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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 124-S.F.No. 917 
                  An act relating to health; providing for grants 
                  related to positive abortion alternatives; 
                  appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in 
                  Minnesota Statutes, chapter 145. 
           Section 1.  [SHORT TITLE.] 
           This act may be cited as the "Positive Alternatives Act." 
           Sec. 2.  [145.4235] [POSITIVE ABORTION ALTERNATIVES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this 
        section, the following terms have the meanings given: 
           (1) "abortion" means the use of any means to terminate the 
        pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with knowledge that 
        the termination with those means will, with reasonable 
        likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child.  For purposes 
        of this section, abortion does not include an abortion necessary 
        to prevent the death of the mother; 
           (2) "nondirective counseling" means providing clients with: 
           (i) a list of health care providers and social service 
        providers that provide prenatal care, childbirth care, infant 
        care, foster care, adoption services, alternatives to abortion, 
        or abortion services; and 
           (ii) nondirective, nonmarketing information regarding such 
        providers; and 
           (3) "unborn child" means a member of the species Homo 
        sapiens from fertilization until birth. 
           Subd. 2.  [ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.] (a) The commissioner 
        shall award grants to eligible applicants under paragraph (c) 
        for the reasonable expenses of alternatives to abortion programs 
        to support, encourage, and assist women in carrying their 
        pregnancies to term and caring for their babies after birth by 
        providing information on, referral to, and assistance with 
        securing necessary services that enable women to carry their 
        pregnancies to term and care for their babies after birth.  
        Necessary services must include, but are not limited to: 
           (1) medical care; 
           (2) nutritional services; 
           (3) housing assistance; 
           (4) adoption services; 
           (5) education and employment assistance, including services 
        that support the continuation and completion of high school; 
           (6) child care assistance; and 
           (7) parenting education and support services. 
        An applicant may not provide or assist a woman to obtain 
        adoption services from a provider of adoption services that is 
        not licensed. 
           (b) In addition to providing information and referral under 
        paragraph (a), an eligible program may provide one or more of 
        the necessary services under paragraph (a) that assists women in 
        carrying their pregnancies to term.  To avoid duplication of 
        efforts, grantees may refer to other public or private programs, 
        rather than provide the care directly, if a woman meets 
        eligibility criteria for the other programs. 
           (c) To be eligible for a grant, an agency or organization 
           (1) be a private, nonprofit organization; 
           (2) demonstrate that the program is conducted under 
        appropriate supervision; 
           (3) not charge women for services provided under the 
           (4) provide each pregnant woman counseled with accurate 
        information on the developmental characteristics of babies and 
        of unborn children, including offering the printed information 
        described in section 145.4243; 
           (5) ensure that its alternatives-to-abortion program's 
        purpose is to assist and encourage women in carrying their 
        pregnancies to term and to maximize their potentials thereafter; 
           (6) ensure that none of the money provided is used to 
        encourage or affirmatively counsel a woman to have an abortion 
        not necessary to prevent her death, to provide her an abortion, 
        or to directly refer her to an abortion provider for an 
        abortion.  The agency or organization may provide nondirective 
        counseling; and 
           (7) have had the alternatives to abortion program in 
        existence for at least one year as of July 1, 2005; or 
        incorporated an alternative to abortion program that has been in 
        existence for at least one year as of July 1, 2005.  
           (d) The provisions, words, phrases, and clauses of 
        paragraph (c) are inseverable from this subdivision, and if any 
        provision, word, phrase, or clause of paragraph (c) or its 
        application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 
        invalidity applies to all of this subdivision. 
           (e) An organization that provides abortions, promotes 
        abortions, or directly refers to an abortion provider for an 
        abortion is ineligible to receive a grant under this program.  
        An affiliate of an organization that provides abortions, 
        promotes abortions, or directly refers to an abortion provider 
        for an abortion is ineligible to receive a grant under this 
        section unless the organizations are separately incorporated and 
        independent from each other.  To be independent, the 
        organizations may not share any of the following: 
           (1) the same or a similar name; 
           (2) medical facilities or nonmedical facilities, including 
        but not limited to, business offices, treatment rooms, 
        consultation rooms, examination rooms, and waiting rooms; 
           (3) expenses; 
           (4) employee wages or salaries; or 
           (5) equipment or supplies, including but not limited to, 
        computers, telephone systems, telecommunications equipment, and 
        office supplies. 
           (f) An organization that receives a grant under this 
        section and that is affiliated with an organization that 
        provides abortion services must maintain financial records that 
        demonstrate strict compliance with this subdivision and that 
        demonstrate that its independent affiliate that provides 
        abortion services receives no direct or indirect economic or 
        marketing benefit from the grant under this section. 
           (g)  The commissioner shall approve any information 
        provided by a grantee on the health risks associated with 
        abortions to ensure that the information is medically accurate.  
           Subd. 3.  [PRIVACY PROTECTION.] (a) Any program receiving a 
        grant under this section must have a privacy policy and 
        procedures in place to ensure that the name, address, telephone 
        number, or any other information that might identify any woman 
        seeking the services of the program is not made public or shared 
        with any other agency or organization without the written 
        consent of the woman.  All communications between the program 
        and the woman must remain confidential.  For purposes of any 
        medical care provided by the program, including, but not limited 
        to, pregnancy tests or ultrasonic scanning, the program must 
        adhere to the requirements in section 144.335 that apply to 
        providers before releasing any information relating to the 
        medical care provided. 
           (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the commissioner has 
        access to any information necessary to monitor and review a 
        grantee's program as required under subdivision 4.  
           Subd. 4.  [DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.] The commissioner shall 
        make grants under subdivision 2 beginning no later than July 1, 
        2006.  In awarding grants, the commissioner shall consider the 
        program's demonstrated capacity in providing services to assist 
        a pregnant woman in carrying her pregnancy to term.  The 
        commissioner shall monitor and review the programs of each 
        grantee to ensure that the grantee carefully adheres to the 
        purposes and requirements of subdivision 2 and shall cease 
        funding a grantee that fails to do so. 
           Subd. 5.  [SEVERABILITY.] Except as provided in subdivision 
        2, paragraph (d), if any provision, word, phrase, or clause of 
        this section or its application to any person or circumstance is 
        held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the provisions, 
        words, phrases, clauses, or applications of this section that 
        can be given effect without the invalid provision, word, phrase, 
        clause, or application and to this end, the provisions, words, 
        phrases, and clauses of this section are severable. 
           Subd. 6.  [SUPREME COURT JURISDICTION.] The Minnesota 
        Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over an action 
        challenging the constitutionality of this section and shall 
        expedite the resolution of the action. 
           $2,500,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the 
        commissioner of health for positive abortion alternatives under 
        new Minnesota Statutes, section 127A.145.  Of this amount, 
        $50,000 is available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, 
        and $100,000 is available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 
        2007, for administrative costs of implementing the grant 
        program.  The balance of the appropriation is available for the 
        fiscal year ending June 30, 2007.  The base funding for fiscal 
        years 2008 and 2009 is $2,500,000 per year. 
           Presented to the governor May 23, 2005 
           Signed by the governor May 23, 2005, 3:10 p.m.