Real Alternatives Provides Abortion Alternatives to Pregnant Women

Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives works to empower women and provide an array of solutions and support services for pregnancy, abortion alternatives, and sexually transmitted diseases. The organization connects women with the necessary resources to make fully informed decisions regarding abortion and its alternatives, including the provision of counseling support and information about abortion procedures. Real Alternatives also works closely with social service and adoption agencies for women who cannot care for their children themselves and wish to place their babies for adoption.

Women who decide to keep their babies after childbirth also receive access to parenting support services that range from financial aid and assistance with infant supplies to courses for parenting skills and development. Real Alternatives can refer new mothers to resources for medical care and offers temporary housing for individuals without a place to live.

Real Alternatives also serves the communities of Michigan and Indiana through the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Programs. The program consists of a regional network of social service offices, maternity residencies, adoption agencies, and pregnancy support centers that work as a cooperative unit to help women with unexpected pregnancies explore alternatives to abortion. Established in March 1996, the programs serve more than 270,000 women across all three states.

Fetal Development Between Weeks 9 and 11

Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives collaborates with over 160 local nonprofits to provide a range of services to new mothers and pregnant women in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. Since its establishment, Real Alternatives has helped over 275,000 women.

In its efforts to provide life-affirming services to women, the organization provides in-depth information about the development of the pre-born child during pregnancy. At week nine of a pregnancy, the unborn child is medically called a fetus. At this stage, the fetus can be two inches in length and can weigh over one quarter of an ounce. Its genitals begin to form and the kidneys begin producing urine between nine and twelve weeks.

By week 10, the fetus will be nearly three inches long. Its finger nails and toe nails appear. The fetus is capable of making a fist when its palm is stroked. At the eleventh week of development, the fetus’ nervous system is making 2.5 million neurons per minute. Thumb-sucking has been photographed at this stage of development. Chest muscles move as in breathing and can be seen on ultrasound.

How a Baby Develops in the Final Month of Pregnancy

Since the 1990s, Real Alternatives has provided a range of services to expectant mothers, including parenting classes and counseling, via its network of 91 nonprofit, pro-life pregnancy support centers in Pennsylvania. A fiscally responsible organization, Real Alternatives provides information on how babies develop over the course of pregnancy via its website.


Upon entering the 35th week of pregnancy, the baby is able to grip firmly and begins a repositioning process, during which the child’s head will dip into the mother’s pelvis, thus alleviating some of the breathing issues the mother may have experienced in prior weeks. Over the course of the next two weeks, the average baby will reach a weight of 6.5 pounds and the child’s heart will pump approximately 300 gallons of blood daily.

During this period, mothers will begin experiencing small contractions, called Braxton-Hicks, while the amniotic fluid surrounding the child absorbs the baby’s down hair and vernix, the waxy protective coating on the child’s skin.

Upon entering the 38th week, the child will weigh between six and eight pounds and be approximately 20 inches in length. At this point, birth is imminent and mothers should prepare appropriately.

           The PANO Seal of Excellence

A national nonprofit based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives oversees a network of 140 nonprofit pregnancy support center offering local support to expectant mothers throughout Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. Real Alternatives' work has seen it achieve the coveted Seal of Excellence from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organization (PANO).


Created in 2002, the PANO Seal of Excellence program examines nonprofits that submit to an extensive review process. PANO reviewed Real Alternatives operations against 56 criteria relating to the organization’s fairness, honesty, trustworthiness, and fiscal accountability, among others. A jury of independent nonprofit experts reviewed Real Alternatives operations and judged it worthy of Accreditation and receiving the seal.

Since the inception of its Standards of Excellence, PANO has awarded its Seal of Excellence to approximately 50 local organizations in Pennsylvania, with a further 200 groups earning the seal for providing services throughout the United States. Real Alternatives was one of the first four nonprofits to be accredited in Pennsylvania. Real Alternatives has maintained its Seal of Excellence Accreditation since 2004. PANO notes that organizations that have completed the accreditation program required for the seal often speak about going through a transformative process that helps in the creation of stronger nonprofit boards and ensures they can work more efficiently toward their missions.

Real Alternatives’ Pregnancy-Focused Patient Safety and Consent Form

Real Alternatives is a Pennsylvania-based charitable nonprofit that maintains a diverse array of human services programs spanning several states. A personalized approach leads to successful client outcomes, with 60 percent of women considering abortion choosing birth after receiving support services. On its website, Real Alternatives offers a Patient Safety and Consent form that protects consumers’ rights by listing important issues to discuss prior to giving consent for a physician to perform an abortion.

The first question is simply “Will it hurt?” The second question centers on the range of options and support services available should a mother decide not to end the pregnancy. Another issue worth discussing is the unborn child’s current development, including its ability to feel and move. In addition, there is a checklist of more than a dozen potential physical and psychological problems that may arise from abortion.

Finally, there is the question of whether the physician performing the procedure will treat the woman for complications and at which hospital he or she maintains privileges.