In a year when so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” across the country are gaining political and legislative prominence on a state and federal level —
In a year when so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” across the country are gaining political and legislative prominence on a state and federal level — and, in some cases, public funding for controversial services — not as much attention has been given to public money going to CPCs at the local level.
But this week, a Knox County commissioner in Knoxville, Tenn., did.
At a commission meeting held Monday, Commissioner Amy Broyles questioned an $8,000 contract between the county and the East Tennessee pregnancy counseling center Hope Resource Center, reported the local NBC affiliate WBIR.
During the meeting, it came out that the CPC had originally requested the money to be used only for hepatitis-screening services not offered by the county health department. However, according to WBIR, Hope Resource Center’s contract revealed that the services listed consist of pregnancy testing, testing for sexually-transmitted diseases and ultrasound screenings, which are provided by the Knox County Health Department.
Broyles says redundancy was a red flag that has her fighting against approval of the contract, although she did point out young women she has met allege the center bullied them into pro-life decisions — allegations the center denies.
“Regardless of where we all fall on this, anti-choice, anti-abortion. The bottom line is we’re already paying for these services,” Broyles said. ”This contract that is before us today is not the same thing that was before us as part of the budget when we approved it two months ago.”
Broyles’ problems with the contract — which reportedly includes a stipulation that county money will not go toward “counseling” — sparked a debate among commissioners, who argued over whether funding the CPC was political and a bad way for the county to do business. In the end, the commission voted 8 to 3 to fund the CPC.
Watch the report and response from the Hope Resource Center:
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