Congressional Record Vol. 170, No. 12
(Senate - January 23, 2024) PDF

  Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Mr. President, I rise to tell you the story of one 
of my constituents named Hannah. When faced with an unplanned 
pregnancy, Hannah chose life for her baby with the help of a pregnancy 
center. Despite coming from a long line of single mothers and from a 
family background plagued with alcoholism, drugs, and dysfunction, 
Hannah was able to overcome her circumstances and create a better life 
for herself and her daughter.

  At 18 years old, Hannah learned she was pregnant. Her child's father 
drained her savings and spent it on drug abuse. Disgusted, alone, and 
hopeless just weeks into her pregnancy, Hannah went to her local 
pregnancy center, Women's Resource Center in Gulfport, MS, where she 
began to receive weekly parenting classes.

  In November 2014, Hannah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named 
Ava, a name which means ``life.''

  As a single mother, bringing a child into her circumstances was not 
easy, and Hannah struggled to overcome severe postpartum depression in 
the early months after the birth of her daughter.

  When she turned 21, Hannah got a job at a casino--an answer to her 
prayers. This job gave her a sense of pride and independence.

  When Ava turned 3, Hannah met Nuno, the love of her life, and 
together they welcomed another daughter, Maisy. After Hannah and Nuno 
got married in 2020, Nuno legally adopted Ava before she started 
kindergarten, stepping in to be the father she never had before.

  This year, Hannah felt God's call and now works as a volunteer at the 
same Women's Resource Center in Gulfport, MS, that helped her as a 
client nearly a decade ago. There, she uses her life experiences to 
give hope and help to women facing unplanned pregnancies.

  Hannah writes:

       With God, we don't have to be victims of our circumstances; 
     we can be victors who will rise up from anything.

  Hannah's story is part of the untold story of the pro-life movement 
that goes on at many other pregnancy centers in Mississippi and across 
the Nation.

  Last week, the good works conducted by pregnancy centers and 
maternity homes were recognized by the tens of thousands of pro-life 
Americans who came to Washington, DC, last Friday for the 51st annual 
March for Life. They marched not only for the protection of every 
unborn child from the moment of conception but also to support mothers. 
This year's March for Life theme--``With Every Woman, For Every 
Child''--highlighted the fact that no woman should ever feel alone in 
her pregnancy journey.

  The life-affirming impact of pregnancy centers is considerable and 
growing following the Dobbs decision that allowed lifesaving laws to 
take effect in States across America.

  In addition to having loved ones and communities to lean on, every 
woman should know of the lifesaving work of pregnancy centers and 
maternity homes across the country. A new Charlotte Lozier Institute 
study found that 2,750 pregnancy centers provided more than 16 million 
client sessions and over $358 million in free, life-affirming goods and 
services in 2022. These included free sonograms, pregnancy tests, 
diapers, parenting classes, pregnancy counseling, adoption referrals, 
and other compassionate support and resources.

  Despite what the radical, pro-abortion left wants us to believe, the 
pro-life movement is also a pro-women movement with a long history of 
empowering women during pregnancy and after. I believe Congress must 
build on that history by promoting policies that support pregnancy 
centers, maternity homes, and strong families so that more pregnant 
women will have the support they need as they embark on a beautiful and 
sacred chapter of their lives.

  Every human life is a priceless gift, but the costs and challenges 
for new parents are very real. We need to start putting our money where 
our mouth is. To that end, I, along with Congresswoman Carol Miller of 
West Virginia in the House, introduced the Pregnancy Center Support 
Act. This legislation would create a first-ever Federal tax credit for 
pregnancy centers. It would reimburse 50 percent of up to $10,000 in 
donations to these centers. This would empower pregnancy centers with 
much needed resources to meet the growing demands of supporting women 
and families in a post-Roe America.

  My legislation would build on the work of my State of Mississippi. In
May 2020, a month before the Dobbs decision, the Mississippi 
Legislature enacted a groundbreaking State tax credit for donations for 
pregnancy centers. Mississippi currently spends $10 million each year 
on its credit, and I am glad to see that other States are also 
considering similar credits to provide life-affirming support to 
pregnant women in need in their States.

  At this very moment when pregnancy centers are needed the most, they 
have come under unprecedented attacks, including vandalism and 
firebombing. According to Catholic Vote, there have been over 88 
violent attacks on pregnancy centers and pro-life groups documented 
since the leak of the Dobbs decision in 2022. Pregnancy centers have 
also come under attack from pro-abortion politicians, Big Tech, and 
state attorneys general, which have sought to fine, censor, or regulate 
them out of existence.

  In particular, I am deeply concerned by the Biden administration's 
recently proposed rules targeting pregnancy centers, aiming to strip 
away millions of dollars through the Temporary Assistance to Needy 
Families, or TANF, Program that now supports these centers in several 

  We must fight back against this. Alongside Congressman Chris Smith of 
New Jersey, I have introduced the Let Pregnancy Centers Serve Act. This 
bill would block the administration's proposed action and protect 
pregnancy centers that are serving countless women from discrimination. 
The Democrats' attacks on pregnancy centers are disgraceful, and we 
must do more to support their lifesaving work.

  The pro-life movement believes that every life counts--every mother, 
every father, and every child--and that is why we strive for an end to 
abortion. We must also support families and come alongside pregnant 
women in need.

  To all the Americans who marched for life last week and to women like 
Hannah, who has chosen life and now works at a pregnancy center to help 
others choose life, thank you for standing with every woman and for 
every child.

  I yield the floor.