GLA’s Priority Legislation Succeeds In Legislature
Dear Friend of Life,
On the final day of the 2017 legislative session, Georgia Life Alliance’s priority legislation was successfully passed by the legislature and now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature. This bill, SB 193, will strengthen the Positive Alternatives Grant Program and allow money to get in the hands of pregnancy centers to provide services for pregnant women and their children.
The original grant program was passed and funded last year, but due to implementation issues, several key changes needed to be made before the money could be used by our pregnancy centers.
The most important changes were:
1. The grant money can be used to help any pregnant woman or child, and not only those that qualify based on a set of complicated calculations.
2. The pregnancy centers can decide what services they want to offer and they will not be required to offer all services if they offer any.
3. The pregnancy centers can have a religious purpose, they just cannot use the grant funds for a religious purpose.
That final change was one of the biggest implementation issues with the original law because the original language from the Department of Public Health made many pregnancy centers fear if they took the grant money they had to cease any activities involving religion. We worked closely with the Department of Public Health to write this clarifying language so that there would be no misunderstanding about separation between the services that the grant money pays for and other work done by the pregnancy centers.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Public Health and Georgia’s very important pregnancy centers as we work to get important medical and non-medical services to the pregnant women, mothers and children who need it.
Encouraging a culture that values life,
Camila (Wright) Zolfaghari
Georgia Life Alliance