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Public Affairs Kit - History

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History of Government-funded Alternative to Abortion Services

1993 - 1995
  • Former Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey (D) placed alternative to abortion services program funding in state budget.

  • Program intended to promote childbirth rather than abortion by providing pregnancy and parenting support service to women in crisis pregnancies.

  • Program serves women using pregnancy support centers, social services agencies, adoption agencies and maternity homes throughout Pennsylvania.

1995-1997

  • The Pennsylvania legislature's Pro-life  Caucus leaders, lead by then State Representative Joe Pitts (R), helped secure continued funding for the program during Former Governor Tom Ridge’s Administration.

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare selected Morning Star Pregnancy Services to administer the program. The Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services Program, originally known as Project Women In Need (WIN), is funded at $2 million a year with state revenue. Morning Star created the Project WIN Advisory Council to administer the program.

  • 72 centers received reimbursements under the Morning Star contract and served 7,891 women from November 1995 through June1997.

1997
  • On July 1, 1997, Real Alternatives (formerly the Morning Star Project WIN Advisory Council) was awarded the statewide alternative to abortion services program grant with the Department of Public Welfare.

  • A statewide toll free hotline (1-888-LIFE AID) was implemented and the program experienced dramatic growth: 18 new pregnancy centers were added, and an average of 620 new women were served each month.

"Our business is to fight the poison of hopelessness with love." 

Remarks of Former Governor Robert P. Casey at the Second Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 4, 1997

 

 

1998
  • Real Alternatives CEO testified before a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee interested in learning about the success of Pennsylvania’s Alternative to Abortion Services Program.

  • State program funding was increased to $3.1 million per year for fiscal years 1997-1999. During that two year contract period ending in June 1999, 15,672 women were served.

“.....a choice such as Real Alternatives offers is the really the only choice that leaves a woman with dignity.”

Remarks of PA Representative Katie True at Real Alternatives Third Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 24, 1998


 

1999
  • As the result of a new contract being signed, state program funding increased to $4.2 million per year.

  • U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R) and U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts (R) introduced the Women & Children’s Resources Act (S. 1605/H.R. 2901) in September 1999 in an effort to replicate Pennsylvania’s success on a national basis to support pregnant women.

  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Missouri and Kansas interested in providing government-funded alternatives to abortion services for women in their state.

“Real Alternatives steers women into the reassuring hand of service providers and away from fear and uncertainty.”  

Then-Lt. Governor Mark Schweiker at Real Alternatives 4th Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet  

April 2, 1999

 

2000
  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Michigan interested in providing government-funded alternative to abortion services for women in their state.

  • Missouri started its own government-funded alternative to abortion services program.

  • In Pennsylvania, a record of 11,397 women were served during fiscal year 1999-2000.

“Your trophy does not sit on a shelf…the trophy for your hard work plays on a swing, moves a tassel during a graduation ceremony, and yes even one day experiences the joy of motherhood.”

Remarks of National Pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick at Real Alternatives Fifth Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 13, 2000

 

2001
  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Florida, Wisconsin, and North Dakota interested in providing government-funded alternative to abortion services for women in their state.

  • U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R) queried the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds for alternative to abortion services programs. HHS approved use of funds. 

  • Former Governor Mark Schweiker (R) increased the funding of the Pennsylvania program with $1 million of TANF money making him the first governor in the nation to use federal funds in the program.

  • In fiscal year 2000-2001,13,426 women were served through the Pennsylvania program.

 

 

 

“They said if I’d only had one person to stand by me, and it could have been a stranger, but they’d say I needed somebody to be a sister to me, I needed someone to be a friend.
… I would have had that baby. And, that’s what you do in maternity homes and crisis pregnancy centers and in offering adoption services. You are that friend….”


Remarks of Author Frederica Matthews-Green at Real Alternatives Sixth Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 5, 2001
 

2002
  • Real Alternatives was a finalist for the Nonprofit Innovation Awards sponsored by the Central Penn Business Journal based on the cost-savings of its then newly-automated billing system for the Pennsylvania program.

  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Louisiana, Nebraska, and Ohio interested in providing government-funded alternative to abortion services for women in their state. Louisiana ultimately followed Pennsylvania’s lead by using TANF funds for alternative to abortion services.

  • The Pennsylvania program funding level was increased to $5.3 million, including $1 million of TANF funds.

