by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2007
Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) — A new report from the Pennsylvania health department finds that the number of abortions in 2005 dropped more than three percent from the year before. The report comes as a pregnancy help program reveals it’s assisted more than 16,000 pregnant women in finding abortion alternatives.
According to new figures LifeNews.com obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there were 34,909 abortions done in the state in 2005, a decrease of 1,121, or 3.1 percent, compared to 2004.
The 2005 figure represent a whopping 46.9 percent drop in abortions since 1980, when nearly 67,000 abortions were done.
The abortion decline is in large part thanks to Real Alternatives, a state-funded program that helps crisis pregnancy centers reach women with unexpected pregnancies.
Kevin Bagatta, the head of the program, tells LifeNews.com it reached more than 16,000 women with assistance during and after their pregnancies.
He said the program "continues to work because of the approximately 500 counselors statewide meeting the needs of women in crisis pregnancies."
"By providing a counselor to be with the pregnant woman from the moment she finds out she is pregnant to 12 months after the birth of the baby, this program empowers her to overcome her obstacles and crisis," Begatta added.
In 2005, 128 Real Alternatives-funded centers throughout the Commonwealth provided services to 16,344 women during 61,572 visits.
There is a center within 45 minutes of every woman in Pennsylvania and since its inception 12 years ago, Real Alternatives has served over 120,000 women at over 540,000 office visits and is currently funded at $5.5 million per year by the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Welfare.
"We have seen a steady decrease in annual abortions since the start of the program 12 years ago," Begatta added.
However, his long-term hope is "the day when no woman in the Commonwealth feels the she must have an abortion."
Related web sites:
Real Alternatives – https://www.realalternatives.org