Cephas praises end of contract with Real Alternatives

The anti-abortion group has received state funding for nearly three decades

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – Following the announcement that the Shapiro administration is terminating state funding for the organization Real Alternatives, state Rep. Morgan Cephas today expressed satisfaction for the decision and indicated that it signifies a step forward in the fight to protect freedom to choose for all Pennsylvanians.

Cephas, Chair of the House Philadelphia Delegation and former co-chair of the Legislative Women’s Health Caucus, said that the decision to cut ties with the program that partners with crisis pregnancy centers was needed. The legislator explained that Real Alternatives was just a pricey obstacle for taxpayers that did not provide the impartial reproductive health services that she and her colleagues have been advocating for in Pennsylvania.

“This is a long-awaited triumph; our efforts have paid off,” Cephas said. “It is no secret that these crisis pregnancy centers operating under the guidance of Real Alternatives were part of a radical agenda to strengthen restrictions on abortion access at the expense of taxpayers.

“A person must be free to decide what they want to do with their own body, but as soon as you walk in to one of these centers you realize that your particular situation or need might not fit the core mission of this organization: ‘to provide life-affirming pregnancy.’ This means that they already decided for their patients in advance. No feedback needed,” she explained.

“It is absurd that for years we invested millions of tax dollars in a program that serves no good to our state and was exempted of supervision from state agencies.

“Most recently, for fiscal year 2022-23, this program was granted $7.263 million through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Thankfully, that was the end; we can now move on to invest in real support for Pennsylvanians.”

According to the Shapiro administration, the General Assembly has allocated funding for programs that provide alternatives to abortion services. Historically, per the Fiscal Code, the Department of Human Services was required to administer those budget 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 or CPCs). No commonwealth agency has licensing oversight of crisis pregnancy centers or how they assist pregnant women.

DHS will soon issue a Request for Applications seeking applications for women’s health service programs as funded in the 2023-24 state budget.