This action is an attack on Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs), some of whom are partially funded by this long-standing policy created by a former Democrat governor.
(HARRISBURG, PA – August 4, 2023) As soon as Governor Josh Shapiro signed his first state budget, his administration announced that it will end the long-standing contract for alternatives to abortion funding with Real Alternatives; a move that will harm women and is a direct assault on pregnancy help services and dozens of pregnancy centers that offer vital life-affirming care to tens of thousands of women in Pennsylvania every year.
“If the state is truly interested in reproductive health, why are we making it harder to access pregnancy and parenting services? Does our government want to help women and families or line the pockets of the abortion industry? The recent announcement by Gov. Shapiro will harm families and will place abortion profits over the well-being of women and families in Pennsylvania,” said Alexis Sneller with PA Family Institute.
The state currently operates two programs for reproductive health, with lopsided funding already favoring the “Family Planning Services” program which funds facilities including some that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood. Four regional Family Planning Councils receive funding through this program. According to their latest filings, these four regional councils received over $50 million in funding in 2020.
The other state program, set up nearly thirty years ago by Gov. Bob Casey, Sr., is Pennsylvania’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program. This “alternatives to abortion” program was created to promote childbirth and provide help “to women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy at the time she is making a decision about the outcome of her pregnancy.” (Department of Human Services)
Operating through three Democratic governor administrations before Josh Shapiro, this pregnancy and parenting state program offers free life-affirming services, and since there’s already a program funding centers that perform abortions, it does not promote, refer or counsel for abortion.
“Pennsylvania law declares it is the public policy of this Commonwealth to encourage childbirth over abortion, yet this administration wants to unilaterally prioritize only one option for women: the ending of a pregnancy through abortion,” stated Thomas Shaheen, Vice President for Policy of Pennsylvania Family Institute. “Our governor is already denying needy children from accessing a better education with his budget veto of Lifeline scholarships. Now he wants to deny children a chance at life. How incredibly heartless.”
Ending funding for pregnancy centers the top legislative agenda this session for Planned Parenthood , Pennsylvania’s largest abortion business which spent a record $50 million ahead of the 2022 election in states including Pennsylvania. Rife with hypocrisy, Planned Parenthood claims pregnancy centers are ineligible for state funding because of a perceived lack of prenatal care.
“Planned Parenthood has zero credibility in addressing the subject of prenatal care, as they previously advertised providing such care at all of their Pennsylvania locations yet not one location actually performed such services,” stated Dan Bartkowiak, Director of Communications for PA Family. “It wasn’t until PA Family called them out that they removed such advertisements. If anyone has misled women about their pregnancy, it’s Planned Parenthood.”
Any attack on pregnancy centers hurts women like Quinn and Crystal, two moms who testified at a hearing in Harrisburg last June in support of pregnancy resource centers. Each shared about the vital services they provide, like free diapers, transitional housing and emotional support.
Each year, pregnancy resource centers offer millions of dollars worth of diapers, formula, parenting classes, clothes, strollers, cribs, and more to families in need. In Pennsylvania, they outnumber abortion clinics 9-to-1 and are an essential part of our communities.
“Every year, pregnancy resource centers care for thousands of women in Pennsylvania who choose life for their preborn child. As former governor Bob Casey, Sr. said, these life-affirming centers help to fight the poison of hopelessness with love. Yet Gov. Shapiro is pouring more poison into Pennsylvania politics with this recent announcement,” added Bartkowiak.
On Shapiro’s first day as governor, major campaign contributor Planned Parenthood had their Pennsylvania directors welcomed into his office. Today, they’re cashing in on their lobbying investment, continuing their agenda that promotes abortion over the health and well-being of women and families in Pennsylvania. By Gov. Shapiro’s standards, we’re funding abortion, not women’s health.