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Real Alternatives: When Failure is Not an Option

December 22, 2023

By Kevin I. Bagatta, Esq.

In early August, CMA reported the radical news that Governor Josh Shapiro took the unprecedented move to terminate the highly successful 28-year-old Pennsylvania Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program created and administered by the charitable nonprofit, Real Alternatives. Just two days after being sworn in, Governor Shapiro met with Planned Parenthood advocates during which they insisted the Governor end funding to the program. He has chosen to give in to their radical demand despite the fact that the people, the Legislature, and six previous governors have strongly supported the program for almost three decades.

During the summer and fall, thousands of pro-life Pennsylvanians contacted their legislators and the Governor calling for his decision to be reversed. Governor Shapiro has not relented and has refused to continue the use of taxpayer funding for the program that has provided a life-affirming choice to 350,000 women in unexpected pregnancies in the Commonwealth. The tax-payer funded program ends December 31, 2023.

Real Alternatives corporate motto is “Empowering Women for Life © sm.” Over the years, other sayings also captured the comprehensive approach its program took to providing statewide pregnancy and parenting support to women experiencing unexpected pregnancies. “Love is an Action Verb,” for example describes the heart of the 350 counselors throughout the state serving the 14,000 women a year at the 83 Real Alternatives-funded centers. With the end of taxpayer funding on the horizon, due to shear politics, another saying developed among the staff of Real Alternatives in the last three months …. “Failure is not an option!”

This has always been the “People’s Program” to give women a choice to choose life and be supported through their pregnancy and in the months following birth. That is exactly what has occurred over the last 28 years. The program works! With 55% of abortions in Pennsylvania occurring through chemical abortions, the robust statewide advertising campaign component is crucial in reaching out to women who are alone. Using digital ads on smartphones, television, radio and e-mails, Real Alternatives has connected women to one of the closest 83 funded centers, which provide services during pregnancy and 12 months after the birth of the baby.

With the success of the program established, Real Alternatives plans to continue to provide life-affirming support to the women of Pennsylvania but using privately funded monies. As a 501C3 nonprofit, donations to Real Alternatives are tax-deductible. The Real Alternatives Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program spends on average $575, just $1.58 a day, per woman.

The Real Alternative has cast a wide net for life partners. We have reached out to Catholic parishes, Christian churches, St. Thomas More Law societies, Pro-life donors, Knights of Columbus, and major donors in Pennsylvania. Now we extend our reach nationally to members of the Catholic Medical Association and beyond. We want to reach out to anyone who wants to help us end abortion by loving one woman at a time. To become a life partner, please visit


Kevin I. Bagatta is the president and CEO of Real Alternatives, Empowering Women for Life ©sm.