Grant criteria for pregnancy counseling passed


Newer facilities that offer “alternatives to abortion” programming would be eligible to apply for grants to counsel pregnant women, under a bill passed 104-28 by the House.

Programs currently must have had an “alternatives to abortion” program in place by July 1, 2004.

HF2676 changes the grant eligibility date to programs in existence at least one year prior to July 1, 2011. Rep. Larry Howes (R-Walker), the bill’s sponsor, said several new counseling programs have been added since 2004 and that the bill simply changes the date to allow more recent providers to apply for the grants.

Other criteria require an applicant to be a private, nonprofit organization and to provide the services to pregnant women free of charge. Services may include medical care, parenting education, housing assistance, adoption services and child care assistance.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where Sen. John Carlson (R-Bemidji) is the sponsor.