The pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA) said in a press conference ahead of the March for Life that a main feature of its 2024 political plan to serve moms and save babies will be to focus on the work of pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes.

Speaking on Jan. 18, the eve of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the organization is hoping that the stories of how pregnancy resource centers serve women and children will be told more in the media, adding that they have been “ignored.”

At the 2024 March for Life on Friday, the theme and keynote speeches largely focused on the work of pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes. One of the speakers at the march, Aisha Taylor, unexpectedly became pregnant with twins and could not get in touch with an abortion clinic. She said her local pregnancy center “answer[ed] the phone” when she called them and that she was “eternally grateful” for having found them.

Kelsey Pritchard, SBA’s director of state public affairs, said at the press conference that the organization’s state affairs team is focused on promoting five types of “pro-life safety net legislation.”

The first type of state legislation SBA is promoting is financial support for mothers spanning from the beginning of their pregnancy to after the child’s birth. “We are advocating for unborn children, allowing moms to collect child support starting when they are pregnant and eliminating sales tax on baby items like diapers and formula,” Pritchard said.

The group is also pushing for bills that offer “more child care solutions,” Pritchard said.

“The child care situation in this country causes a great deal of stress for parents who need not only quality child care and parents and teachers and caregivers they can trust, but affordable child care,” she said.

Pritchard added that SBA supports expanding access to child care by promoting a tax credit for businesses that begin offering daycare services for employees.

Third, SBA is supporting policies related to adoption services “for establishing a package of services and support for birth moms, and for establishing protections from online scams that target birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents.”

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Fourth, the organization will promote “safe haven baby box legislation” along with funding to make the public aware of baby boxes. A baby box is a system in which a mother can leave her newborn baby in a box, typically found in a hospital or fire house, if for some reason she cannot take care of the child.

Lastly, SBA will be promoting legislation that funds pro-life pregnancy centers and will advocate expanding tax credits for individuals and businesses that donate to the institutions. 

Pritchard said that “whether it’s by funding pregnancy centers or creating care solutions or offering more financial support to moms, we call on all leaders in the states, Republican and Democrat, to build upon the pro-life safety net legislation this year.”

The emphasized focus on pregnancy centers and maternity homes comes almost two years after Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022 in the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Many pro-life pregnancy centers and other pro-life institutions have come under attack since then, including from vandalism and arson.

Jamie Dangers, SBA’s legislative director, said that Dobbs corrected “the lie that the Constitution somehow conferred a right to abortion.”

“But what [Dobbs] couldn’t do was address the reasons that women and girls sometimes feel that abortion is their only option. So, that’s up to us to address,” she said.

Dangers pointed to two bills that SBA is supporting that were introduced in the House of Representatives in January: the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act and the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act.

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The Pregnant Students’ Rights Act narrowly passed the House by a party-line vote Jan. 18, with 212 Republicans voting for it and 207 Democrats voting against. The act requires colleges to inform pregnant students of all resources available to them that will help them carry their child to birth. 

The Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act takes measures to protect funding of pro-life pregnancy centers. That act also passed on a party-line vote, with 214 Republicans in favor and 208 Democrats opposed.

Dangers said there are several other initiatives that SBA is supporting in Congress, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s and Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson’s Providing for Life Act. 

That act, introduced in both the House and Senate in 2023 — but never put to a vote — includes an increase of the child tax credit, allows parents to access a portion of their Social Security for parental leave, and requires fathers to contribute to costs associated with the mother’s pregnancy and delivery.

Dangers called the legislation one of SBA’s “favorite bills.”

Dannenfelser said there is “incredible polarization” over the abortion issue today but added that “there is much agreement in the middle.”

“Certainly much agreement in the middle must be propelled into the public forum,” she added.

Dannenfelser said it’s important to work together on the “pro-life safety net … in honor of” the two-thirds of women who report an unwanted abortion, citing a study led by staff from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which was published in the medical journal Cureus.

“That pro-life safety net is not just a theoretical idea now. It is incredibly important. It is urgently needed and cannot be done by one party alone,” she said.