By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Pennsylvania’s abortion totals seem staggering. In 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, 37,778 children lost their lives to abortion in our state. Each of those lives was precious and can never be replaced.
The abortion statistics in the Keystone State would be even higher were it not for our state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is administered by Real Alternatives. This ground-breaking program, which has become a model for other states, is made up of a network of pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies throughout the Commonwealth. The pregnancy centers provide comprehensive support and encouragement for pregnant women, offering everything from mentoring to maternity wear, from pregnancy tests to parenting classes. Tens of thousands of women and their families have been assisted through the program, and countless lives have been saved as a result.
I lobby hard for funding for Real Alternatives because I know it is a key to reducing Pennsylvania’s abortion rate. A survey of post-abortive women showed that 80 percent of those women would have chosen life for their babies had just ONE person offered support for such a decision. A pregnancy center counselor could, in fact, be that one person.
Interestingly enough, Real Alternatives also saves taxpayer money. Women served by Real Alternatives centers are encouraged to seek well baby care and immunizations for their children, saving medical costs in the long run.
If you are not familiar with Real Alternatives, please check out their website at www.realalternatives.org. The program is a real life-saver.