October 22, 2015
The members of HAPA, The Health Access and Privacy Alliance, are disturbed to learn that the State of Indiana has signed a 3.5 million dollar contract with the anti-abortion group Real Alternatives to provide pregnancy support services throughout the state. HAPA urges a full investigation into how this money is being used.
The state has an existing one-year pilot program with Real Alternatives in northern Indiana. Last week Governor Pence announced a $3.5 million contract expanding the program throughout the state. According to their website, Real Alternatives only contracts with service providers that “maintain a pro-life mission and agree not to promote, refer, or counsel abortion or abortifacients as an option to a crisis or unplanned pregnancy.” Additionally, their website contains misleading information regarding the effectiveness of contraception in preventing STD’s or pregnancy, and links birth control to illnesses such as breast and cervical cancer. Worse, the state contract does not include funding for the referral or advocacy of contraceptive services or drugs, which experts widely agree is a primary factor in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
According to The Indianapolis Star, Real Alternatives’ Pennsylvania program will be audited after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that some of the local organizations with whom Real Alternatives contracted were providing misinformation about abortion and failed to disclose to women their anti-abortion mission.
Women need to have accurate information in order to make the best decision for their lives and we should not be using federal tax money to coerce or mislead them. A full investigation needs to be done to make sure Real Alternatives and the Indiana Providers it contracts with are not able to give false information, that individuals giving out medical information have medical training, and that vulnerable women are given access and information about all their options.
HAPA urges an immediate investigation of Real Alternatives’ activities in Indiana and the activities of the providers with whom it contracts.
Thank you for your time.
Health Access & Privacy Alliance(HAPA)
AAUW Muncie, AAUW of Indiana, AAUW Indianapolis, League of Women Voters – Bloomington/Monroe, League of Women Voters – Muncie/Delaware, League of Women Voters – Greater Lafayette, League of Women Voters – Indiana, SEIU Healthcare IL/IN/MO/KS, PPINK Indiana/Kentucky, Center for Inquiry-Indiana, Indiana NOW,ACLU of Indiana, Central IN Jobs with Justice, Jewish Community Relations Council,National Council of Jewish Women, AAUW – Indianapolis,National Council of Jewish Women, Indianapolis NOW, Indy Feminists, Indiana Chapter Americans United for Separation of Church and State, IN Religious Coalition for ReproductiveJustice, National Assn of Social Workers IN, Congregation Beth El Zedek, All Options.
Health Access and Privacy Alliance (HAPA) is a coalition of civic, educational, religious, professional, and health organizations from all over Indiana working together to improve access to healthcare and protect reproductive justice in Indiana. We believe bills affecting reproductive health should meet certain requirements: Does the stated purpose of the bill reflect its true intent? Does it address a true health care need according to the prevailing science? Will it help or hurt individuals? And will it have a negative impact on certain groups in our society? These themes of Honesty, Health, Compassion, and Justice guide our positions on proposed legislation.
Reba Boyd Wooden
350 Canal Walk, Suite A
Indianapolis, IN 46202