The following MCCL news release was issued on Sept. 18, 2009.
Thousands of pregnant women finding help in their time of need
ST. PAUL – The state's Positive Alternatives program continues to meet the needs of thousands of girls and women throughout Minnesota seeking help bringing their pregnancies to term.
In the first year of the second grant cycle (July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009), 6,578 women received services from the Positive Alternatives grant, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
"After three extremely successful years, Positive Alternatives has been established as one of Minnesota’s most essential and successful programs for women," said Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "More people need to know how this program offers a lifeline to women in need every day across the state."
More than 12,000 pregnant women were helped during the first two-year grant cycle, July 2006-June 2008.
Positive Alternatives was passed by the Legislature in 2005 with the strong support of MCCL to establish a grant program through MDH. Grants are given to life-affirming organizations offering 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. A total of 37 organizations received $4.75 million in two-year grants in 2006. The second round of grants totaling $4.7 million was awarded to 31 agencies in July 2008.
The average cost per client served by the program is less than $400. For numerous women, this small investment helps to keep them off expensive public assistance programs by providing a stabilizing presence through housing and employment assistance.
The new MDH statistics are a clear indication that the demand for the services provided through Positive Alternatives is on the rise.
"As the economy creates greater financial pressures for women, the Legislature needs to seriously consider increasing funds for Positive Alternatives, not decreasing them as some lawmakers have proposed," Fischbach said.
Read stories on MCCL's Web site about how the organizations funded in part by Positive Alternatives are providing life-affirming support to pregnant women in need, both before and after their babies are born.
MCCL is Minnesota's oldest and largest pro-life organization with more than 70,000 member families and 240 chapters across the state. For more information about MCCL, visit www.mccl.org.