By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
In the city where abortionist and convicted killer Kermit Gosnell plied his grisly trade, pregnant women are finding award-winning support and guidance, thanks to the stellar team at Catholic Social Services.
For the fourth year in a row, the Philadelphia organization has won the prestigious Pennsylvania Service Provider of the Year award from Real Alternatives, the entity that runs the Keystone State’s groundbreaking, state-funded Alternatives to Abortion program. The innovative program funds pregnancy care centers throughout the Commonwealth.
The Philadelphia agency served nearly 5,500 women who were pregnant in 2015. Catholic Social Services offers prenatal and parenting support groups, which can be a lifeline to women facing challenging circumstances. The organization also holds monthly baby showers at its many locations in the greater Philadelphia area.
Catholic Philly.com quoted Catholic Social Services’ Amy Stoner as stating, “We are extremely grateful and humbled to be honored by Real Alternatives as the Service Provider of the Year for the fourth year in a row and to know that CSS’ impact is so far reaching. It has been a truly gratifying experience to work with so many women by offering them a positive, caring and supportive approach to motherhood.”
Thomas A. Lang, Esq. Vice President of Operations of Real Alternatives, said, “Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia received the Real Alternatives Service Provider of the Year Award for serving the most pregnant clients. They have earned this accolade many years simply because they go above and beyond the norm in making it known throughout the communities they serve that they are there for woman who are experiencing unexpected pregnancies. It is a team effort for Catholic Social Services that starts at the very top, and has simply become an integral part of their mission to sincerely work to lower abortion in Pennsylvania.”
There were additional kudos for Catholic Social Services, this time from Kevin Bagatta, President & CEO of Real Alternatives. The organization, he said, “exemplifies the type of service our program provides to women in unexpected pregnancies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. They say that the definition of hope is the belief that some outside force will come and change the dire circumstance you find yourself in, but cannot change yourself. The counselors at Catholic Social Services, as well as all our counselors in our multi-state programs, are that hope to our clients.”
Since its inception, Real Alternatives has provided comprehensive support and counseling to more than 200,000 Pennsylvania women. The first-in-the-nation Pennsylvania program has also expanded and has also seen its program replicated in a number of other states. These pregnancy and parenting support programs are a vital safety net for women and help to empower them to make life-affirming decisions for themselves and their families.