Funding for Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) and responsible parenting programs are included in the proposed budget that the Missouri House will consider next week. HB 11, the bill providing funding for the Department of Social Services, includes over $6 million for alternatives to abortion programs and responsible parenting.
As the bill is currently written, funding for both ATA and responsible parenting will come solely from federal funds–the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. There may be discussion in the Senate of including some funding from state general revenue as well.
The ATA program has been around for many years and assists women facing crisis pregnancies by offering referrals for prenatal care, counseling, housing assistance, and help in finding work. The parenting initiative, known commonly as the “fatherhood initiative”, helps absent parents reconnect with their families. This is particularly an issue of dads being absent and not being involved in raising their children.