3 Things to Know Before You Get An Abortion
We are currently living in the midst of uncertain times. COVID-19 and “stay at home” orders with no clear end-date, have left many of us feeling restless and unsure. Many are facing job loss and with that, financial insecurity and mounting debt. It’s overwhelming and can create a lot of anxiety. So when you notice that you’ve missed a period, your heart begins to sink.
Being pregnant was not part of the plan. You were being careful, maybe even on birth control. How could this happen? And now? This is not a good time. Now what? Abortion? You start searching Google for information and you’re early enough, so it seems pretty simple. But is it? What do you need to know about abortion?
Know For Sure. Watching that positive line on the pregnancy test appear confirms the fact that you’re pregnant. Or so you think. The reality is that pregnancy tests simply detect the presence of the hcG hormone. This hormone is found in women about eight days after ovulation. Cells that eventually become the placenta are what produce the hcG hormone. But did you know that the hcG hormone is still present in women who have had a miscarriage? It can sometimes take up to 2 weeks after a miscarriage for the hormone levels to disappear. Statistics show that 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and many of those occur in the first 12 weeks, first trimester, of the pregnancy. Miscarriages happen for various reasons and sometimes before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.
So while a home pregnancy test can show evidence of the hcG hormone, it does not confirm a pregnancy. Ultrasounds confirm pregnancy. Both the implantation of the fetus inside the uterus as well as the presence of a heartbeat confirm the pregnancy is viable. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable, as the fetus has implanted outside of the uterus in the fallopian tube, ovary, cervix, or abdominal cavity. Ectopic pregnancies, which account for about 1-2% of all pregnancies, cannot survive and will need to be surgically removed. The heart begins to beat at 5 weeks and 1 day. Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the heartbeat on an ultrasound performed this early. But by 7 weeks gestation, if a heartbeat cannot be found, it is a likely indication that a pregnancy is not viable, which also means that an abortion is unnecessary.
Pregnancy Resource Centers offer medical-grade pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasounds, and consultations with an RN free of charge. If you’re trying to decide what to do, contact a local Pregnancy Resource Center to find out for sure if you’re pregnant.
Explore Your Options. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know what options are available to you. Maybe you are struggling to make ends meet, and though abortion may be an option, it’s also expensive. But then, so is parenting, and you can’t see a way to pay for medical bills, let alone provide for another person. Adoption is an option that many don’t consider at first. It does involve incredible sacrifice, but adoption also provides a family for your baby and a baby for a couple who desperately longs for children to love. Open adoption provides a way to build relationships with the adoptive family, know your child, watch them grow up, and play an important role in the life of your child. Often medical expenses are completely covered, and many adoption agencies have on-going support for birth moms, such as counseling and practical help. Some agencies provide free housing in maternity homes for women making an adoption plan. These homes provide a safe place to live and offer companionship with other women walking through the adoption process.
There are many things to consider when deciding between abortion, parenting, and adoption. Pregnancy Resource Centers offer a safe space to think through your options. The staff and volunteers are there to listen, answer questions, and provide information about what options are available to you. They want to walk alongside and provide emotional and practical support as you think through your decision.
It’s your decision. Decisions aren’t made in isolation, completely on their own. Most times, there are several factors that have a lot of influence on the decisions we’re trying to make. It might be parents who have laid down the rule, “If you get pregnant, find another place to live because it won’t be here!” Maybe a boyfriend has told you, “You have to get rid of it” and you feel that a break-up is imminent if you don’t. Maybe friends or someone from church, has weighed in and given their “two cents”. Maybe fear itself is screaming in your ear, “What will people think?” You can feel the pressure heavy on your shoulders. Making this decision is complicated.
The reality is that this is your decision. No one can coerce, or force you, to do something against your will. You might be threatened with or may even face rejection, condemnation, and hardship. That is a lot to face alone. But you are not alone. Pregnancy Resource Centers have caring staff and volunteers that take the time to listen to you without judgment of the situation you’re facing and without any hidden agenda. They are there to answer questions and provide you with practical help and support, because they genuinely care about your well-being which extends long after any decision you make.
Being pregnant was not part of the plan. But you get to decide how you want to move forward, and to move forward you need to know for sure that you’re pregnant, know what your options are, and be empowered to make the best decision.
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If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
Our services are always confidential.