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2013 Minnesota Statutes

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 must:

(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 program;

(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, 2011; or incorporated an alternative to abortion program that has been in existence for at least one year as of July 1, 2011.

(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 sections 144.291 to 144.298 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.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569