FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 26, 2020

info@equityfwd.org

Real Alternatives Ordered to Turn Over Key Financial Records Detailing Spending of Taxpayer Money. Ruling Reveals Client Names Were Shared, Medical Privacy At Risk

Today, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records (OOR), ruled that Real Alternatives must turn over records detailing how they are spending taxpayer money.

Real Alternatives, the state-funded anti-abortion center program that has received more that $45 million dollars in taxpayer funding in the last eight years alone, has fought for years to hide its spending from the taxpayers. 

The OOR agreed that the people of Pennsylvania have the right to know how their money is being spent and that it was unacceptable for Real Alternatives to conceal this information from the public. 

The ruling stated that, “It is difficult to imagine information more relevant to the performance of a governmental function than information describing the services performed pursuant to a governmental function."

In a startling revelation, the ruling stated that individual client names, listed along with the services they received, were forwarded to Real Alternatives. Equity Forward did not seek these names and was stunned to learn that they are part of the records that Real Alternatives holds. 

“We were shocked to learn that anti-abortion centers in Pennsylvania are sharing the names of people who have visited them. People’s health, sexual, and medical history should always remain highly confidential and this is a major violation of trust,”  said Mary Alice Carter, Senior Advisor, Equity Forward.

“While we are thrilled that the public will finally get insight into how their tax dollars are spent, this ruling reveals more doubts about this already questionable organization. What privacy rights have been violated by the organization and the centers? Why were the names of clients shared, in conjunction with the services received? This blatant disregard for medical privacy is incredibly disturbing and deserves further attention and scrutiny.”

###