The Biden Administration has proposed a federal rule change that would prevent pro-life pregnancy resource centers from receiving federal tax dollars under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Under TANF, states receive blocks of federal tax dollars that they can award to organizations and programs that:

  • Assist needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;
  • End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage;
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies;
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

Many states award TANF funds to pregnancy resource centers and similar organizations, because these organizations help meet some or all of these goals. However, in October the Biden Administration quietly rolled out a rule change that could stop states from giving these federal funds to pregnancy centers.

The Biden Administration’s analysis of the proposed rule says,

Similarly, programs that only or primarily provide pregnancy counseling to women only after they become pregnant likely do not meet the reasonable person standard because the connection to preventing and reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies is tenuous or non-existent, and therefore do not accomplish purpose three. States that provide funding for these types of programs, including through entities sometimes known as crisis pregnancy centers or pregnancy resource centers, must be able to show that the expenditure actually accomplishes the TANF purpose, that prior expenditures by the state or another entity for the same or a substantially similar program or activity actually accomplished the TANF purpose, or that there is academic or other research indicating that the expenditure could reasonably be expected to accomplish the TANF purpose. If pregnancy prevention programming is a part of an ongoing program, such as year round after-school programming, only those costs associated with delivery of pregnancy prevention should be cost allocated and non-TANF funds used to fund other activities.

In other words, the Biden Administration is arguing that pregnancy resource centers should not be eligible for TANF funds, because the centers help women after they become pregnant instead of just focusing on pregnancy prevention.

Many pregnancy resource centers provide everything from ultrasounds and pregnancy tests to maternity clothes, diapers, and formula — typically free of charge. They often operate on very tight budgets and rely heavily on volunteers and donations. There’s no doubt they provide actual services to women, children, and families, and it’s ridiculous for the Biden Administration to rewrite its rules to exclude them from the TANF program.

Family Council is encouraging everyone to send a public comment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opposing this rule change. You can leave a comment here. Public comments are due December 1 by 11:59p.m. EST.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.