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House passes bill to allow tax credits for crisis pregnancy center donors

Opponents have criticized the centers as deceptive faith-based organizations that, when abortion was legal, pushed women away from the practice.

Close up of the door to the Elmore County Pregnancy Center in downtown Wetumpka on Company Street. Jackie Nix
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Donors to crisis pregnancy centers could soon get a break on their state income taxes after the Alabama House approved a bill establishing a tax credit for such donations.

Under HB208, the tax credit only applies to centers that don’t promote abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers have long been controversial, with abortion access advocates saying that the centers use deceptive tactics to push women toward keeping the baby or adoption.

In some cases, that has been proven to be true, and the pregnancy centers also tend to have a religious foundation.

Surgical abortions are now criminalized in Alabama, but women can currently still take abortion medications to self-manage their abortions or travel to another state to get an abortion.

Crisis pregnancy centers provide services such as free pregnancy tests, parenting classes and supplies such as diapers.

“This is to provide for those facilities caring for women and babies pre-birth and post-birth,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville. “They are giving them advice, giving them resources, helping them become productive citizens, helping them become productive parents.”

Under the bill, an eligible pregnancy center is defined as a nonprofit organization that “offers services, at no cost to the client, for the express purpose of providing assistance to women in order to carry their pregnancy to term, encourage parenting or adoption, prevent abortion, and promote healthy childbirth; and utilizes trained and licensed medical professionals to perform any available medical procedures.”

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Some abortion advocacy organizations provide similar services, but would not be eligible for tax credits because they do not “prevent abortion.”

“Yellowhammer Fund opposes HB208 because anti-abortion centers are coercive, and their services are stigmatizing and harmful,” said Heidi Miller, development manager at Yellowhammer Fund. “Pregnant people and parents should be able to access basic necessities without fear of judgment or shame, and that’s why YHF provides supplies like diapers, wipes, household supplies and more via our Family Justice outreach.”

The bill passed 76-26 and moves to the Senate.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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