Grant Program

The Positive Alternatives Program provides approximately $2.36 million in 2012 and in 2013 for alternatives–to–abortion programs that support, encourage and assist women in carrying their pregnancies to term and caring for their babies after birth. Read the Positive Alternatives Act at 145.4235 Positive Abortion Alternatives.

Every woman receiving grant-funded services must be offered information on, referral to, and assistance with securing:

    • Medical care
    • Nutritional services
    • Housing assistance
    • Adoption services
    • Education and employment assistance, including services that support the continuation and completion of high school
    • Child care assistance
    • Parenting education and support services

Grantees may directly provide these or other needed services. It is expected that potential grantees work in collaboration with other community resources and base their grant proposals on identified "missing pieces" in their communities´ pregnancy and family support network and propose programs accordingly. Thus, they will be able to tailor services to the most pressing needs within their community.

To be eligible for grant funding, an organization must:

    • Be a private, nonprofit organization
    • Demonstrate that the program is conducted under appropriate supervision
    • Not charge women for services provided
    • Provide each pregnant woman counseled with accurate information on the developmental characteristics of babies and of unborn children
    • Ensure that program´s purpose is to assist and encourage women in carrying their pregnancies to term and to maximize their future potential
    • Ensure that none of the funding is used to encourage or affirmatively counsel a woman to have an abortion not necessary to prevent her death. The organization may provide nondirective counseling
    • Ensure that none of the funding is used to provide abortions or to directly refer to an abortion provider for an abortion
    • Have had alternatives to abortion program in existence for at least one year as of July 1, 2011.

Current 2012-2014 Grantees

There are currently 33 Positive Alternatives grantees throughout Minnesota. 2012–14 Positive Alternative Grant Awards with Program or Service (MS Word: 19KB / 4 pages)

The types of services provided by grantees are diverse and were tailored to meet the needs of their communities.

    • Medical programs provide pregnancy testing or prenatal medical care.
    • Material assistance programs offer items such as cribs, car seats and clothing.
    • Parenting, crib and car seat safety classes address safety risks to the infant.
    • Women receive assistance in accessing or maintaining housing, continuing their education or making adoption plans.
    • Services are provided at some sites in Spanish or Hmong, and translators are available at other sites.
    • Prenatal education is provided in a variety of program settings in English and Spanish.
    • Case management services and residential programs provide one-on-one care to pregnant and parenting women.
    • Nutrition classes educate new moms on healthy meal-planning and cooking.

Participants Served by the Positive Alternatives Program 2010–2012

During the first grant-funded cycle from July, 2006 to June, 2008, over 12,000 women received services under the Positive Alternatives program. In the second cycle covering the period July, 2008 to June, 2010, over 13,000 women were served.

Beginning in July, 2010, a standardized Necessary Services data intake survey was devised that asked participants to respond to need in each of the specified categories. Only participants who completed a survey were counted as having received Positive Alternatives services. The following table presents the number of participants served from July, 2010 through the end of the grant period in August, 2012, as determined by submission of necessary services data intake forms.

Time Frame Participants Served
July, 2010 - June, 2011 5,000
July, 2011 - Aug, 2012 5,083
Total: July, 2010 - Aug, 2012 10,083

In order for a participant to be counted as having received a Positive Alternatives Program service, t he participant must have been offered information on, referral to and assistance with securing each of the following pregnancy support services:

  • Medical care
  • Supplemental nutrition
  • Housing assistance
  • Adoption services
  • Education and employment assistance, including services that support the continuation and completion of high school
  • Child care assistance
  • Parenting education and support services

Individual grantees may have offered additional services.

Background

The Positive Alternatives Program (Minnesota Statutes 145.4235) that passed during the 2005 legislative session provides services that promote healthy pregnancy outcomes and assist pregnant and parenting women in developing and maintaining family stability and self-sufficiency.

Whether an unintended pregnancy is greeted as a crisis, a challenge, or a welcome surprise, the woman facing it often needs additional support to have a healthy baby. Activities funded by Positive Alternatives target risk factors for poor pregnancy outcomes associated with unintended pregnancy, such as late or inadequate prenatal care, and economic challenges.