On July 11, 2006, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt (R) signed into law the Pregnancy Resource Center Tax Credit Act (HB 1485). This law creates a tax credit for donations to crisis pregnancy centers, which typically advertise as providing medical services and then use anti-choice propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women facing unintended pregnancy from exercising their right to choose. For the next six years, tax credits will be granted for half the value of donations that are between $100 and $50,000, up to $2 million annually.1
At the bill signing, which took place at Open Arms Pregnancy Center in Columbia , MO , Blunt stated his desire to build a “culture of human life.” Blunt said that, “these are resource centers that truly do believe that we should have a culture that values human life and they're helping to build that culture all across our state.” He also actively discouraged people from contributing money to Planned Parenthood telling attendees, “I clearly believe that your money would be better spent here than at Planned Parenthood.”2
Missouri House Minority Leader Jeff Harris (D-Columbia), who voted against the bill, questioned whether the legislation would actually help to reduce the number of abortions stating that, “a better to way to reduce abortion would be to focus on and support adoption services.”3
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri President and CEO Peter Brownlie agreed with Representative Harris saying that crisis pregnancy centers “bombard [women] with anti-abortion propaganda, they use deceptive practices to attract women. They provide information from a very biased viewpoint and attempt to pressure women.”4
- Jason Rosenbaum, “ Pregnancy Centers Rate Tax Credit,” Columbia Daily Tribune , 11 July 2006, accessed 15 July 2006, <http://www.columbiatribune.com/2006/Jul/20060711News005.asp>.