Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Proposes $100 Million Grant Program for Pro-Life Pregnancy Resource Centers

Gov. Bill Lee
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee proposed creating a $100 million grant program for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, ABC News reported.

Lee unveiled the plan on Monday, stating that Tennessee has a “moral obligation” to support families. If the plan is approved, Tennessee “would become one of the top spending states” on organizations that help pregnant women in need of resources to keep their babies rather than choose abortion, according to the report.

“Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,” Lee said, over the screams of protesters. “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”

In addition to a $100 million grant fund for crisis pregnancy centers, Lee proposed “expanding paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents,” according to the report. Lee’s administration also plans to ask the federal government to cover the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for two years.

“If approved, Tennessee will be the first Medicaid program in the nation to implement this kind of support. That’s pro-life. That’s pro-family,” Lee said.

Lee, who is also on an advisory board for a crisis pregnancy center in the state, made the announcement during his annual State of the State address in front of the Republican-led legislature. Lee said his other priorities include teacher pay raises, boosting the state’s transportation system, and cleaning up toxic waste at industrial sites.

Lee spoke over protesters during his speech, stating that “civility is not a weakness,” which ABC News reported is a “nod to his inauguration speech where he criticized those ‘who thrive on toxic incivility and divisiveness.”‘

“We can have a healthy debate about the policy specifics, but we can also agree that America is rooted in a commitment to human dignity,” Lee said later on. “There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”


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