Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center among 14 centers to receive state funds

14 pregnancy resources centers in Arkansas will receive state funds

Fourteen Arkansas pregnancy resource centers will receive state funding, according to a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Pregnancy resource centers are nonprofit groups that educate women about alternatives to abortion and provide free pregnancy tests, medical referrals and infant supplies. The resource centers are largely funded through donations, with some being affiliated with religious groups.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration on Monday, the list of pregnancy resource centers and the amount they received are:

• Hope Place Newport, $40,000.

• PLUM Foundation, $40,000.

• Changepoint Pregnancy Care & Parenting Center Inc., $11,600.

• New Beginnings Pregnancy Center, $34,600.

• St. Joseph's Helpers of Pulaski County, $40,000.

• Heart to Heart Pregnancy and Family Care Center, $40,000.

• Open Arms Pregnancy Center, $39,998.

• Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries, $39,962.50.

• Caring Hearts Pregnancy Center, $39,960.

• Pregnancy Resource Center for Southwest Arkansas, $39,954.71.

• Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center, $39,510.

• Hope of the Delta Center, $32,225.

• First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center of Hope, $10,501.

• The Cradle, the Maternity Support, $5,880.

The resource centers plan to spend the money on things ranging from direct client support to training, supplies and advertising.

In August, 16 pregnancy resource centers applied for a share of $1 million in state funding. Two that applied, TruthWorks LLC and Acts of Hope Inc., were denied.

Acts of Hope, which requested $40,000, was denied because it planned to use the funds to hire staff to teach classes on abstinence and sexually transmitted diseases and for fundraising. TruthWorks, which applied for the full $ 1 million, was denied because it is not located in Arkansas.

New Beginnings Pregnancy Center received $5,400 less than it asked for because using the funds for staffing to fund raise is not allowed. Changepoint Pregnancy Care and Parenting Center Inc., received less than the $28,400 it asked for because "fundraising and facilities expansion are not allowable costs," according to the Department of Finance.

In March, the state Legislature appropriated $1 million in rainy-day funds for a grant to pregnancy resource centers. With abortion banned in Arkansas, officials have said they anticipate pregnancy centers and other nonprofit organizations will take on a larger role in helping new mothers.

In June, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states to ban abortion. The decision gave way to Arkansas' abortion "trigger law" that lawmakers passed in 2019. The law, which took effect in June, bans abortion in Arkansas except in cases of a medical emergency for the mother.

The state's new abortion ban could mean more births in Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference in August. In 2021, there were 3,133 abortions in Arkansas according to the state Department of Health.

"The need has increased, obviously, with the expectation we're going to have more live births, more children in need, more moms that need assistance," Hutchinson said.