Providing hope and help to women experiencing unexpected pregnancies in Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives, the state's administrator of tax-payer funded Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program reports an 8 percent increase in new clients served in calendar year 2013.
A total of 19,956 women were served at the 96 funded pregnancy centers, Catholic Charities, social services agencies and maternity homes for the year. Of those, 15,973 women received services for the first time under the program in calendar year 2013.
Not surprisingly, abortions by Pennsylvania residents decreased to 30,749 – a record low for the state. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that the number of resident abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2013 dropped by 7.39% to 30,749 from the previous year.
Kevin I. Bagatta, Esquire, President and CEO of Real Alternatives said, “Over 600 counselors throughout the state stand ready to provide hope and help to women who find themselves in a crisis due to an unexpected pregnancy. The counseling support services our clients receive empower them to work around the pressures and obstacles to choosing life for their child.”
The first-of-its-kind program provides comprehensive counseling, mentoring, education, and support services to clients throughout their nine (9) months of pregnancy and twelve (12) months after the birth of their baby. The program received funding of $6.5 million fiscal year 2013/2014 through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Program's administrative cost ratio was a low 8.3%.
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Real Alternatives Vice President of Operations, Thomas A. Lang, Esquire pointed out that in fiscal year 2013/2014, “71 percent of pregnant women in the program who were pressured by others to abort their child and who are themselves abortion-minded chose childbirth. Ninety-eight percent of all pregnant women in the program chose childbirth.”
Started in 1996 to offer women counseling and mentoring support as an alternative to abortion, the statewide Program has provided over 1 million support service visits to over 241,000 women throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“More and more states recognize that many women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy are alone in their crisis and need practical help.” Bagatta said. “When that help is provided, women are Empowered For Life.”
View a short film about this program at: www.RealAlternatives.org/film.