  • During fiscal year 2001-2002, 15,202 women in Pennsylvania were served.

“So all I can say in admiration, appreciation and love for you, is to thank you for the work you do. You are like those people who have gone and given their lives for others. God Bless You.”

Remarks of Dr. William K. Thierfelder, President of York Barbell, at Real Alternatives Seventh Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet
April 11, 2002

 

2003
  • The Pennsylvania program experienced a record low administrative cost ratio of 8.54%.

  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Tennessee, Georgia, and Iowa interested in providing government-funded alternative to abortion services for women in their state.

  • During fiscal year 2002-2003, the number of women served by the Pennsylvania program increased to 16,574.

“…And I’m certain that the little things you do every day have a greater impact than you may realize. You have the opportunity to make an incredible difference in the life of everyone you meet. In a word, to be a hero. When learning about the difference that your work makes, I was reminded how one life, one life saved can make an incredible difference.”

Remarks of Deena Burnett, Flight 93 Widow of Todd Burnett at Real Alternatives Eighth Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 3, 2003
 

2004
  • Real Alternatives was one of the first four nonprofits in Pennsylvania to earn the “Seal of Excellence” from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) for successfully completing the Standards for Excellence certification program.

  • Real Alternatives was selected for the second time as a finalist for the Nonprofit Innovation Awards by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal for its statewide outcome measurement collection process for the Pennsylvania program.

  • Real Alternatives educated organizations from Texas and South Dakota interested in providing government-funded alternative to abortion services for women in their state.

  • During fiscal year 2003-2004, 17,253 clients were served in Pennsylvania.

"..... you help the forlorn, the lonely, the desperate pregnant woman who feels isolated and remote from the important living beings in her life, from the loved ones in her life who believe that the only alternative that she has is to abort the baby she is carrying. To escape what she believes is a desperate dark source of all her problems. Your real alternatives provide the compassion that these young women must have found lacking and that you knew existed within. You have provided them with sufficient information to realize there are other options beyond the only one they believe to be feasible, and the only option they believe will make their lives much less complicated.”

Remarks of PA State Senator Jane Clare Orie at Real Alternatives Ninth Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

April 15, 2004

 

2005
  • Real Alternatives CEO met with White House Faith-Based Initiative Office and presented the Pennsylvania program.

  • With the approval of the Faith-Based Organization Policy by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare on June 17, 2005, Real Alternatives allowed to invite new faith-based service providers to the program.

  • The number of women served by the Pennsylvania program during fiscal year 2004-2005 was 17,233.

  • Total women served by the Pennsylvania program tops 100,000 women at over 440,400 visits.

  • A Spanish version of the Real Alternatives’ website was produced and implemented.

  • State legislatures in Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida, Texas, and Minnesota fund Alternative to Abortion Services programs in their states.

“…I cannot thank you enough for having the generosity and the courage and the truthfulness to say to this woman “yes.”  Whoever this girl is, this woman, this young mother; yeah, this is going to be a tough time in your life. There are going to be some things we got to deal with here. This is going to perhaps mean some rocky days, but we are beside you every step of the way…”

Remarks of Oliva Gans, President of Virginia Society of Life, at Real Alternatives Tenth Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

March 31, 2005

 

2006
  • New faith-based organizations started applying to become service providers under the Pennsylvania program.

  • The number of women served by the Pennsylvania program during fiscal year 2005-2006 was 16,600.

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health reports abortions declined 3% in 2005.

  • The Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services Program became a national program!  The Texas Health and Human Services Commission signed a $2.5 million a year agreement with Texas Pregnancy Care Network, a nonprofit, to provide statewide government-funded alternatives to abortion using Real Alternatives to replicate the highly recommended Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services in Texas.

  • "For those who want to lower abortion or make abortion rare - this is the model for America."  Kevin I. Bagatta, Esq. with Vincent Friedewald III, Esq. after Real Alternatives successfully trained the staff of Texas Pregnancy Care Network on how to operate the government-funded alternative to abortion program in Texas.

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, and God will bless you for it.…”


Remarks of PA State Representative Jerald M. Birmelin at Real Alternatives 11th Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

March 30, 2006

 

2007
  • The number of women served by the Pennsylvania program during fiscal year 2006-2007 was a record 17,666.

