‘Faith-based’ Pregnancy Centers Get Fla. State Funding

Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Florida have been receiving taxpayer subsidies to distribute inaccurate anti-abortion information to women, according to a recent report.

The Florida centers are funded by the state through the Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program and managed by the Department of Health. Former Gov. Jeb Bush issued an executive order that launched the program on Nov. 4, 2004, and initial contracts were awarded to various groups to manage the clinics.

The Florida Independent reported that the Pregnancy Care Network received more than $3.27 million in state grants in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to manage 55 centers that have distributed anti-abortion information to women over the years.

Five of the centers are run by Respect Life Ministry, which is affiliated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami. The centers exist “to uphold the sanctity and dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.”

The Respect Life pregnancy center in Hollywood, Fla., distributes information by Dr. David Reardon, director of the anti-abortion Elliot Institute. One brochure states, “Many studies have shown abortion to be connected to: clinical depression, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide.”

Critics said there is no scientific evidence showing a link between abortion and these problems.