by Steven Ertelt
February 12, 2005
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Minnesota lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday that would provide millions in state funds to promote alternatives to abortion. Under the bill, about 100 adoption agencies and pregnancy centers would be eligible for funding.
Rep. Brad Finstad, a Republican, is the lead sponsor of the $5 million Positive Alternatives Act in the state House and he says there needs to be a support network for pregnant women.
One million of the funds would go to a statewide public education campaign to make young women aware of the pregnancy centers and the kinds of help they offer. The other four million would go to the centers themselves to fund educational programs, medial assistance, baby needs and other forms of aid.
The Minnesota Department of Health would administer the pregnancy center awareness program and none of the funds authorized under the bill would be allowed to fund abortion businesses or groups that make referrals to them.
A majority of the lawmakers in both the House and Senate have signed on to the bill, assuring its passage, with 38 Senate sponsors and backing from 73 House members. The measure also has the support of pro-life Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who included $2.5 million in his state budget proposal.
The bill is a significant portion of the legislative agenda sponsored by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
Scott Fischbach, director of the group, says that encouraging abortion alternatives is something both sides in the abortion debate should be able to support. He said many women have abortions because of a lack of financial and other resources that pregnancy centers can address.
Tim Stanley, director of the Minnesota NARAL affiliate says his group will oppose the bill because abortion centers wouldn’t be able to receive funds.
Sen. Dallas Sams, a Democrat, is the chief sponsor in the state Senate. The bills are SF917 in the Senate and HF952 in the state House.
Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – https://www.mccl.org