Making the Abortion Decision
The same person who has an abortion is the same person who has a child …
just at a different time in their life.
When a person becomes pregnant, they are posed with a question. They must decide whether or not they are ready to bring new life into the world. Abortion decision making is one of the most monumental moments in a person’s life, and this is a decision that brings together their past, their present and their future dreams.
For many pregnant people, the abortion decision is crystal clear: No, it is not time. Or yes, they are ready to become a mother. For others, the answer is far less certain. There are many questions that must be answered, many emotions that must be explored. Ultimately, the abortion decision making needs to be done with both a loving heart and a clear head. You know your life situation best and will make the decision that is not only best for yourself but for those who already depend on you.
If you are pregnant and unsure of your path, we encourage you to involve someone — a relative, partner, friend, religious advisor, a physician, or someone you trust — to talk about the options in front of you. In addition, there are many helpful tools available to help you work through the decision-making process, including Northland’s Head and Heart Consultation, an unbiased, free pregnancy decision and values clarification service offered exclusively by Northland Family Planning.
Abortion decision making isn't easy; making a choice about your pregnancy can be a gift of learning and growth. "It is an invitation for you to develop a larger vision of yourself. It’s a way to practice compassion and loving-kindness toward yourself.” (from “Abortion: Finding Your Own Truth by Corrintha Rebecca Bennett, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice)
Northland’s Head & Heart Consultation:
Here, we treat the mind, body, and spirit.
Good people often face tough, life-changing decisions. Yet, strength and courage can be found in the search for an answer. While the decision in front of you now is difficult, in the end, you can be proud that you took the time and responsibility to thoroughly consider your options.
Northland is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s pioneers in developing “Head and Heart Consultation.” Our patient advocates have been extensively trained to work with patients who are unresolved about their pregnancy decision. Together, we will go through a series of questions and exercises that will help you make a clear choice about this pregnancy. We urge our patients to take the time they need to make a decision that makes sense not only in their heads but in their hearts as well.
We promise, we will always offer you helpful information, support and guidance. Our Head and Heart Consultation is a free service for patients of Northland Family Planning Centers. Call us to set up an appointment if this is a service you are interested in.
Abortion is normal, however, your personal experience of abortion is unique.
While your personal experience of abortion is unique, millions of people have had abortions. And you can take comfort in knowing your feelings about abortion are not unique- every day pregnant people are faced with the same choice.
Did you know?
- Over 1/3 of Americans will have an abortion by the age of 45.
- People of all ages, races, economic backgrounds and religious beliefs have abortions.
- Over 1 million abortions occur in the United States each year.
- Abortion is safe, 10 times less risky than childbirth!
Because your abortion decision may be complex, feelings about it may also be complex. These feelings are affected by many factors, including religion, culture, relationships, age and current life situations. One of the most important factors to remember is that each pregnancy stands alone – the particular circumstances of this particular pregnancy are different from any other pregnancy.
What are some tools I can use to help me with the abortion decision making process?
If you are having a difficult time deciding what to do, you will probably need to spend time identifying and sorting out your feelings about this experience. You may feel as if your entire past, present, and future are up for examination. Other issues in your life that have not been addressed might also influence your feelings about abortion. Some things that may be helpful:
- Write a list of why you want an abortion and why you do not. Some of your reasons will be emotional, and some will be more rational. Putting these reasons on paper helps you “see” the path towards a clear decision.
- “Pregnant? Need Help? Pregnancy Options Workbook” This great booklet was developed by Margaret Johnston, Director, Southern Tier Women’s Services in Binghamton, NY. Here, you will get help seeing the realistic picture of all your choices–abortion, adoption and parenthood. Included are exercises and rituals that help the decision-making process. This workbook is available, free of charge, at Northland Family Planning Centers or go to Pregnancy Options Workbook.
People who are willing to explore how they feel and what they think can come to a peaceful resolution about their pregnancy. Listen to your heart and your own voice to find the right answer for you.
Imagine Counseling links you to a series of useful worksheets and connects you to experienced counselors who have worked with abortion patients across the country. $25 introductory fee for an hour session.
All Options A Talkline that offers a free, confidential, and non-judgmental space for people to talk about experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. The volunteer Talkline Advocates can be reached at 1.888.493.0092
Need help talking with your parents? This site has great ideas for both you and your parent or guardian: Mom, Dad, I’m Pregnant.
If you, or someone you know, is considering a first trimester abortion, second trimester abortion, or an abortion pill procedure, contact Northland Family Planning for more information about these procedures.