04 August 2023- Following Governor Josh Shapiro’s signing of the 2023-2024 budget, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today announced the Commonwealth’s contract with Real Alternatives – an organization that purports to provide counseling, referrals, and other services through partnerships with crisis pregnancy centers – will come to an end by December 31, 2023. In a few weeks, DHS will be soliciting applications for women’s health providers across the state to address women’s health needs.
For many years, the General Assembly (GA) has allocated funding for programs that provide alternatives to abortion services. Historically, per the fiscal code, DHS was required to administer those GA funds, and has done so through an agreement with Real Alternatives since 1995. Real Alternatives works with a network of non-medical providers, which includes crisis pregnancy centers (also known as pregnancy resource centers). No Commonwealth agency has licensing oversight of crisis pregnancy centers or how they assist pregnant women.
DHS will soon issue a Request for Applications (RFA) seeking applications for women’s health service programs as allocated in the 2023-24 Budget.
“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,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Pennsylvanians made clear by electing me as Governor that they support a woman’s freedom to choose, and I will be steadfast in defending that right.”