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Calendar March 26, 2019 15:21

Lourdeshouse Maternity House Offers Support Beyond Birth

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A nonprofit organization based in Pennsylvania, Real Alternatives provides pregnancy support to women throughout the state, as well as in Indiana and Michigan. In an interview with K-LOVE’s Closer Look, Kevin Bagatta, the CEO and president of Real Alternatives, discusses the numerous resources offered to women with unexpected pregnancies. Among these is the Catholic Charities of Harrisburg and its Lourdeshouse Maternity Home.

The program, which caters to single women without family assistance or permanent shelter, offers comprehensive maternity care and residential housing. In addition to providing counseling and educational classes on caring for their family, the staff work to ensure the health of the mother and her child over the course of their stay through nutrition and medical monitoring. The Lourdeshouse also supplies infant-care items, such as blankets, pacifiers, formula, and baby furniture, whenever possible. Furthermore, clients may remain at the facility after giving birth for up to six months and can continue to access its services and resources throughout the baby’s first year.

Located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Lourdeshouse Maternity Home can accommodate 16 individuals at a time and provides residents with hot, nutritious meals. It also provides transportation to medical appointments for pre-natal and post-delivery care.

Services are available at no cost to clients and those in need of the program’s assistance can learn more at www.cchbg.org/get-help/maternity-pregnancy-services.

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Calendar March 21, 2019 15:15

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Real Alternative Counselors Focus on Forming Close Bonds with Clients



Real Alternatives is a nonprofit, taxpayer-funded organization that provides pregnancy support, parenting assistance, and abortion alternatives to women throughout Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. In an interview with Peter Kay of K-LOVE’s Closer Look, Real Alternatives CEO and president Kevin Bagatta discussed the organization’s counselors and their commitment to forming close relationships with clients through their mantra of being “caring, confidential, and compassionate.”

Many women with an unexpected pregnancy who come into a clinic lack family support or feel pressured from their loved ones to terminate their pregnancy. The program’s staff encourages clients to share their thoughts and opinions and helps them to navigate their unique situations. In addition, they help families to clear up miscommunications about each other’s assumptions, especially in cases where the mother mistakenly thinks that her partner doesn’t want a child. These engagements focus on empowering women and helping them to explore the various alternatives to abortion.

Another important aspect of the program is the bond that counselors form with their clients. Counselors offer services and resources throughout the mother’s pregnancy and assist her in taking the necessary steps for parenthood or adoption. This can involve referrals to adoption agencies, educational classes on parenting, or help in acquiring the items needed to care for their infants. Furthermore, the counselor-client relationship continues after the mother gives birth, as the organization offers postnatal support for up to one year.

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Calendar March 18, 2019 15:58

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Calendar March 18, 2019 15:09

Real Alternative’s LIFE AID Hotline

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A government-supported nonprofit with a history of helping over 300,000 women, Real Alternatives provides prenatal and post-birth support to individuals experiencing unexpected pregnancies and helps them assert their rights against pressure to have an abortion. In an interview with K-LOVE’s Closer Look, Real Alternatives President and CEO Kevin Bagatta highlighted several of the organization’s life-saving services, which include its toll-free LIFE AID hotline (1-888-LIFE AID).

Staffed by compassionate, highly trained counselors, the LIFE AID hotline ensures that clients receive the necessary information to enable them to make informed choices. Implemented in 1997, the hotline employs staff members who provide services such as:

Ongoing pregnancy care and support

The hotline can put women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy in contact with knowledgeable counselors who can offer guidance and provide information about all options available to the mother. Their assistance is ongoing throughout the mother’s pregnancy with a focus on forming close client-counselor bonds, and their support continues after the infant’s birth.

Continuing education support

An unexpected pregnancy can pose challenges in terms of achieving educational goals, especially for teenagers and those still attending school. LIFE AID staff help clients explore options for finishing their education.

Referrals to social service agencies

Women without support from their families or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds may find it difficult to access the essentials needed for a healthy and successful pregnancy, such as food and medical care. Counselors can refer these individuals to social services agencies that can provide these resources, in addition to financial assistance to cover the expenses that come with a pregnancy.

Temporary housing assistance

LIFE AID’s counselors also help women who do not have a place to live to find temporary shelter, such as residential maternity houses. In some cases, this offers the additional benefit of ensuring that they have access to food, medical care, and other supportive services.

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Calendar March 13, 2019 15:13

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Abortions Numbers at Lowest on Record in Pennsylvania

With centers located throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan, Real Alternatives offers support and resources with a focus on providing alternatives to abortion for women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. The nonprofit is a recipient of the Seal of Excellence from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations and adheres to Department of Public Welfare standards. Moreover, Real Alternatives’ efforts helped to reduce the number of abortions in Pennsylvania over the last few years.

According to a December 2018 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, abortions reached the lowest number on record at slightly over 30,000 in 2017. This represents a decrease of 870 from the previous year and marks a considerable improvement from the all-time high of nearly 66,000 abortions in 1980. While this news demonstrates a positive trend, many organizations are working diligently to reduce the number even further.

Among them is Real Alternatives, which has provided free pregnancy support services and information on abortion alternatives over the course of more than two decades. It operates the toll-free number 1-888-LIFE AID and collaborates with adoption homes, pregnancy centers, and Catholic charity centers throughout the states that it serves. Since its inception, it has assisted over 300,000 women.

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Calendar March 13, 2019 15:06

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The Benefits of an Obstetrical Ultrasound

Real Alternatives provides expectant and new mothers in Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania with pregnancy and parenting support services. Recently, Peter Kay of K-LOVE’s Closer Look sat down with Real Alternatives president and CEO Kevin Bagatta to discuss how the organization and its various centers, which include Morning Star Pregnancy Services in Pennsylvania, help women during a critical time.

With locations in three cities, Morning Star offers a variety of no-cost confidential services. They range from STD testing and information on alternatives to abortion to counseling and material support. One of the most important services offered is the limited obstetrical ultrasound. Used not only to confirm a pregnancy, this procedure has several other benefits that include the following:

Determining the preborn baby’s development stage

Ultrasounds enable doctors to determine how far along a woman is in her pregnancy and the child’s current development stage. Knowing the pregnancy stage enables the physician to estimate a due date and inform the mother of what precautions and steps she’ll need to take in order to ensure a successful pregnancy.

Determining the viability of the pregnancy

Ultrasounds reveal the health of the child in utero and whether the pregnancy is viable. This could prevent the mother from needing an abortion in the first place, as approximately 25% of pregnancies end naturally in miscarriage.

Most importantly, according to Mr. Bagatta, such an ultrasound reveals the “humanity of a preborn baby in utero.” The advanced technology of modern ultrasounds is a key factor in many women’s decisions to bring their pregnancies to term.

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Key Components of the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program

A nonprofit founded in 1996, Real Alternatives offers assistance to women experiencing unexpected pregnancy. Through its Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program, Real Alternatives has transformed the lives of numerous women in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan. The program focuses on providing essential support services to women, some of which are:

Counseling

A majority of the counselors that Real Alternatives employs have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree in nursing or social work. The counselors offer confidential support, guidance, and encouragement in a nonjudgmental atmosphere so that women feel empowered to choose childbirth over adoption.

Education

Childbirth, pre- and post-natal, and pregnancy classes teach women about fetal development and their nutritional needs.

Adoption Assistance

Access to adoption service information and referral to licensed adoption agencies is provided to help find a loving couple to support and take care of the child.

Tangible aid

With the help of various service providers, women gain free access to food, clothing, and basic supplies for the child.

Vocational training

Participants in the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program receive education referrals and assistance with career decisions so they can achieve independence and self-sufficiency while caring for their children.

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Calendar December 10, 2018 20:06

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