Blunt signs tax credit bill for pregnancy centers
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – Governor Matt Blunt signed legislation Tuesday approving up to two millions dollars in tax credits annually for those who donate to Missouri's Pregnancy Resource Centers.
The centers assist women facing an unplanned pregnancy but do not offer abortions or abortion referrals.
Governor Blunt says the centers are the foundation of the pro-life movement.
"We're helping and encouraging people to contribute to centers that help women make an informed decision," Blunt said. "And I think if most Missouri taxpayers were to come in here and see what happens on a daily basis, they would think it's a good thing to do and that it's a good incentive to have."
The new law offers a tax credit worth half the value of donations between
$100 and $50,000.
Blunt says he expects the program to help lower the number of abortions in Missouri.
But the president of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis says taxpayer money should go toward family planning; not tax credits for crisis pregnancy centers.
Paula Gianino says money for tax credits is misplaced.
"This money could be much better spent bringing back the state's family planning program and helping women prevent unintended pregnancy that leads to abortion," Gianino said.
The legislature quit funding the state's family planning program in 2003. It cost the state about six million dollars a year.