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Letter: Writer misinformed about alternatives to abortion program

Dodson writes, "Not all of the organizations are religious or even have an anti-abortion agenda. What they have in common is that they help pregnant women who choose not to abort."

Letter to the editor FSA

Kathryn Tidd is misinformed about the North Dakota alternatives to abortion program.

The North Dakota Legislature did not appropriate money to “alternatives to abortion clinics.” Instead, it added money to the existing alternatives to abortion program.

This program has existed since 2005. It provides modest reimbursement to organizations that provide information, counseling, and support services to women who are pregnant or think they are pregnant.

These organizations include pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, maternity homes, and social service agencies like Village Family Services and, until its demise, Lutheran Social Services. Not all of the organizations are religious or even have an anti-abortion agenda. What they have in common is that they help pregnant women who choose not to abort.

Some of the agencies are health clinics. They are subject to the same licensing, regulation, credentialing, and ethical standards as any other medical clinic.

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Similarly, the maternity homes, counseling centers, and social service agencies have to comply with all the requirements of their respective services.

In addition, every participating organization must comply with nondiscrimination provisions and none of the funds can be used for religious purposes.

The alternatives to abortion program has had bipartisan support because it does the one thing we should all agree on. It helps women in need.

Dodson is executive director and general counsel of the North Dakota Catholic Conference.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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