Are You Pregnant? Now What?

Teen pregnancies can be hard to deal with. You don't have to tell your parents right away, but just realize that they will find out eventually when either your stomach starts growing or you get an abortion. Before you talk to your parents, you should figure out for yourself what YOU want to do about the pregnancy since your parents will try to influence you a lot. From here, you basically have three choices:

  1. Birth the child and raise it.
  2. Birth the child and put it up for adoption.
  3. Abort the birth.

You probably really wish there was a forth choice. I do too. But there's not, these are literally your only options. There are some questions that you should probably be asking yourself right now to help you make a decision, such as:

  • Am I willing to prepare seriously for having a baby?
  • Do I know enough about pregnancy and childbirth?
  • Who can I count on to help me?
  • What relationship will I have with my baby's father and how will it affect the baby?
  • Could I support a baby financially?
  • What are my views on abortion?
  • What are my views on adoption?

Realize that you don't have to face this alone. Let the father know and most likely he'll try and support you. A great organization that you should contact is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an excellent organization that deals with teens in your exact situation every single day. They'll help you make decisions on parenthood, adoption, and abortion by informing you of facts. Whichever decision you make, they have great free counseling programs to help you through either of the three. A part of Planned Parenthood that teens seem to like the most is that it's so confidential that they won't even tell your parents right away if you ask them not to. You can call 1-800-230-PLAN or go to http://www.plannedparenthood.org to find the Planned Parenthood clinic nearest you.

Abortion is probably going to be something pushed on you by a lot of people. But in the end, it's your decision that matters. Here's some legal facts that you should know about abortion:

  • Abortion is only legal when preformed by a licensed doctor.
  • No one, whether it's your boyfriend, husband, parents, or doctor can legally force you to have an abortion nor can they legally force you to have the baby.
  • No doctor, clinic, or hospital can legally perform an abortion without your written consent (don't sign anything until you read it first, if you don't understand something ask to have it explained to you).
  • If you have any questions about abortion and/or your legal rights concerning abortion call the National Abortion Federation at 1-800-424-2280

Some other facts that you should know about your three options:

  • Putting up for adoption means giving up your baby immediately after birth so that it doesn't become attached (you'll only get to see it for a few minutes and then never again).
  • For teens, having an abortion is safer than having the baby.
  • Wanting to abort or adopt does not mean that:
    • You hate children.
    • You never want to have children.
    • You are a bad person.
    • You do not love the father.
    • You like the idea of abortion or adoption.
  • Both abortion and having the baby as a teen, can be possibly fatal to you and the baby (although modern medical science has been improved so much that it hardly ever happens).
  • Both abortion and having the baby as a teen, can make it harder for you to have a child in the future or even impossible (it's a loose-loose situation).
  • You can receive financial aid to help you raise a child as a teen parent (Planned Parenthood can help you do this).

A good book to check out from the library right about now is Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell (it's where I got most of my information from). It is a sexual educational book, but it's such a liberal sex-ed book that there's even a chapter entitled So You Think You Might Be Pregnant (that's the one you're probably interested in). Changing Bodies, Changing Lives can walk you through the issues that you're going through right now with legal facts, kindness, and hundreds of first hand accounts from other teens, just like you.

If you have any other questions, don't be afraid to come back here for help. It's what we're here for.