GOP Rep: Let's Fund Anti-Abortion Activists
Cliff Stearns' bill would help crisis pregnancy centers
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2011 3:27 PM CDT
Rebecca Messall of Centennial, Colo., holds up a sign during an anti-abortion protest during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Congressional Republicans have made it clear that they don't want to fund Planned Parenthood, but at least one thinks the federal government should be funding anti-abortion activists, Mother Jones reports. Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns introduced a measure that would provide federal funds to crisis pregnancy centers, clinics—often run by religious groups—that attempt to steer women away from abortion. Stearns has written of his opposition to federal funding of Planned Parenthood in the past, citing a need to "reduce or eliminate" federal expenditures "that do not meet the needs of the American people."

Stearns' bill would provide grants to purchase sonogram machines to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations—so long as they show every woman an ultrasound image, describe the fetus to them, and provide them with "alternatives to abortion." The organizations must also provide services free, which would disqualify Planned Parenthood from applying for the funds. At least one Democratic rep has called Stearns' bill "hypocrisy in its most obvious form." Click for more on crisis pregnancy centers, which Mother Jones says have been found to distribute false information in some cases.