FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.29.19

Contact: Alexa Barrett, Communications Assistant
Email: alexa@equityfwd.org 
Phone: 914-602-3147

Group Launches Campaign Questioning Anti-Abortion Organization’s Misuse of Michigan Taxpayer Money

Real Alternatives has history of using taxpayer funds for personal gain in Michigan, Pennsylvania

05.29.19 – Today, Equity Forward launched “Real Waste,” a website and ad campaign calling attention to the misuse of taxpayer money by Real Alternatives (RA), a Pennsylvania-based state contractor that operates anti-abortion programs in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Real Alternatives has a well-documented history of siphoning taxpayer money for personal gain. Notably, RA is already subject to a legal complaint from another watchdog organization in the state questioning how the organization spent Michiganders’ tax dollars.

The campaign comes as the Michigan legislature begins negotiations over its 2020 state budget.

Equity Forward is presenting the facts about Real Alternatives to lawmakers and Lansing-insiders attending the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference. The group is sponsoring a “sky banner” that will fly over attendees from 5-7 PM during today’s “Grand Event.”

Equity Forward also purchased digital ads on Facebook, Twitter and Google to promote RealWaste.org; in addition, it posted the following billboard on I-75 near Mackinac Island, which attendees will pass on the way to the conference.

Visit RealWaste.org

In Michigan, Real Alternatives is tasked with carrying out the Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program (MPPSP). Yet instead of providing comprehensive, quality services to Michiganders, RA uses the state’s tax dollars to bankroll its expansion across state lines and to line its own executives’ pockets.

Equity Forward’s new website raises the following questions about Real Alternatives’ use of Michiganders’ taxpayer dollars, including:

  • Why is Real Alternatives funding its national expansion with public dollars meant to serve women in Michigan?

  • Why have the top two executives at Real Alternatives upped their salaries to a combined $425,000 after RA missed its state-mandated goals, serving fewer than 1,000 Michiganders each year?

  • Why has RA only provided services to 3,771 pregnant people in the four and a half years it has operated in Michigan, when it promised to serve 2,000 in its first year alone?

“Michigan taxpayers have the right to assume their money is being used to help people in Michigan,” said Mary Alice Carter, senior advisor to Equity Forward. “Instead, Real Alternatives is using Michigan taxpayers’ money to bankroll its executives’ salaries and fund anti-abortion activities in other states.

“We’re calling on the Michigan legislature to put an end to Real Alternatives’ wasteful, secretive use of taxpayer dollars. It’s time for Michigan to leave Real Alternatives out of the budget.”

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