Project WIN – Women In Need – Real Alternatives
Consider the following cases: A young unmarried couple learns of the
woman’s pregnancy. Both fear they are not ready for parenthood.
A young woman,
pregnant, homeless, and abandoned by her child’s father, faces an uncertain future
with no one to help her. A fifteen-year-old girl discovers she is pregnant, is
considering abortion, and wants to talk to someone. What do all three women have in
common? They all saw a Project WIN (Women In Need) television ad and called
Each was put in contact with alternatives to abortion counseling
centers nearest to them. The first couple received help to place their
child for adoption. The adoption agency also provided counseling for
them after their baby was born and placed for adoption. The
homeless woman received shelter at a maternity home and help once
her son was born. The fifteen-year-old chose life for her daughter
once she was presented with alternatives to abortion.
In 1995, 1,266 women received help from Pennsylvania’s alternative
to abortion services. By 1999, that number had grown to 11,397.
Since the program’s inception seven years ago, 57,000 women have
been helped by Real Alternatives.
Real Alternatives began as Project WIN (Women In Need), but the
mission has been the same, to offer compassionate, practical,
life-affirming alternatives to abortion for women, Real Alternatives seeks
to improve a woman’s physical and mental well being before and
after pregnancy care for the baby, and encourage adoption for those
unable to parent.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg on June 23, 1997 reported
“Pennsylvania is the only state to finance private pregnancy facilities
and mandate they do not counsel about termination.”(abortion) How
did a pro-life program receive government funding? Seven years ago,
the pro-life movement and the Pa. Catholic Conference convinced
the Pennsylvania state legislature to fund alternatives to abortion.
Governor Casey set aside money in the state budget to fund
alternatives to abortion.
Real Alternatives has become a model program as other states have
attempted to pass similar legislation. North Dakota’s attempt failed,
but Louisiana’s governor is expected to sign alternatives to abortion
How does Real Alternatives operate?
Real Alternatives does the advertising across the state for member
counseling centers and adoption agencies using television, and
newspapers encouraging women to call 1-888-LIFE-AID. Therefore,
member pregnancy centers can concentrate their efforts on helping
women instead of fundraising and advertising. Calls go in to Real
Alternatives and women are patched through to a pregnancy center
closest to their zip code. All over the state a woman is only one hour or
less away from a pregnancy center.
Real Alternatives subcontracts to 110 counseling centers which include
maternity homes, adoption agencies, pregnancy counseling centers, and
Catholic social service agencies. Counseling must be pro-life, so
women are only referred to pro-life doctors. There is no counseling or
referring for abortion. Centers must maintain client confidentiality,
provide pregnancy self-testing, but cannot promote religious teaching.
Women are eligible for services throughout pregnancy until baby’s first
birthday. All services are free of charge.
Think about it, 57,000 women were given REAL help, not a sales pitch
If these same women had gone to Planned Parenthood, the outcome
for their babies would have been quite different. Statistics for one
Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood abortion mill reveal 29 abortions to
one referral to a Pregnancy Counseling Center. Nationwide statistics
are similar: in 1993, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
provided prenatal care to 9,943 mothers and aborted 134,277 children
and referred an additional 80,743 women for abortions nationwide.
For each woman who received prenatal care, 22 babies were aborted.
Real Alternatives saves lives. Statistics show that prior to passage of
the Abortion Control Act, there were 22.1 abortions out of 100
pregnancies. In 1991, the year Abortion Control act took effect, there
were 20.2 abortions per 100 pregnancies. In 1997 a television
advertising campaign for Real Alternatives brought the abortion rate
down to 18.9 abortions per 100 pregnancies. If you offer women
alternatives to abortion, they will choose them. Eighty-three percent of
women who have had abortions say they would not have had an
abortion if just one person offered them help. Real Alternatives offers
that help. If you are pregnant and need help call 1-888-LIFE-AID.
By Susan Cirba reprinted from the Pro-Life Reporter Fall 2002
Pregnant? Need Help?
Visit Real Alternatives