Florida Governor Rick Scott has made it clear that when it comes to spending government dollars, he has his priorities. The state is dedicated to its unconstitutional policy of drug-testing welfare applicants before allowing them to receive benefits, even though they are spending more money on the testing than they save through denying benefits. And despite pulling funding from multiple health care providers as a means of balancing the budget, Scott still found $2 million to give to deceptive “crisis pregnancy centers” dedicated to talking women into continuing pregnancies they consider terminating.
Coercing a woman out of abortion is a noble, state-sanctioned endeavor. Helping a woman who has been sexually assaulted? Not as much.
The governor has now chosen to veto $1.5 million in funding for the state’s 30 rape crisis centers, declaring the function “duplicative” and unnecessary. His spokesperson told the Huffington Post, “”his new funding of $1.5 million would have been duplicative, since, as a state, we already fund sexual violence programs. There was no information suggesting any needs in this area weren’t already being met. The state already provides about $6.5 million for rape prevention and sexual assault services. That is in addition to the funds available for domestic violence programs — $29 million to be specific. Many victims of sexual violence seek refuge at domestic violence shelters.”
However, advocates of the programs say that the majority of the funding goes to education and prevention, not for dealing with actual victims. And domestic violence and rape are two very different entities with little in common other than the fact that both primarily effect women.
On the bright side, if the victim ends up pregnant, she can always visit a well-funded crisis pregnancy center, where they will tell her that it’s not the baby’s fault she was raped and offer her a box of Pampers to make her feel better.
Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr