By Carley Crain, Repro Fund NH intern
Anti-Abortion Centers, also known as Crisis Pregnancy Centers, are able to operate and function by streams of income through 3 main groups: religious organizations, federal funding, and private donors.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) reports that AACs are funded at five times the rate compared to clinics that offer legitimate abortion and reproductive health services.
As many as 29 states receive public funding for AACs, according to NCRP, compared to clinics like Planned Parenthood, where public funding has been on the decline. AACs are “pulling in $278M in foundation support compared to $56M for legitimate clinics and abortion funds between 2015-2019.”
So what about New Hampshire anti-abortion centers and their funding? According to The American Independent, Governor Chris Sununu used $64,694.25 of taxpayer pandemic emergency money to help fund an anti-abortion center in Rochester, Options for Women. These funds were said to be used as a non-profit emergency relief grant.
Sununu’s thoughts on abortion and Anti-Abortion Centers are complex. While there are no intentions from him to decrease the 24-week ban, he recently said in a debate that he would support a law requiring doctors to provide the state with how many abortions they perform yearly. However, Sununu also has announced he is willing to add exemptions to the current 24-week ban for rape and incest but has endorsed candidates that want stricter abortion bans, such as Don Bolduc and Karoline Leavitt.
In New Hampshire, many AACs have ties to the Catholic Church or Christian organizations. At least 7 include faith and God on their websites or within their mission statements. New Hampshire Right to Live, arguably the most prominent pro-life organization in the Granite State, is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c3) organization for its educational trust fund, meaning they are tax-exempt.
Most of the other AACs in New Hampshire are also tax-exempt organizations, such as Pathways Pregnancy Center and Our Place in Manchester and Nashua. According to the IRS website, nonprofit 501(c3) organizations can not “attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” Additionally, organizations that fall under this certain non-profit category also “must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests.”
Many AAC websites include a mission statement that contradicts these requirements, usually saying something like, “We do not provide or refer for terminations or emergency contraception.” After looking at multiple AAC websites from NH, these mission statements were almost always located at the bottom of the page in small font. The rest of their websites advertise they offer all different types of options for women, but clearly, there is a specific anti-abortion angle to their organizations.
Legitimate clinics across the state are struggling with funding, unlike AACs. The New Hampshire Executive Council has voted numerous times to decrease public funding for Planned Parenthood New England, Lovering Health Center, and Equality Health Center. All three clinics provide crucial reproductive care for Granite Staters. The decision to cut funding for these programs will be detrimental to thousands of people in need, as Planned Parenthood reports that “in 2020, nearly 10,000 Granite Staters relied on PPNNE’s health centers for high-quality, affordable health care.”
Other states are tackling AACs in numerous ways– such as California and Massachusetts. The Reproductive FACT Act was passed in California and it “requires CPCs to offer information on where clients can obtain a full scope of low-cost or free reproductive health services. CPCs without a physician on staff must also disclose their unlicensed status.”
Friends don’t let friends go to AACs. Know the options before deciding to receive care from a facility like this and share this post with a loved one to spread the truth about how harmful AACs can be.