  • The PA Department  of Public Welfare  offers a new 5 -year contract to Real Alternatives at $5.5 million a year to continue administering the statewide alternative to abortion service program.  This marks the longest contract period for the program.

  • The PA Department of Health provides an additional $1 million grant for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

“A program that doesn’t just play lip service support for mothers, for families, for children, to the fact that abortion is a tragedy, but it does something about it.”

Remarks of Professor Helen M. Alvaré at Real Alternatives 12th Annual Service Providers Conference and Banquet

March 29, 2007
 

2008
  • Due the highest level of program funding, $6.5 million, the Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services Program served a record 19,747 women in fiscal year 2007-2008!

  • Using the Real Alternatives system, Texas Pregnancy Care Network reports that the Te xas Alternative to Abortion Services Program served over 11,500 women at over 60,000 service visits throughout Texas its first two fiscal years!

  • Real Alternatives became re-certified under the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) for continued compliance with the PANO Standards for Excellence program. The PANO Seal of Excellence has again been awarded to Real Alternatives thereby recognizing its exemplary management and commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethics and accountability in the nonprofit sector.

    PANO Seal of Excellence Director Patricia Mogan and Nationally Syndicated Columnist Michele Malkin present Thomas A. Lang, Esquire and Kevin I. Bagatta, Esquire Real Alternatives' second Seal of Excellence.

"Real Alternatives counselors and volunteers are “true agents of hope and change . . . This army of compassion has succeeded against enormous odds . . . and their success is being replicated across the country.”

Remarks of National Columnist Michele Malkin at Real Alternatives
13th Annual Service Providers Conference Banquet

April 11, 2008
 

 

2009

It’s a fantastic program because it is a ‘real alternative’…
You absolutely don’t have to have an abortion… that message is starting to be picked up and heard again and again.”

Remarks of PA State Representative Katie True at the Real Alternatives 14th Annual Service Providers Conference Luncheon
April 2, 2009

 

2010
  • The Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services Program reaches milestone of 175,000 women served since inception of the program.
  • Texas Pregnancy Care Network reports that the Texas Alternative to Abortion Services Program served over 40,000 women since the program's inception in 2006.

“What you do…in Real Alternatives… to support the life of the unborn is truly a special call to service. You have a call to use your mind, your heart, your gifts and your talents in support of life and love.”

Remarks of Sr. Romaine Niemeyer, SCC, President & CEO Holy Spirit Health Systems at Real Alternatives 15th Annual Service Providers Conference Luncheon March 25, 2010

 

2011
  • The Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Services Program reaches milestone of 189,431 women served since inception of the program.

This is an organization, and we know about all the good work you do for the mothers and children, but this is an organization that is fiscally responsible . . This organization is an example of what our society needs."

 

Remarks of Hon. Gary D. Alexander, Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare at Real Alternatives 16th Annual Service Providers Conference Luncheon on March 31, 2011

 

2012

  • The Pennsylvania Alternative to Abortion Program reached two very important milestones in 2012: over 200,000 women have been served since the inception of the program at over 1 million visits!

 

  • Texas Pregnancy Care Network, using the Real Alternatives system,  once again earned re-certification by the Seal of Excellence Institute  after an extensive and thorough review of it's business practices and operations.

2013   

  • Real Alternatives once again earned re-certification by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) after an extensive and thorough review by PANO of Real Alternatives' business practices and operations.

 

  • Real Alternatives’ national expansion grew even further this year  with the signing of a $700,000 pilot program with the  Michigan Department of Community Health to provide alternative  to abortion services in Michigan.

Another important reason for the decline in abortion is because of you-the men and women who have dedicated themselves to providing alternatives, to providing quality care throughout PA.”

Remarks of Lourdes Padilla, Deputy Secretary for the PA Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Income Maintenance at the Real Alternatives  Annual Service Providers Conference Luncheon on March 21, 2013

2014   

  • Real Alternatives once again earned re-certification by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) after an extensive and thorough review by PANO of Real Alternatives' business practices and operations.

Another important reason for the decline in abortion is because of you-the men and women who have dedicated themselves to providing alternatives, to providing quality care throughout PA.”

Remarks of Lourdes Padilla, Deputy Secretary for the PA Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Income Maintenance at the Real Alternatives  Annual Service Providers Conference Luncheon on March 21, 2013

 

 

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