For some women, finding that they have an unplanned pregnancy is very frightening. Amid their initial panic, they might not see any alternative except abortion. Unfortunately, some women only pay attention to the panic and move forward with abortion before thinking deeply about what they are doing until it’s too late. But abortion is never the right choice. That’s not just a groundless assertion. Abortion may be convenient, it may be face-saving, it may be cheap, and it may help you avoid unpleasant confrontations and challenges. But it is never right.
No matter what pro-abortion activists have told you, abortion regret is real. If you go through with it, it is something you will never forget for the rest of your life. For many women, it causes severe mental health issues and impacts their interpersonal relationships – even those with their children that they later give birth to.
Every child is a blessing, and it’s not up to each of us to decide when someone else’s life ought to end. Although abortion seems like the easiest path, it isn’t the right one, and there are several other excellent options available that allow you to save your baby’s life and still get the help you need. You don’t have to go through your unplanned pregnancy alone.
Here are some personal reasons why you should think about alternatives to abortion.
Abortion Regret Is Extremely Common
There could be many reasons a woman experiences regret for getting an abortion. They may realize they have done something morally wrong, and their conscience bothers them. Some may recognize that they acted too rashly and feel guilt for not thinking through the decision before acting. Some may not be able to conceive later in life and regret that their abortion meant sacrificing the experience of motherhood. Others may realize that they let others – parents, friends, or a partner – pressure them into a decision they were uncomfortable with and feel anguish about not having been more assertive. Every person’s story is different. What is more, abortion regret is felt not just by the would-be mothers but by fathers, grandparents, and other family members.
In some cases, women experience regret immediately following an abortion. Others feel relieved at first, but over time, the experience begins to intrude more and more into their thoughts, particularly when they face other difficult life challenges.
Some of the symptoms of abortion regret include having nightmares, experiencing overwhelming feelings of guilt, depression, and anxiety, and being preoccupied with strong feelings around the anniversary of the abortion.
These symptoms can last for years, sometimes for a lifetime. Some people develop eating disorders, addiction, or other self-destructive behaviors because they don’t know how to cope with their feelings. One study concluded that nearly 14% of post-abortive women in the United States exhibit all the symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
A counselor can address abortion regret, but it takes a lot of time and work, and the process is painful. To prevent long-term mental health issues and to know in your heart you did the right thing no matter how difficult, choose a better path.
Parenting Is Incredibly Rewarding
Before you become a parent, it’s hard to imagine what raising a child is like. Unfortunately, too many people focus on the negatives: the responsibility and how it affects your daily decisions and plans for the future. If you hear these negatives, you might be scared to face the challenges, especially if you’re young or have limited financial resources. But the positives are immeasurable. The joy of bonding with your own child. The rewards of smiles and laughter and the warmth of boundless love. Parenting is an unmatched experience that makes you feel loved unconditionally, shows you what is important in life, and gives you a unique sense of purpose.
You Should Be Free to Exercise Agency
Many women who become pregnant unexpectedly want to let the baby live, but they have been led to believe they don’t have any options except abortion. This isn’t the case. With the right kind of support and with firm conviction, most women can find a solution that protects them and their babies. Don’t let circumstances dictate to you. Dictate your own circumstances. You are stronger than you think, and people are more supportive than you think.
You might be able to raise your baby with the help of family, friends, and others in a similar situation. Alternatively, placing your child with an adoptive family might be right for you. Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women can choose who should raise their child and what kind of adoption they want. Some prefer to stay connected with their child, while others favor a closed adoption.
You’re Not Alone
If you’re being pressured to have an abortion by friends or family or don’t feel you can cope on your own, reach out to a pregnancy resource center or clinic. We provide various resources for parents at no or low cost, including pregnancy testing, limited obstetric ultrasounds, STI testing and treatment, Life Skills classes, lay advocacy, and adoption support.
We even have a clothing boutique where you can obtain new and gently used items for your baby. If you need additional help, we’ll refer you to other community services and support groups. After becoming pregnant unexpectedly, the first step is to confirm your pregnancy with medical-grade testing and get an ultrasound at the clinic. Contact us at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, and book your first appointment now. We offer free and low-cost services so that nobody is turned away.