Pennsylvania Defunds Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
Pennsylvania’s governor is partnering with Planned Parenthood to defund pregnancy resource centers. Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) signed a new state budget on Thursday, which includes terminating a contract with Real Alternatives, a nonprofit organization responsible for running the state’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services. Shapiro said of the targeted budget cut, “For decades, taxpayer dollars have gone to fund Real Alternatives. My administration will not continue that pattern — we will ensure women in this Commonwealth receive the reproductive health care they deserve.”
Planned Parenthood was quick to release a statement lauding the governor’s decision. Planned Parenthood P.A. Advocates executive director Signe Espinoza called the new budget decision “an enormous win for every Pennsylvanian,” continuing to say that “we all deserve access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, and yes that means abortion too.”
Not satisfied with siphoning Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars to commit abortions, Planned Parenthood previously called on Shapiro to defund pregnancy resource centers earlier this year. According to P.A. Family, Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania received nearly $4 million in state funding between 2013 and 2016, largely under the tenure of former governor Tom Wolf, a radical pro-abortion activist. Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Wolf signed an executive order to “protect” abortions in the Keystone state and announced Pennsylvania would not cooperate with states where pro-life laws required an individual in Pennsylvania to be arrested for violating the law. Wolf also sued his own state’s duly-elected legislature to prevent lawmakers from introducing a ballot initiative to constitutionally outlaw abortion in Pennsylvania.
Shapiro’s administration seemingly differs little from Wolf’s where abortion is concerned. Planned Parenthood lobbied vocally for Shapiro’s election to office, a campaign which has already borne fruit. The new governor has placed Planned Parenthood employees on his staff, including appointing former Planned Parenthood political operations executive Lindsey Mauldin to be Shapiro’s Health Department liaison. And when Shapiro’s initial budget continued funding pregnancy resource centers, Planned Parenthood issued a statement, which resulted in Thursday’s announcement that Real Alternatives would no longer receive state funding to assist pregnant mothers.
Espinoza claimed that pregnancy resource centers have “preyed on the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians with deception and misinformation — but that era is ending. These facilities harmed us over and over again, and taxpayers footed the bill. They’ve taken hundreds of millions in taxpayer money to advance an anti-abortion agenda and we thank Governor Josh Shapiro for putting an end to it.”
She continued to smear pregnancy resource centers:
“They have lied to patients and shamed them for seeking their options. They have misled pregnant people and delayed them to the point where abortion is no longer an option. They have shared inaccurate information about contraceptive care on the occasions they discuss contraception at all. … We deserve the freedom and the privacy to make our most intimate health care decisions with our doctors and without the predatory influence of anti-abortion counseling.”
Real Alternatives will continue to receive state funding until the end of 2023. The organization has held a state contract for over 27 years, starting when pro-life Democrat governor Bob Casey wanted to introduce a program to provide alternative routes for pregnant women who felt pressured into abortion.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.