You feel like you’re in an impossible situation, and it’s really hard to decide what to do. When you’re unexpectedly pregnant, fears rise up, and that’s normal. You have many questions that need answers, and you aren’t exactly sure where to turn for help.
Maybe abortion seems like your only option, but perhaps there’s a part of you that isn’t sure. The thing is, you can’t end your pregnancy and then reverse it if you decide you rushed into your decision too quickly. Here are 7 tips to consider before ending your pregnancy.
1. Know you aren’t alone.
Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s three million other women each year trying to make the same decision you’re facing today.
Women of every age and background can relate to what you’re going through. So if there is any part of you feeling ashamed for being unexpectedly pregnant, try to show yourself the same compassion you would show your best friend if she was in your shoes, and then focus on one step at a time.
2. Consider all your options.
You have three options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. There is no “easy way out.” Each option has short-term and long-term effects on your life. However, you deserve the opportunity to gather the facts you need about each option to make an informed and confident decision. It’s important to not move forward with a decision if you’re feeling unsettled about it in your gut.
- Parenting: Many pregnancy centers offer information about parenting classes and encouragement to help you navigate the practical aspects of parenting each step of the way.
- Adoption: There are three types of adoption:closed, semi-open, and open. Birth mothers are the ones who make the decision about what type of adoption they prefer. Most adoptions now are open adoptions. That means the birthmother chooses the adoptive parents and works with those who are open the level of contact she wants to have with her child after the adoption is finalized. The level of contact varies from exchanging photos and letters to the birthmom playing an active role in her child’s life.
- Abortion: There are several types of abortion to consider depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Here are helpful answers to common questions to also consider before an abortion. Research the emotional impact, physical risks and side effects of abortion until you feel adequately informed.
The first step before considering abortion is to be sure your pregnancy is viable.
3. Confirm your pregnancy is viable.
A viable pregnancy is one that is in the uterus and is showing signs of progressing normally. A positive pregnancy test means that a pregnancy hormone, hCG was detected in your urine. However, March of Dimes reports that nearly 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. 80% of those miscarriages happen within the first three months of pregnancy.
Before you take the chance of having an unnecessary abortion, it’s crucial to confirm your pregnancy is viable. That is a no-cost service at pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) across the country.
Here is another scenario to consider: If your pregnancy is not in your uterus (ectopic pregnancy) and you take an abortion pill without that information, it can be very dangerous to your health. This is another reason to confirm that your pregnancy is viable before proceeding with an abortion.
4. Seek out local resources.
You might not know there are resources, grants, and services available to you from people who care deeply about women who are unexpectedly pregnant.
There are approximately 3000-3500 PRCs throughout the U.S., and they are funded by private donations. PRCs are not places where you will be judged. To the contrary, they exist to empower you with compassion. You can Google “where is the nearest pregnancy resource center to (your city)” to receive low to no-cost, confidential services.
PRCs don’t financially benefit from your decision. They provide resources that are available in your community in addition to no-cost or very low-cost pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to women just like you who need help figuring out what to do when they are unexpectedly pregnant. Most of PRC’s also provide sexually transmitted infection testing (STI).
5. Are you making a decision based on fear?
It’s normal to experience fear when you discover you are unexpectedly pregnant. But be careful not to make a decision about your pregnancy from that fear. Fear is temporary, and if you make a permanent decision based on temporary fears, you can unwittingly set yourself up for more pain down the road.
Know that it’s against the law for anyone to coerce you or force you to have an abortion.
6. What is your ”gut” telling you?
Everyone has that quiet voice or feeling inside themselves. We call that sense your gut feeling. After you gather information, listen to your gut feeling. What is it saying? Write it down. Consider it carefully. It just may save you from having regrets down the road.
7. Seek out advice from someone who is neutral.
You have a tough decision to make, and it’s always nice to have another person to talk to. Sometimes they have a perspective you haven’t considered. But in reality, your partner, parents, and friends can’t be neutral when they are giving you advice about you’re pregnancy.When you seek advice, ask yourself if that person has anything to gain or lose from your decision? If so, weigh the advice very carefully.
We Are Here to Help
Make a confidential appointment at Willowbrook Women’s Center today for a pregnancy screening appointment. Each day, our trained advocates and licensed medical professionals help women sort through their concerns and questions about their unplanned pregnancies. We provide compassionate care and the unbiased facts you need to make an informed decision. We’ll walk with you one step at a time until you feel empowered to make a confident decision. And we are always just a call or text away if you leave your appointment and realize you have more questions.