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Top Ten List of Disturbing, Unethical and Underhanded Components of Indiana and Real Alternatives

In a Monday press release, Gov. Pence announced he was expanding Indiana’s contract with Real Alternatives, a nonprofit that provides “life-affirming” counseling to pregnant women. Real Alternatives promotes abstinence only education. In the three other states where Real Alternatives operate, service providers who work with them are barred from having any affiliation with entities that perform abortions or ProAbortion advocates.

But wait, there is more! So much more that it is easier to have a Top Ten List of disturbing, unethical, and underhanded components of this contract. In no particular order:

  1. The grant with ISDH and Real Alternatives was more than tripled from  the 1 million in 2014 to 3.5 million. Though Pence cites the success of Real Alternatives, there is NO data from any source of how the success was measured.- The governor’s success parroted that of Indiana Right to Life.
  2. RA is Pennsylvania based organization and under investigation (a) by their State Auditor.
  3. The 3.5 million was taken from TANF monies. This is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – earmarked budgeted for ALL Hoosier families- not jut the ProFetus ones.
  4. By statute the Governor can approve and reallocate monies without any legislative approval. Pence routinely does this by putting the spin that he is fiscally conservative and this grant (and others) isn’t costing taxpayers additional funds. See the link to last year when Pence announce he was giving more funds for Domestic Violence programming (b) when in fact he was using money he had ordered reverted back to surplus.
  5. Real Alternatives website is filled with inaccuracies, (lies) about abortion. A few examples: “Women who had abortions have increased risk of breast cancer”. Yet According to ACOG in 2009 “rigorous studies demonstrate no causal relationship.”
  6. Real Alternatives uses shaming and scare tactics. “Females With a History of Casual Sex report the most symptoms of Depression”; “There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in emotional health. … This psychological response is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Not only are these unfounded, they are cruel and shaming.
  7. Neither the Pence administration nor The Indiana State Department of Health (a partner in this contract) have provided said contract to anyone. There has been no disclosure of the terms, conditions, etc. No data from  the 2014 grant. Indiana has awarded a grant based on no data with no public contract of what the grant entails.
  8. Real Alternatives could be protected under RFRA. An investigation by Michigan detailed staff giving Scripture and Bible passages to clients. Their literature states they will not refer nor offer any counseling service that includes birth control or abortion.
  9. According to Michigan Department of Community Health, (c) during Real Alternatives’ pilot year they failed to sign up a single provider during their first 8 months.
    1. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2015/10/06/anti-abortion-program-with-30m-grant-a-surprise-to-pa-state-auditor/
    2. http://www.peacock-panache.com/2014/09/indiana-gov-pence-plays-shell-game-10305.html
    3. http://markmaynard.com/2014/06/welcome-to-michigan-where-we-invest-in-anti-abortion-pseudo-science-instead-of-infrastructure/
  10. While Governor Pence has refused to release the contract, according to the Real Alternatives website, it is the State of Indiana that prohibits them from promoting, referring, or counseling for abortion.

This is just a small number of the disturbing, unethical and underhanded things that Real Alternatives lists on their website.

Quick Hit: Stand With Planned Parenthood!

The U.S. House is expected to vote tomorrow on a measure to defund Planned Parenthood. Protect this important provider of vital healthcare!

My fellow Hoosiers, call your member of Congress today and urge them to protect – even increase – funding for Planned Parenthood!

Please take a moment to call right now!

Rep. Susan Brooks 202-225-2276
Rep. Larry Bucshon 202-225-4636
Rep. Andre Carson 202-225-4011
Rep. Luke Messer 202-225-3021
Rep. Marlin Stuzman 202-225-4436
Rep. Jackie Walorski 202-225-3915
Rep. Todd Young 202-225-5315

If you aren’t in Indiana, you can find your Congressperson here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Indy Feminists’ Statement in Support of Planned Parenthood

Indy Feminists is a collaborative group of proactive, experienced activists that works to bring positive change to Indiana, including reproductive justice. This means we support people in their decisions to have or not to have children, and to be able to raise their families in a safe environment.

We support Planned Parenthood because they provide their patients with truthful, non judgmental healthcare and education that allows them to make those healthcare decisions that are best for them and their families. We trust patients to be able to make sound medical decisions without interference from lawmakers.

Planned Parenthood is a provider of low cost OB-GYN services as well as STI testing, treatment and prevention. There is no moral or ethical reason to obstruct people from obtaining those services, and doing so could have a devastating effect on our communities. We have seen this first hand with an epidemic of new HIV cases in southern Indiana — a place where Planned Parenthood was forced to shutter an office due to previous funding cuts, leaving that community without easy access to low cost testing.

Attempts to defund Planned Parenthood’s vital mission are nothing more than ideology cloaked in concern, paternalistic pats on the head of the overwhelmingly economically and socially disadvantaged people who rely on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare needs. We stand against these attempts, and any attempts of politicians to get between people and their healthcare.