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Indiana Contracts With Anti-Abortion Group Real Alternatives

Researchers disagree on whether reality shows like 16 and Pregnant encourage or discourage teen pregnancy.

The Indiana State Department of Health is contracting with Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion nonprofit Real Alternatives, Gov. Mike Pence’s office announced Monday.

Real Alternatives provides “life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support” and will partner with local service providers across the state to offer services such as free counseling and referral services.

The one-year, $3.5 million contract is funded with money from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The state first contracted with Real Alternatives in October of last year for a pilot program Pence says was a success.

The $1 million pilot program, which was also funded with federal TANF dollars, served 8,452 clients through nearly 17,000 visits, according to the governor’s office.

“[The] announcement marks an important step for the health of Hoosier women and families in Indiana,” the governor said in a release. “This additional funding will ensure important organizations across our state can continue to support those in need.”

Pence’s office says the funding for the Real Alternatives contract does not cut any services or programs.

In a statement, the president of pro-life group Indiana Right to Life praised the governor for extending the contract statewide.

“Real Alternatives offers life-affirming and compassionate care to women throughout pregnancy and as they begin their parenting journey,” Mike Fichter said.

The announcement of the contract comes after controversy over funding for health services provider Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions at some of its clinics.

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