Mike Pence awards $3.5 million to anti-abortion charity group

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is awarding $3.5 million in funding to a charity group that emphasizes sexual abstinence and counsels pregnant women to avoid abortion.

Pence said in a statement Monday that a $1 million pilot program with the Pennsylvania-based group Real Alternatives was a “success” and will now be expanded statewide with the additional financing.

The non-profit is connected to faith-based charities and currently works in northern Indiana with one social service provider, as well as 14 pregnancy support centers. In order to become affiliated with Real Alternatives, service providers must pledge to maintain a “pro-life” mission.

Pence, a social conservative who is anti-abortion, has long been a vocal opponent of Planned Parenthood, a women’s reproductive health care provide that offers health checkups, birth control as well as abortions.

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