Target: Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Goal: Suspend federally-funded contract with biased anti-abortion organization.
Federal dollars intended to assist low-income families are being used to force anti-choice ideals on women in Indiana. Governor Mike Pence allotted another $3.5 million in funding to the anti-abortion group Real Alternatives following an initial $1 million pilot program last year. The program intends to “promote childbirth over abortion” and includes absolutely no funding for the provision of contraceptives.
The controversial contract will be funded through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The program is designed to provide for children in unstable family environments, while encouraging parents to reduce their need for assistance through employment. Per the official description of the program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, TANF is intended to “prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies” and “reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.” Pressuring women to move forward with unwanted pregnancies instead of seeking safe abortions is not in line with these goals. TANF funds should be used to support women in making decisions that will contribute to self-sufficiency, not plunge them deeper into debt and desperation by forcing the birth of another child.
Gov. Pence’s decision to use federal funds to support the anti-choice agenda is not only ethically questionable, but dangerous for women and families who actually need assistance. Urge the governor to suspend the contract with Real Alternatives and to use TANF funds to actually help women and families in need.
Dear Governor Pence,
I am appalled that federal dollars are being used to support biased anti-choice rhetoric through the $3.5 million contract you’ve signed with Real Alternatives. This group does not provide useful services to women, such as contraceptives or family planning, but instead pressures them to follow unwanted pregnancies to term.
Federal funds obtained trough TANF are meant to support women and families in temporary need, while encouraging them to get back on their feet and off government assistance. Guilting women into giving birth does not improve their situations; in fact it is likely to increase desperation, stress, and dependency on government aid.
Your decision to use TANF money to support anti-choice ideals is harmful to women and contrary to the official goals of the assistance program. Please stop this blatant abuse of federal funds and suspend the Indiana’s contract with Real Alternatives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue