Real Alternatives is a nonprofit organization providing parenting support services in Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Funded by the states they serve, Real Alternatives was one of the first organizations in Pennsylvania to meet all the accreditation criteria associated with the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organization (PANO) Standards for Excellence.
A membership organization, PANO serves the nonprofit sector by providing specially trained consultants to assist groups with the accreditation process. The program is part of a national initiative that promotes the highest standards of ethics, accountability, and effectiveness in nonprofit management and operations. The applicants are required to demonstrate that they meet all the benchmarks of the Standards for Excellence code to receive accreditation. Throughout the process, resources are available to help charitable groups of all sizes implement a stronger infrastructure, ensuring legal and regulatory practices are being followed.
Gaining accreditation benefits a nonprofit group by strengthening its officials’ decision-making skills, improving fundraising, and building trust within its community. Periodic reaccreditation assures continued compliance.
A nonprofit organization serving the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana, Real Alternatives encourages childbirth instead of abortion and provides a range of support services to assist women during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond. Through its pregnancy and parenting support programs, Real Alternatives has helped prevent newborn health issues and reduce abortion rates in the states it has served since 1996.
In 2013, Pennsylvania and 11 other states saw record low abortion rates. The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that the number of resident abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2013 dropped by 7.39% to 30,749 from the previous year.
That same year, a total of 19,956 women were served at the 96 Real Alternatives funded pregnancy centers, social services agencies and maternity homes for the year. An 8% increase from the previous year. Of those, 15,973 women received services for the first time under the program in calendar year 2013.
Pennsylvania is seeing abortion numbers that are approximately 50 percent less than they were in 1980, when the abortion rate was at a record high.
The significant decrease in abortions in Pennsylvania can be attributed to several factors, including the state’s Abortion Control Act and the development of new technology that makes it easier for parents to clearly see their baby in the womb. Another major factor is Pennsylvania’s Alternatives to Abortion program.
Administered by Real Alternatives, the program provides confidential services, including pregnancy tests, counseling, and housing, through 96 providers all over the state. By offering these and many other services for free, the Alternatives to Abortion program provides women with the guidance, encouragement, and support needed to maintain their health and that of their babies.
Launched in 1996 through a state-sponsored initiative to lower abortion rates, Real Alternatives originally served women through 72 centers across Pennsylvania.