Minnesota Bill Expanding Abortion Alternatives Progam Now Law

State   |   Bill Poehler   |   Apr 4, 2012   |   6:57PM   |   St. Paul, MN

With overwhelming bipartisan support in the Minnesota House and Senate, a measure to broaden eligibility for the Positive Alternatives grant program has become law. The bill was signed into law today with the support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for life (MCCL).

Additional programs that offer help to women in need, such as pregnancy care centers and maternity homes, will now be able to apply for grants.

“More programs helping women have begun since Positive Alternatives grants were first awarded in 2006,” said MCCL Legislative Associate Andrea Rau. “We are pleased to see that nearly all legislators and the governor recognize the value of Positive Alternatives in providing support to women.”

The new law (H.F. 2676) modifies the eligibility requirements for Positive Alternatives grants by permitting a program in existence for at least one year as of July 1, 2011, rather than 2005, to be eligible for funding. Positive Alternatives has provided grants since July 2006 to programs that help pregnant women in need by providing them with the resources and support to bring her child to term.

All programs awarded grants must provide for essential services in the following areas: medical attention for the woman and the unborn child, nutritional services, housing assistance, adoption services, education and employment assistance, child care assistance, and parenting education and support services. At a modest cost of $2.4 million per year, the program served 25,000 women and their families in its first four years.

“With additional programs eligible to apply for grants, our hope is that more women across the state will receive the help they need,” Rau added. “Positive Alternatives has already helped to improve the lives of thousands of women and their families in Minnesota, and we know that these lifechanging programs will continue to provide valuable services within their communities.”