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Think you might be unexpectedly pregnant and are not sure what to do next? It's totally normal to be feeling a mix of emotions or struggling to keep from being overwhelmed. But you are not alone on this journey – there is help and support available to you.
Maybe becoming a parent sounds incredibly daunting right now – so what are your other options? Take some time to take a deep breath and learn all you need to know about abortion and adoption so that you can make a confident, informed choice.
Taking a couple medications may seem easy – but it is important to recognize the reality that abortion is a serious medical procedure that comes with risks and side effects. To put your health first, be sure you know all the facts first.
Depending on a number of factors in your unique pregnancy situation – most significantly, how far along you are – one of two methods of abortion may be medically indicated.
Medical or medication abortion is most commonly known as the abortion pill, even though it actually involves a series of two separate doses of medication: mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone, the first dose, blocks the body from producing the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which thins the uterine lining and causes the fetus to cease growing and detach from the uterus. Several hours or sometimes up to a day or two later, the second dose, misoprostol, is taken, causing the uterus to cramp and contract, expelling the fetus and remaining tissue through the vagina.
The Mayo Clinic quotes the following as potential physical risks of the abortion pill process:
It's important to note that the abortion pill is only approved by the FDA for the termination of early pregnancies, up to 10 weeks gestational age. Taking the abortion pill past this point in pregnancy could expose you to further risk, particularly risk of incomplete abortion.
The termination of pregnancies past 10 weeks gestational age require an in-clinic procedure known as surgical abortion. There are several types of surgical abortion procedures, but in the most common types, a doctor will open (or dilate) the cervix using medication or a medical instrument. Following this, the fetus and tissue are scraped or lightly suctioned from the uterus using medical instruments.
The following are potential physical risks of surgical abortion procedures, as listed by the Mayo Clinic:
Considering whether or not abortion might be a healthy choice for you may also involve weighing the risks to your mental wellbeing. It's worth noting that while abortion experiences are unique, it is common for women to report negative psychological or mental health effects after an abortion experience, including some instances of abortion-specific PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
As you consider each of your options, perhaps you are thinking about the process of adoption and have a particular picture of what this looks like in your mind. But, the adoption process has changed significantly in recent decades, and while it's not an easy choice to make, adoption has the potential to provide a healthy and happy future for both you and your child.
In modern-day adoption processes, birth parents have more control and can select a plan that is healthiest for them. Most birth parents can expect a few common elements in the process of making an adoption plan:
Typically adoption plans today fall into one of three categories: open, closed, or semi-open.
In open adoption plans, communication is regular between you (the birth parent) and the adoptive family and your child. This could be comforting, to have knowledge of your child's growth, health, and wellbeing within the stability of the adoptive home.
In closed adoptions, however, the birth parent's information is kept completely private. There is no contact or communication between the birth parents and the adoptive family or the child.
Semi-open adoptions typically have some combination of the two – with a happy medium of contact that is healthiest for everyone. What this looks like in terms of the frequency of contact can be facilitated by the adoption agency or a lawyer.
Making the choice to make an adoption plan is a sacrificial choice that can be incredibly rewarding, but also can involve some emotional effects. If you make the choice to pursue an adoption plan, it's good to prepare for feelings of grief, uncertainty, or sadness… or also feelings of relief, joy, or security. It's also worth noting that there is also much more online support for birth moms today than ever before.
At Choices Options for Women, we're here to support you with free services and important informational resources as you navigate your pregnancy decision. Our professional staff would be honored to walk alongside you as you ask whatever questions you have and gather the facts to make an informed, confident choice.
Schedule your free appointment today to get your questions answered.
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