ATLANTA, Georgia, March 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Representatives in the state of Georgia have approved a measure that would give pro-life women's centers as much as $2 million a year to help expectant mothers choose life.
The state House passed the bill on Friday by an overwhelming 105-52 vote after an intense, hour-long debate.
The measure allows state funding for organizations that do not perform, refer, or promote abortions to pregnant Georgia mothers, unless a doctor has said carrying the pregnancy to term would threaten the mother's life.
It does not include an exception for rape or incest.
State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said the undercover Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress inspired the decision to fund life-affirming pregnancy resource centers.
House Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, said that pro-life lawmakers should approve funding positive alternatives to abortion and “have a moral responsibility to say, 'If you make this choice, if you choose life and you need help, we’ll be there to help you.'”
Sne. Unterman said in February that, unlike federal funding for Planned Parenthood, “This $2 million, I can guarantee you, is going to be spent well,” because it's “going to have transparency.”
Funding a pro-life outreach, she said, allows legislators “to talk about something not so heinous and terrible, but talk about something that is very, very good.”
The bill passed the state Senate last month 38-16 but must pass again due to differences between the two chambers' versions.
The Senate has budgeted $2 million for the program, which would include approximately 70 pro-life women's centers, according to Sen. Unterman.