Pennsylvania’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program Assists Over 200,000 Women and Lowers Abortion During Bad Economy!
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, February 11, 2013 –Pennsylvania’s first-in-the-nation Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program has served over 211,036 women the last 17 years. 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 women throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Real Alternatives is the statewide administrator for the Program. Kevin Bagatta, President and CEO of Real Alternatives said, “It has been so gratifying over these years that so many women who were alone and facing a crisis pregnancy had another person to assist them and empower them to overcome obstacles and pressures so they could choose life for their preborn baby.” Real Alternatives uses a network of 93 pregnancy support centers, Catholic Charities, and maternity homes, and their over 500 caring and compassionate trained counselors to provide free pregnancy support and parenting education services to women and families in our state.
In fiscal year 2011-2012 ending June 30, 2012, 18,948 women were provided comprehensive counseling, mentoring, education, and support services that were available to them throughout their nine (9) months of pregnancy and twelve (12) months after the birth of their baby. The program received funding of $5.794 million that fiscal year through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The Program’s administrative cost ratio was 7.86%.
Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that the number of resident abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2011 dropped by 2.2% to 34,459 from the previous year. That figure represents a 7.3% drop from the 1995 number of 37,173 abortions, the year before the program began.
Real Alternatives Vice President, Thomas Lang pointed out, “With the difficult economic times we have experienced the last couple of years, comes increased pressure to abort. For women who come to our Program pressured by others to abort, 87% no longer consider abortion after receiving services in our Program.” Lang continued, “Thankfully, in fiscal year 2011-12 our statewide Program served more women seeking services for unexpected pregnancies than at any time in the program’s 17 year history.” A record setting 13,068 pregnant women received services in that one year alone.”
“When explaining the program to government officials from other states, I’ll often ask them, ‘Do you know what they call a positive approach to the most controversial issue of our time? They call it a solution!’” Bagatta said. Real Alternatives has assisted 14 other states to start taxpayer-funded programs to reach out to women facing unexpected pregnancies in their states. In 2006, the State of Texas, requested assistance in replicating the Pennsylvania program. That program, administered by Texas Pregnancy Care Network, has also been a great success in providing pregnancy and parenting support services to 71,978 women at 373, 963 support service visits.
For more information, call Kevin I. Bagatta, Esq. at
View a short film about this successful program at: www.RealAlternatives.org/film/