Healthy Moms Healthy Babies Appropriations Bill
H.B. 4399 – Rep. Mary Whiteford
On March 3, 2021, the elements of H.B. 4189 were incorporated into the larger budget for the Department of Health and Human Services, H.B. 4399. H.B. 4189 was introduced on February 9, 2021 and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. On February 10, 2021 a hearing was held and Right to Life of Michigan provided testimony in support of the bill.
H.B. 4399 is an appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services that will do several things to not only augment the Governor’s Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program but protect the unborn by diverting money away from abortion providers. The bill would appropriate money for marketing and advertising for infant adoptions, dispense monies to Pregnancy Resource Centers, and provide funding to enforce the 14-day rule for embryonic stem cell research. In addition, this proposed budget bill will replace the Federal Title X and Title V money with state funds which are legally banned from dispensing to abortion providers. Lastly, the provisions in the bill prevent a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program which will help grant conscience protections against using abortion tainted vaccines.
Last year the Governor created the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program to help reduce infant mortality and negative birth outcomes. It is a multi-million-dollar program with noble aims and includes home nurse visits, money for childcare, and increases in wages for front-line workers. As part of the plan to help struggling moms, H.B. 4189 was introduced with targeted funding to pregnancy resource centers, advertising adoption over abortion, and a maternal navigator program that promotes childbirth over abortion.
For several years, the state funded a program called Real Alternatives which was comprised of several pregnancy centers. Governor Whitmer vetoed appropriated money in the budget for that program, and subsequently, Real Alternatives no longer operates in Michigan. There are, however, over 150 pregnancy centers operating in Michigan—none of which receive any state funding. In addition, the federal government provides family planning money to the states via the Title X and Title V programs. That money is not subjected to the state funding prohibition for abortion providers and subsequently, much of it ends up going to Planned Parenthood.