Abortion Alternative Grants in Minnesota

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(ABC 6 News) – A number of big changes are coming to Minnesota as a result of a list of high-profile bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

One of those changes includes the elimination of the “abortion alternatives grant program.

DFL lawmakers argue the grants provide state funding to organizations that often give misleading information about abortions; In particular crisis pregnancy centers, or CPC’s.

According to a recent study from the nonprofit Gender Justice, many CPC’s provide false medical claims about the risks of abortion to dissuade people from seeking one. DFL Representative Kaohly Vang Her of St.Paul shared her own experience with CPC’s during a conference committee debate.

“I ended up in a crisis pregnancy who actually did an ultrasound and who told me to continue with that pregnancy without having real medical advice,” Her said. “and so I was confused because I was told by my doctor that I could die with this condition, and so I was given untrue medical advice”

But during that same debate, Representative Duane Quam of Byron pushed back on eliminating the program; Saying it punishes groups providing essential services.

“Address the bad actors,” Quam said. “Get away to stop the ones that aren’t telling the truth and aren’t doing the right work.

“But don’t destroy something that has been helping so many”

Some of that grant funding was used locally by the Pregnancy, Parenting, and Adoption program, a program provided by the Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. It says last year alone the grant money supported 450 parents by providing more than $100,000 in rent and utility assistance, adoption counseling, and parenting education. The funding also supports initiatives like diaper banks and infant car-seat programs.

The program director says the loss of funding is a set back, but adds they remain committed to providing these services to the parents and children of Southern Minnesota