A shocking decision from Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has once again proved that the term “pro-choice” is vague.
Last week, the Pennsylvania governor decided to end the Real Alternatives contract by year’s end. Boy, Bob Casey, Sr is rolling in his grave as he started the program during his tenure as governor in 1986.
Kevin Bagatta, President of Real Alternatives, has released the following:
Real Alternatives is shocked that Governor Shapiro’s administration has decided to not renew its contract with us as the administrator of the award-winning Pennsylvania Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program. We believe the governor has been terribly misinformed about the need for the program and its success.
For 27-plus years, Real Alternatives and its service providers have served close to 350,000 women at 1.9 million office visits. At every visit, women are directed to call Real Alternatives with any complaints or concerns about the services they received. There has never been a complaint from the 350,000 women we have served. Presently, 83 centers throughout the Commonwealth provide compassionate caring support services to 13,500 women a year, from the moment they find out they are pregnant through 12 months after the birth of the baby. Those centers are made up of Catholic Charities and social services agencies (48%), pregnancy support centers (37%), and maternity homes (15%).
Real Alternatives and the program have been commended for its work by two Pennsylvania governors, three secretaries of the Department of Public Welfare, one United States vice president, and one assistant secretary of the US Health and Human Services in charge of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding.
In fact, the program has been a model for the nation. Secretary of DPW Estelle Richman, under Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, recommended Real Alternatives and the Pennsylvania program to the state of Texas. Real Alternatives was then asked to replicate the Pennsylvania program for the state of Texas which it successfully did in 2005.
The services that this program provides to the women of Pennsylvania are crucial. Approximately 60% of women who come to our program considering abortion choose to bring their baby to term. Also, 84% of women pressured to abort choose to bring their baby to term. Terminating this program will result in an increase in abortions throughout the Commonwealth.
Though the program, as a social service program, DOES NOT and never was intended to provide medical services, our hundreds of counselors throughout the Commonwealth refer our clients to health services. In fact, based on Center for Disease Control (CDC) calculations, our program last fiscal year benefitted the Commonwealth with $140 million in health cost savings because our clients’ children’s immunizations were up to date. Additionally, $247 million in health costs were saved because our clients received proper prenatal care.
Many of the falsities about the program were addressed at a symposium last fall on pregnancy support services in the Commonwealth. Our program standards are described in detail. That symposium can be viewed at https://www.realalternatives.org/symposium2022/.
It goes to show how it was never about choice. It's about politics.
To complain about this, Contact Gov. Josh Shapiro