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Expert Help and Advice

Considering Abortion? : Your Feelings

Thinking Through Your Situation

An unplanned or crisis pregnancy raises a lot of questions.  Finances, life goals, and relationships all influence the options you consider and your ultimate choice for the pregnancy.  Exploring the sections below may be helpful as you think through your unique circumstances. 

It may be overwhelming to try to consider everything.  Avenue Women’s Center’s caring staff members can help you process your options.  Contact us about an appointment today.  All services are free and confidential, giving you confidence to move forward in whatever decision you make.

Finances

Finances

Money is perhaps the most common concern.  Whether you plan to terminate the pregnancy or continue with it, there are expenses involved.  It’s helpful to know that there are private agencies and federal programs that offer assistance.  CareNet DuPage’s staff can work with you to meet many specific financial needs.  Contact us to learn more about financial help for your pregnancy.

Educational Goals

Educational Goals

You know that either abortion or adoption would allow you to continue on your educational path.

You may be wondering how you could possibly raise a child while in school.  Delaying school is not something that most women want to consider.  After all, career choices and future plans often depend on that diploma or certificate.  When considering your options for the pregnancy, you should be aware of the support available to you while in school.

If you’re in high school, there are many programs designed to help you graduate or obtain your GED.  Teen parent support groups and parenting assistance are some of the services available to you at no cost.  To learn more, contact us about an appointment with our caring, professional staff.

If you’re in college or a technical school, there are a variety of programs and support available to ensure you graduate.  Many schools offer evening or weekend classes as well as online programs so you can finish your education on your schedule.  Colleges may also provide on-campus housing for parenting students and reduced rate child care.  Finally, there are scholarships and federal grants available, some specifically for parents.  CareNet DuPage has detailed information about various schools in DuPage County. 

Partner Support

Partner Support

Finding out you’re pregnant inevitably changes the relationship between you and your partner.  Even if you both agree on your course of action, many couples find abortion a sensitive topic.  People’s emotions about the pregnancy are likely to be complex.  It’s important to take time to make sure that both partners feel heard by the other.

Disagreeing about the abortion decision stresses a relationship.  Those in newer relationships will handle this differently than couples who have been together a long time.  It may be uncomfortable to weigh your commitment to the relationship against your conviction about the pregnancy decision.  For the future health of your relationship, work to come to a true agreement so that one partner doesn’t resent the outcome that was chosen.  CareNet DuPage can provide a trained, neutral third party to help as you try to make a decision together. Make an appointment by contacting us.

If your partner is intentionally trying to get you to agree to something you’re not comfortable with, especially by making threats or promises, that may be coercion.  Coercive statements include things like “You better have an abortion or I’ll leave you” or “You know what you have to do.”  You shouldn’t feel pressured into a choice by a romantic partner or anyone else.  Professional counseling with our Personal Resource Counselor can help your situation if you are facing coercion.  You can schedule a free appointment by calling 630-455-0300.

If your partner is not involved in your decision, whether by your choice or his, you can still get support from CareNet DuPage and other groups in the community.  Call, chat, or email for an appointment.

Family Support

Family Support

Many women worry about telling their parents about the pregnancy.  Some women hope to keep the pregnancy a secret.  Others fear that their family will try to pressure them into a decision.  Whatever option you choose for your pregnancy, it is going to be difficult.  But it should be a decision you feel confident about—not one you’re forced into by someone else, even a family member.  Women who feel pressured to abort generally have more negative emotional responses over time, such as anger or resentment.

At CareNet DuPage, you can learn about the different options for your pregnancy and talk through them with a caring staff member.  We can also explore ways to talk with your parents.  You can even meet with our Personal Resource Counselor individually or with your family on an ongoing basis.  This allows you to process your options and any issues within the family.  All services are free and confidential.

Rape and Sexual Assault

Rape and Sexual Assault

Sex should never be forced upon anyone.  Unfortunately, one out of every six American women becomes a victim of rape or incest over the course of her lifetime.[1]  What help can be offered to women who become pregnant from non-consensual sex?

If you are in this position, many people recommend abortion.  How could you endure a pregnancy conceived in rape or incest?  It seems like a double punishment to be forced into sex and then forced into parenthood.  The staff at CareNet DuPage empathizes with the deep anguish that follows sexual assault.  That does not mean that abortion is always the right option, even in the cases of rape or incest.

CareNet DuPage believes that each case is unique.  Abortion ends the pregnancy, but it does not take away the emotional pain of sexual assault.  Abortion does not make you forget the assault nor does it help you heal, because they are separate events.  The psychological effects of the assault will still need to be addressed, most often with a licensed mental health professional.  For some women, abortion may actually compound the psychological problems of abuse, especially for those who hold moral or spiritual opinions about abortion.[2]  The staff at CareNet DuPage can help you explore other options for your pregnancy so you can make an informed decision that is best for you.

The most empowering thing you can do in the aftermath of rape or incest is to file a report with the police.  Seek justice for what has been done to you and other women.  Talk with someone you trust or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.  CareNet DuPage can also help you find a counselor for more ongoing mental health needs or schedule an appointment with our Personal Resource Counselor.  Remember that you don’t have to do this alone.

 

[1] Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

[2] Coleman, P. K. (2011). Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009. The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science, 199, 3, 180-6.

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