Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Positive Alternatives assists even more pregnant women across Minnesota

The following MCCL news release was issued today, Aug. 25.

ST. PAUL – The state's Positive Alternatives program is meeting the needs of increasing numbers of girls and women throughout Minnesota seeking help bringing their pregnancies to term.

In the second grant cycle (July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2010), 13,037 women received services from the Positive Alternatives grant program, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

"After four 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 (MCCL). "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. The latest numbers indicate that a growing number of women are finding help through Positive Alternatives grant recipients, such as pregnancy care centers.

Positive Alternatives was passed by the Legislature in 2005 and signed into law by pro-life Gov. Tim Pawlenty. MCCL worked hard to help establish this MDH grant program. 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 by providing a stabilizing presence through housing and employment assistance.

The new MDH statistics are a clear indication that Positive Alternatives is meeting the needs of thousands of women facing problem or unexpected pregnancies. Only the most extremist politicians, like failed candidates Ken Tschumper, Avi Viswanathan, Shelley Madore and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, have tried to deny women the life-affirming help of Positive Alternatives.

"Positive Alternatives passed with large bipartisan majorities in both the Minnesota Senate and House, and continues to enjoy overwhelming support across the state," Fischbach said.

Read stories on MCCL’s website 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.