Program “strengthens women and that’s what I love about it!”
By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Stories of triumph over trauma abounded at a recent gathering in south central Pennsylvania.
The participants came together to discuss the Keystone State’s phenomenal Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services program, which is administered by Real Alternatives, Inc.
Two pro-life powerhouse lawmakers, State Senator Judy Ward and State Representative Dawn Keefer, moderated the event.
The first panel dealt with the overall impact of the 27-year-old program, which offers services to pregnant women and to their families up to 12 months after the birth of their babies.
Officials from Real Alternatives, Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia, and TryLife Center in Lower Burrell explained how the program not only saves lives, but changes lives.
Real Alternatives President and CEO Kevin Bagatta noted that “over 340,000 women have been served, not counting the babies, at 1.9 million visits.” As Senator Ward said, the program “strengthens women and that’s what I love about it!”
The second panel, made up of program counselors, explored the unique issues facing pregnant women in challenging circumstances and the comprehensive support they receive from social service agencies, pregnancy support centers, and maternity homes.
“To be able to go into a place where somebody is just listening to them and not casting judgment is just enormous” for the women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, said Rep. Keefer.
The third panel discussed service providers who separately offer medical services to women, such as ultrasounds and STI testing. Health care professionals from Morning Star Pregnancy Services spoke about their high standard of care for women.
You can view the symposium here (www.RealAlternatives.org/Symposium2022 ).