP funding, we have initiated educational series including: Bonding with Your Unborn Baby, Childbirth Education, Breastfeeding, Safe Sleep, Car Seat Safety and Parenting the Newborn."
A few hours north of Elizabeth's New Life Center, Heartbeat of Toledo is making a similar impact.
"During Heartbeat’s last fiscal year, Heartbeat had 5,792 client visits and offered 1,075 pregnancy tests and 1,349 ultrasounds," said Pat Todak. "Every woman with a positive test is provided free prenatal vitamins."
Heartbeat of Toledo and Elizabeth's New Life Center represent just two of the pregnancy help centers that are making a difference through the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program. There are over 100 other centers in the state of Ohio that could apply for this funding, as well! Julie Moore, president of PDHC, testified in favor of the program yesterday, explaining the key role that pregnancy centers are in to reach families who are most at-risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, like infant mortality.
Please join Ohio Right to Life in supporting Ohio's pregnancy centers through the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program! It takes just one minute to send a letter to your State Senator using our Legislative Action Center. Click here to send yours today!