HOLLIDAYSBURG – Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) today issued the following statement regarding the Shapiro administration’s decision to end the Department of Human Services contract with the Real Alternatives program:
“I am tremendously disappointed at Governor Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh’s decision to end the Department of Human Services’ contract with Real Alternatives. The fact that they would celebrate the end of a proven and successful program that provides food, clothing, furniture, counseling, and shelter to women in crisis is sickening. Over their three decades of operation, maternal and infant mortality rates and various other health markers for pregnant women and infants improved as they helped hundreds of thousands of women receive the care and dignity they wanted and deserved. It is shameful that the Governor and Secretary Arkoosh are willing to sacrifice the needs and desires of so many women at the altar of their far-left social agenda. Their decision to end the Real Alternatives contract at the end of the year shows they prioritize increasing the number of abortions in Pennsylvania over improving the health and well-being of women.”
On August 3rd, Governor Shapiro’s administration release a press release announcing the end of the Department of Human Services’ contract with Real Alternatives after thirty years of service.
Real Alternatives was started under Governor Bob Casey (D) to provide pregnancy and parenting support services to women in crisis pregnancies. In 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. Through their interactions with Real Alternatives, they were “able to attest to the commitment to quality, efficiency, expert use of technology and most of ethical and accountable conduct in their operation.”
In 2005, Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Estelle Richman, under Governor Rendell (D) sent a letter to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services attesting to Real Alternatives’ performance and integrity, saying that she was “impressed by the overall design and implementation of this statewide pregnancy and parenting support services program.” She also affirmed that “Real Alternatives has developed a system of thorough and extensive administrative and service provider monitoring practices to ensure program compliance”, that they “yearly exceeded performance requirements”, and “they never bring problems to the Department, only solutions.” Real Alternatives went on to be a national model, helping to start similar programs in Missouri, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, and Indiana.
As of June 30, 2023, Real Alternatives has helped over 349,000 Pennsylvanian women at over 1,800,000 visits.
Residents can follow Ward on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenJudyWard and Twitter @SenatorJWard for news about legislation and the 30th Senate District. Contact information for her district offices and other information can be found on her website at SenatorJudyWard.com, and constituents also can sign up for her e-newsletter at SenatorJudyWard.com/enewsletters.
Contact: Nathan Akers