HARRISBURG – Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) today said Gov. Josh Shapiro’s recent decisions to end a 30-year partnership with crisis pregnancy centers and eliminate funding in the state budget for scholarships for low-income students in failing schools will endanger women and babies while denying educational opportunities to Pennsylvania students and their parents.
“Gov. Shapiro’s actions will jeopardize the health of pregnant women and lives of babies across the commonwealth,” Mastriano said. “Pennsylvania women currently have access to counseling and services that provide resources about parenting, adoption and other healthy alternatives to abortions. Gov. Shapiro’s decision amounts to a death sentence for countless Pennsylvania babies.”
Shapiro on Thursday announced his administration would not renew a contract with Real Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that helps women with crisis pregnancies. Real Alternatives has for the past 30 years worked with the commonwealth to deliver reproductive health services to women across Pennsylvania. The move to end the contract was immediately applauded by Planned Parenthood PA, an extremist pro-abortion organization.
The governor announced his administration will seek applications from other organizations to fill the void in women’s health services. Shapiro confirmed in a statement that Real Alternatives will likely be replaced by an organization more likely to encourage abortions instead of healthier alternatives for women experiencing crisis pregnancies.
“Pennsylvania women who experience crisis pregnancies deserve to know there are options available to them other than abortion,” Mastriano said. “It is sad to realize that abortion-on-demand extremists oppose giving women information about the safe and healthy alternatives available to them.”
The governor’s pro-abortion move came on the heels of his decision to single-handedly eliminate $100 million from the state budget to provide scholarships to students in low-income households trapped in failing public schools.
Shapiro on Thursday signed the state budget into law, but only after eliminating funding for the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success Scholarship Program (PASS), which would have provided educational opportunities to low-income parents with students in the bottom 15% of schools based on state performance standards. The PASS Scholarship Program would enable these parents to send their children to better-performing schools.
“The General Assembly worked to provide these educational opportunities to students who are trapped in schools that are failing them, but the governor took them away,” Mastriano said.
Shapiro pledged support for these type of lifeline scholarships last year when campaigning to become governor. Shapiro recently backed off from his support after criticism from House Democrats and the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) teachers union.
“The governor is preventing these parents from sending their children to better-performing schools,” Mastriano said. “Gov. Shapiro is standing between these students and the educational opportunities they deserve.
“Shapiro’s unilateral budget actions this week beg the question: Who is really governing Pennsylvania – Josh Shapiro or his handlers at the PSEA and Planned Parenthood?”
Media contact: Josh Herman