If you are considering an abortion, we want you to know what this choice could mean to your future. You do have the choice not to have an abortion and we can help. We want to help you avoid being hurt physically and emotionally by offering solutions. Many women who work at our center have chosen abortion. They can share that their abortion didn’t erase a mistake, but created many other problems in their lives.
You don’t need to make this decision right away. Slow down and allow yourself time to think. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to have an abortion. We exist to help you explore your options. There are risks to most abortion procedures. Because of these dangers, we do not recommend or refer for abortion.
Here are some things to consider before you make your choice:
Know the possible risks of abortion
From the thousands of women now working in the pregnancy care arena who have had abortions, we know that abortion has physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological risks. Abortion Risks
Get a blood or urine pregnancy test to confirm you are really pregnant
It could be that you are not actually pregnant. Most pregnancy resource centers provide a laboratory quality urine test free of charge as a service to women. A trained pregnancy center advocate can provide additional information relevant to your situation. All of these services are free and confidential.
Confirm your pregnancy with a doctor who doesn’t do abortions
It is possible that the abortion clinic may provide you with incorrect information in order to obtain your abortion fee. Carol Everett is a woman who used to provide abortion services in Texas. She testified in Congress that she sold abortions to women who were not pregnant, but feared they were.¹ For the best medical input on abortion, we recommend you speak with a medical professional who has nothing to gain in your abortion decision.
Get a free ultrasound
An ultrasound exam, under the direction of a certified sonographer, will confirm your pregnancy. You may receive a free ultrasound from a pregnancy help center or a referral organization in your area. This non-diagnostic ultrasound can tell you how many weeks you are into the pregnancy and may aid you in making this important decision.
Ask for the doctor’s name who is performing the abortion
Abortion is legal in the United States, but bad medical care is not. Women have died as a result of their “safe and legal& abortions. Some have had their bodies hurt to the point that they can no longer have children. If you don’t know the doctor’s name that is doing your abortion, you may not find out. The abortion doctor could be counting on you not holding him accountable for hurting you because many women are afraid to let anyone know about this choice afterwards. Ask for the abortion clinics doctor’s name and write it down.
Don’t sign anything that releases the doctor or the abortion clinic from being responsible for hurting you during the abortion
Many women have said that they were so upset by the emotion of the day that they signed anything put in front of them in order to “get out and have it done with.” If the abortion clinic asks you to sign anything, take your time to read it over. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. If you don’t understand their answers, push them further. Don’t be in a rush because anything you sign could affect you in the future.
Understand that you have rights in an abortion
It is against the law for anyone to force you to have an abortion. Not even a husband or parent can require you to undergo an abortion against your will, even if you are a minor (under 18 years old). Pregnancy care centers exist to help you in any circumstance. They can help you discuss this choice with those closest to you that are influencing your decision. The law in many states also requires abortion providers to give you information on: 1) possible complications, 2) the development of the baby, and 3) organizations that provide alternatives to abortion.
Verify that the abortion clinic is clean and sanitary
Many women report that the general area of the clinic where they had their abortions was unclean, dusty and even smelled bad. Infections can result from unsanitary conditions. If you find yourself in a clinic be sure to question their sanitizing procedures and view the condition of each room to ensure that you are receiving excellent care. If they don’t provide sufficient information to determine these conditions, give yourself permission to leave and demand a refund of your money.
Know that you can change your mind – even at the last minute
Many women who have experienced abortion relate that they felt they had to go through with the procedure once they had entered the facility. Others say that they waited on the abortion table to be “rescued” by the baby’s father at the last minute. Some facilities even told the women that they couldn’t get their money back if they changed their mind.
Abortion providers know that this is an agonizing decision and sometimes see women change their minds at the last minute because, as they say, “I simply can’t do this!” Know your rights. Don’t be pressured or intimidated. If you’re not sure, you can change your mind. If the procedure is not performed, demand your money back.
Understand that your baby is not a “blob of tissue”
Some abortion facilities tell women that their babies are not human at all but simply a “blob of tissue” or a “dot.” For many it is easier to have an abortion if they believe their child isn’t yet human. Ultrasound photos show that at early stages of pregnancy the humanness of the embryo is clearly evident. When some women see these photos after their abortion, they are overwhelmed and grieved that the information the abortion facility provides was misleading. An ultrasound will reveal the true development of your child.
Learn more about what a pre-born child looks like:
Know you are not alone
Women who feel like they have no other choice often change their minds when visiting a pregnancy care center and understanding their support services. They exist to help you at any level of your pregnancy. There is no obstacle too big that can’t be overcome with friendship and support.
Emotions After Abortion
Since the January 22, 1973 Roe versus Wade Supreme Court case which legalized abortion in the United States, there have been an average of 1.2 million abortions every year—and for every one of those abortions, there is a mother and father who found themselves faced with a painful decision and the physical and emotional stress of the procedure itself. At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion. Of these post-abortive women, 47 percent of them have had at least one previous abortion.
At first, for many women, there is relief. They no longer are faced with the problem of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Some will go through another crisis pregnancy, perhaps aborting again and again and again. For months or even years, the only apparent truth is that she made the right decision for that time in her life.
But underlying the feelings of relief are often other feelings that are quite unexplained. Feelings of loss, guilt, and confusion seem to persist for no apparent reason. Life seems to be a roller coaster of emotion, with extreme highs and lows. Many women turn to substance abuse to ease or hide this inexplicable pain that persistently nags at their souls.
Other women avoid the pain by undergoing an emotional desensitization, or “numbing.” Working hard to keep their feelings in check, they experience neither highs nor lows. For some women this creates a callousness, a lack of sensitivity which hampers their ability to form and maintain close interpersonal relationships.
Although abortion is legally and socially acceptable in most countries, there is still a stigma attached to it. Most women never talk about their abortion and try not to think about it. It is usually considered best forgotten by all involved. Fearful of being exposed, judged, condemned and/or rejected, it’s common for a woman to find herself withdrawing deeper within herself, telling herself that as long as no one finds out, she can go on with life as if nothing ever happened.
But something did happen. Her body was invaded. A child was taken from the sanctuary of her womb, a place that is supposed to be the ultimate in safety and security. And, as much as she wants to believe that she has had a mere lump of tissue removed in a simple medical procedure, some deep part of her knows that it is not so. A pregnancy loss – the loss of a potential person – has occurred. Although well-meaning people assured her that the ordeal would soon be behind her, for most women, that is not the case. Most will suffer deeply and silently, in broad-spread ways. The symptoms that they have are known as post-abortion syndrome (PAS), which is based on the well-recognized psychological disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to abortion.
Research by David Reardon of the Elliott Institute has shown that, regardless of age, family size, race, marital status, or number of abortions, of those surveyed:
- 61 percent experience flashbacks
- 54 percent have anniversary reactions
- 33 percent feel suicidal
- 78 percent have feelings of diminished control of their lives
- 52 percent experience difficulty developing and maintaining relationships
- 49 percent begin or increase drug use
Ironically, though women seek out abortion as a solution to stressful circumstances, abortion itself can become a contributor to long-lasting stress of a different kind.
1 Carol Everett, What I Saw In The Abortion Industry, Jefferson City, MO: Easton Publishing, Inc