FINAL UPDATE: By Order dated January 23, 2023, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Equity Forward’s Petition for Appeal. In a win for all businesses and corporations that do business with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is now settled law in the Commonwealth that merely because a company has a contract to do business with the state government, that business’ private company records do not suddenly become public documents. The administrative law body and the courts repeatedly found that Equity Forward’s attempts to obtain Real Alternatives’ private corporate records amounted to overreaching on its part. Private corporate records in Pennsylvania have been declared to remain private when a company engages in business with the Commonwealth. A pro-abortion rights group from New York that calls itself, “Equity Forward,” was created specifically for the purpose of attacking pro-life organizations, programs, entities, and supporters throughout the country. It was started by an individual named Mary Alice Carter who, not surprisingly, just happened to be a former Planned Parenthood Vice President. She has been a strident pro-abortion activist for a very long time. Her successors are no different. This agenda-driven attack group has intruded upon this extraordinarily helpful Pennsylvania social services program for quite some time.
It has been attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to pry into the private, unrelated, non-state business matters of Real Alternatives, that have nothing whatsoever to do with its contract with the state. It is fundamental business and contract law that no one has the right to demand the disclosure of private business matters of any non-state company. Equity Forward continues to fail to understand this basic concept as explained below.
Equity Forward’s intrusion began with a baseless Right To Know Law request for Real Alternatives’ private corporate business records submitted on September 25, 2017. That request was denied by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Equity Forward appealed to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records (OOR) which decided on January 22, 2018 that Equity Forward was not entitled to Real Alternatives’ private business documents. Equity Forward filed an appeal in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on February 23, 2018, and the matter was sent back to OOR for further factual findings on May 17, 2019.
On June 26, 2020, OOR again found that Equity Forward was not entitled to Real Alternatives’ private corporate documents. On October 13, 2020, Equity Forward filed yet another appeal in the Commonwealth Court once again seeking to obtain the very same private corporate documents of Real Alternatives which it has been repeated told by judicial bodies that it is not entitled to obtain.
After these continuing loses in judicial settings where facts and truth matter, Equity Forward created a false and misleading website about Real Alternatives and its very successful Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program that it has administered for over 27 years in Pennsylvania.
The multitude of lies and defamatory libelous statements and accusations published by Equity Forward on their website are addressed by Real Alternatives below. Facts are an important reality: click the “Fiction” statement.
On July 19, 2022, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court affirmed the decision of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records in favor of Real Alternatives that the private corporate records of Real Alternatives are not subject to disclosure under the Pennsylvania Right To Know Law. It was once again affirmed that Real Alternatives’ private corporate records do not relate to any government function under any contract with any Pennsylvania government agency. On August 18, 2022, Equity Forward filed a Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.