Depending on where you are in life, an unplanned pregnancy can trigger fear, sadness, even straight up panic. The fight or flight reflex may make you feel like you need to do something right away, but this is no time for snap decisions. You’ve got some big choices ahead, and you want to make those choices with a clear mind. Thinking through these three questions can help bring clarity.
Am I Making this Decision Too Quickly?
Often, in times of stress, people zoom in on whatever option appears on the surface to offer the fewest negative consequences. The mind’s natural desire to alleviate stress then leads to taking actions too quickly. When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, this can mean rushing into an abortion without sufficiently considering all the challenges, health risks and the emotional toll involved. Take some time to come to terms with the fact that you are pregnant, and to consider what that means. Talk to people you trust, and who have your best interests at heart. Sometimes, it can help to talk with an impartial counselor who is trained to listen and answer your pregnancy questions.
What Alternatives Do I Have?
Abortion is never the only option available to you. If you’re in a position to provide a loving, safe environment for a child, being a parent can be amazingly rewarding. You may even be surprised to find how many people are willing to help you. Parents can be a great source of support, as can close friends. There are also many community resources available to pregnant women who need a helping hand. If raising your child is out of the question, adoption is a beautiful alternative. Adoptions today come in many forms, from a traditional closed adoption to a completely open adoption, with several levels in between. This allows you to have as much or as little contact with your child as you choose.
Will I Be Able to Live with this Decision the Rest of My Life?
This is certainly the most difficult question to face. Even if no one else ever knows about your abortion, the emotional impact can negatively impact your self-image for years to come. You may feel loss, regret, even depression. The physical side effects of an abortion may also show themselves years later. Some studies indicate a link between abortion and increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight in future pregnancies.
There’s no such thing as a consequence-free quick fix for an unplanned pregnancy. If you’re considering an abortion, take the time to think through all of your options. And talk to someone who can help you sort through the swirl of emotions.
At Sira in Gainesville, our peer counselors understand what you’re going through, and they’re here to listen without judgment. To schedule your free pregnancy options consultation, call 352-377-4947 today.