Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sparked confusion and frustration within the pro-life community this week when she vetoed multiple items in the state budget that were designed to promote adoption, including tax credits for adoptive parents and a marketing program that would have promoted adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Whitmer, a Democrat, signed the state budget Wednesday but used her line-item veto power to strike down several items that were approved by the Republican-controlled legislature, according to Bridge Michigan, a non-partisan news site.
Among the items Whitmer vetoed were:
- $2 million to "fund a tax credit to adoptive parents," according to the budget's language.
- $10 million to fund marketing programs that "promote the adoption of infants" and "develop factual educational information materials on adoption as an alternative to abortion, including the ability of the birth mother to establish a prebirth plan."
- $1.5 million for pregnancy resource centers. The budget language defined such centers as "nonprofit organizations that promote childbirth and alternatives to abortion, provide referrals and information, and may also provide other services related to pregnancy or post-pregnancy."
- $3 million for a "maternal navigator pilot program" to promote "childbirth and alternatives to abortion."
Michigan Right to Life criticized Whitmer, saying her veto will prevent pregnant women from receiving "diapers, formula, clothing, classes in parenting skills, community referrals, and other great FREE services."
State Rep. Thomas Albert, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, also was critical.
"The governor claims to be a voice for 'choice,' but her actions clearly support only one option for women in a crisis pregnancy – the deadly choice of abortion," Albert said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Albert added he was shocked that "helping pregnant women who might consider adoption instead is now a bridge too far." The vetoes, he said, remove assistance from "expecting mothers and their babies, including those facing a crisis pregnancy, by denying them access to essential care both before and after giving birth."
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.