By Andrea Kochan Neagle
This text initially appeared in The Morning Name as an op-ed and is reprinted with permission.
The “Reproductive Rights” activists are celebrating gleefully the Shapiro Administration’s choice to finish the Commonwealth’s contract with the group Actual Options, a Guidestar Gold Standing non-profit group that gives no price skilled being pregnant and parenting help companies to any lady contemplating choices apart from abortion. Governor Shapiro stated his administration “will guarantee ladies on this Commonwealth obtain the reproductive well being care they deserve,” saying he was steadfast in defending abortion entry.
The reality is, entry to abortion in Pennsylvania doesn’t have to be defended by the governor. Deliberate Parenthood, the main supplier of abortions in the USA, has 25 affiliate areas all through the Commonwealth. There are not any obstacles to abortion entry right here.
The Governor and his Administration take each alternative to criticize the $30 million in funding Actual Options acquired over a five-year interval. And whereas numbers particular to Pennsylvania are laborious to return by, Deliberate Parenthood’s 2022 Annual Report (tellingly titled “Relentless”) signifies that in 2022 alone it acquired a whopping $670.4 million in authorities grants and reimbursements, making up 35% of its income.
In keeping with that very same Annual Report, Deliberate Parenthood associates carried out 374,155 abortions in 2022. To place this in context, 372,000 folks lived in Cleveland, Ohio on the time of the 2020 Census.
The reproductive well being care ladies deserve consists of significant help for girls selecting to maintain their youngsters. In distinction to Deliberate Parenthood’s “Relentless” assault on ladies and households by selling abortion, the Actual Options program, which receives a tiny fraction of the federal government funding that Deliberate Parenthood receives, supplies precisely that: a viable various to abortion via its life-affirming being pregnant and parenting help companies.
Actual Options helps a statewide community of companies, considered one of which is Catholic Charities Diocese of Allentown, which is staffed with absolutely skilled, caring, and compassionate counselors. Catholic Charities is a non-profit group that serves each lady who walks in our door no matter faith, race, creed, language or revenue. Catholic Charities is monitored yearly to make sure compliance with the Division of Human Providers requirements. Catholic Charities Diocese of Allentown has been a associate with Actual Options for 20 years and has served over 9,000 shoppers via our being pregnant and parenting help applications.
However let’s get previous the statistics, as a result of whereas statistics are necessary for perspective, our shoppers aren’t statistics. Catholic Charities’ counselors give attention to the innate human dignity of every shopper we serve. Due to the funding we obtain, our skilled counselors can provide non-judgmental steerage to any lady who wants the time, area and help to make an genuine alternative that’s greatest for her, her little one and her household. From the second a girl contacts Catholic Charities, she is handled with respect, compassion and dignity. Our skilled workers stroll along with her, not simply via her being pregnant, however via her journey to parenthood by providing counseling, parenting lessons, and infrequently important materials help like diapers, system, child meals and clothes. We provide this ongoing help in order that these ladies and their households can thrive.
In fact, not each lady chooses to maintain her child. In these heart-wrenching conditions, we’re there serving to ladies make the loving choice to position their child for adoption. We may also help these ladies absolutely take part within the course of of selecting adoptive dad and mom and the extent to which they need to stay part of their little one’s life.
Pennsylvanians have to know that 1000’s of pregnant ladies need to select life for his or her infants, and that organizations like Catholic Charities are right here to help them on this crucial and life-affirming choice. The Governor is giving just one choice to ladies: finish your child’s life as a result of she or he isn’t valued as a person. Chopping funding to Actual Options shouldn’t be presenting a “alternative” for girls. Do we actually need Pennsylvania to be often called a state that doesn’t worth life and human dignity?
Ending a thirty-year program that has helped 1000’s of ladies and men strengthen their parenting expertise and supply a loving house for his or her youngsters is a shame. It’s not too late to ship a message to our legislators that Pennsylvanians need actual options as a result of Pennsylvanians worth the innate human dignity of moms, fathers and youngsters.
To assist Catholic Charities help pregnant ladies, donate right here: https://www.catholicfoundationep.org/donations/prolife-mothers-to-be-fund/
Andrea Kochan Neagle, JD, is the Managing Director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Allentown.
Photograph: OSV Information