A nonprofit provider of free counseling, parenting classes, and practical assistance for women experiencing crisis pregnancies, Real Alternatives also offers information on advances in ultrasound technology and studies on fetal development that can inform the process of choosing life. The organization’s website provides access to a scientifically accurate video titled “The Miracle of Life,” which sorts out fact from fiction as it traces the development of a child in the womb.
At the moment of conception, the video points out, a unique and unrepeatable set of DNA is formed that will guide the development of the unborn child. At that moment, the baby’s entire collection of physical characteristics is determined.
Only 22 days post-conception, the baby’s developing heart begins to beat. By the third week, facial features such as eyes and ears have begun to form. And only three weeks later, many ultrasounds can give proof of the presence of fingers and toes.
At 11 weeks after conception, an ultrasound offers a sight that can surprise and delight a prospective parent: the unborn child’s ability to smile and frown.
These are just some of the insights depicted in the video, whose three and a half minutes are capable not only of providing information, but of changing a life.
Launched in 1996 through a state-sponsored initiative to lower abortion rates, Real Alternatives originally served women through 72 centers across Pennsylvania.