Pro-abortion activists in Minnesota want the state to defund its program that provides medical care, housing assistance, education, nutrition assistance, adoption services and more to underserved mothers.
The “Positive Alternatives” program, created in 2005, presently operates on a $3.3 million annual budget and provides grants to nonprofits that mainly assist pregnant women “at what could otherwise be a challenging time.”
For perspective, the state has spent over $7 million on a rest stop, $12 million on an “elevated walking trail” at the Minnesota Zoo, $6.9 million on an unused morgue, and $367,883 on a gay men’s choir.
Gender Justice, a left-wing advocacy group based in Minnesota, thinks the state spends too much money helping impoverished mothers who don’t abort their babies. The group wants to pull the program’s funding, according to a report it issued with three other state-based policy centers from across the country.
The report’s chief complaint is that “crisis pregnancy centers” are really just “anti-abortion organizations” that “misleadingly present themselves as medical facilities.” Even though many of these groups do provide education and resources aimed at increasing the health of mothers and their babies, Gender Justice says they lack “medical legitimacy” and “persuade people to carry their pregnancies to term.”
“CPCs use deceptive and misleading practices to exploit economic insecurity and gaps in access to health care to advance their anti-abortion, anti-contraception agenda. Robust research documents that being denied abortion care exposes both the pregnant person and their family to a range of potential harms,” the report says.
“In this context, we urgently call on state lawmakers to stop funding CPCs and to dramatically increase investment in equitable access to evidence-based reproductive health care, especially in underresourced communities,” it adds.
The report also claims that some of the organizations funded by Positive Alternatives overstate the risks associated with abortion, thus “misleading” mothers into keeping their children alive.
“Despite frequent attacks from the abortion industry, pregnancy care centers provide loving support for women, their children, and their families. These care centers offer women practical assistance and real alternatives to abortion that they don’t get elsewhere,” Paul Stark of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life told Alpha News. “Countless women have benefited from these programs.”
“The modest funding for this program should be preserved,” he added.
Minnesota’s Positive Alternatives program provided 2,818 car seats to women who could not afford one and 11,597 cribs to mothers in financially dire situations between 2016-2020, according to the Department of Health. During that four year period, 32,177 women received 400,942 separate services. Costs “averaged $469 per client, with an average cost per service of $38.”
The program provides funding to give “cribs to families who do not have a safe place for their infants to sleep, and rent assistance to women with pregnancy-related financial needs.”
Most grant recipients also provide mothers with free formula, diapers, and clothing.
According to the Department of Health, 25% of Minnesotans who rely on the program are black while 69% are unmarried.
Nonprofits funded by the program are already required to conduct an “evaluation of program activities.”