When you visit the Real Alternatives headquarters outside of Harrisburg, you’re not going to find case-workers and pregnant women looking for help. But the work that is done here makes it possible for those two groups of people to meet each other and have that potentially life-saving assistance provided.
“When we talk about providing support, we’re talking about the Catholic Charities throughout the state providing support,” said Kevin Bagatta, the President of Real Alternatives. “We’re talking about pregnancy centers providing support and we’re talking about maternity homes providing support.”
There about 90 Real Alternatives-affiliated pregnancy centers providing support throughout Pennsylvania, using about 370 counselors. They’re about giving pregnant women a choice too. They are dedicated to provide support to encourage childbirth so the client need not feel she needs to choose abortion.
What Real Alternatives does is provide government resources to all of those centers. That has made a huge difference in pregnancy services in the some 24 years that Real Alternatives has been in existence. In that amount of time, almost 310,000 women have been helped. That doesn’t include the babies, just the moms!
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Many times the young, pregnant woman is alone and is being pressured to have an abortion. Bagatta says the counselors will help her realize she does not have to abort her baby because of her situation. And that she is not by herself.
“After the pregnancy, especially with young people, that unplanned pregnancy, or unexpected pregnancy can become a crisis parenting situation,” Bagatta said. “We’ll be there with them for that time to make sure they are ready and are providing good parenting and good nurturing and are being taken care of during that first year of life.”
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has offered the nation, in these turbulent times we live, a clearly different policy choice on helping women in unexpected pregnancies. It funds a program that provides love and life-affirming support to the women and then to her baby. This program lowers abortion by supporting the pregnant woman through her crisis. Shouldn’t every state have such a program?
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