If you are considering 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 pregnancy centers have chosen abortion. They can understand your situation and can help.
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.
Here are some things to know before considering abortion:
KNOW THE POSSIBLE RISKS
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 which are outlined on this link – Abortion Risks
GET A BLOOD OR URINE PREGNANCY TEST TO CONFIRM YOU ARE REALLY PREGNANT
If you’ve taken a home pregnancy test, it could be that you are not actually pregnant. Most pregnancy 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 as well as details about the various abortion procedures. All of these services are free and confidential.
CONFIRM YOUR PREGNANCY WITH A DOCTOR WHO DOESN’T DO ABORTIONS
For the best medical input on abortion, we recommend you speak with a medical professional who is uninvolved in the abortion industry. In this way, you can be assured that you are receiving unbiased information.
GET A FREE ULTRASOUND
An ultrasound exam, under the direction of a certified sonographer, will confirm your pregnancy and ensure it is “viable.” It is estimated that as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies will end naturally through miscarriage. If your pregnancy is not viable, you don’t need an abortion. You may receive a free ultrasound from a pregnancy 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 harmed 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. It is important to have his/her name if injury should occur. Be sure to ask for the abortionist’s name and write it down.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING THAT RELEASES THE ABORTIONIST OR THE CLINIC FROM BEING LIABLE FOR INJURING YOU
Many post-abortive women report 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, please 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 impact you in the future.
UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE RIGHTS
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 centers exist to help you in any circumstance. They can even 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.
VERIFY THAT THE ABORTION CLINIC IS CLEAN AND SANITARY
Many post-abortive women report that the general area of their abortion clinic was unclean, dusty and even smelled bad. Infections can result from unsanitary conditions. Infections can lead to infertility and even death if untreated. If you find yourself in a clinic, be sure to question their cleaning procedures and look around at the condition of each room to ensure that you are receiving truly hygienic care. If the abortion clinic does not provide sufficient information to determine these conditions, give yourself permission to leave. You can then insist on a refund of your money.
UNDERSTAND YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND – EVEN AT THE LAST MINUTE
Many women who have experienced abortion relate that they felt they could not change their mind 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, which is not legal.
Abortion providers understand this choice is a difficult decision and can work to encourage you to abort even as they say, “I simply can’t do this!” Know your rights. Don’t be pressured or intimidated, particularly by the clinic staff. If you are not sure about your abortion decision, you can change your mind. If the procedure is not performed, demand your money back.
UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S NOT A “BLOB OF TISSUE”
Some abortion facilities tell women that their unborn children are not human but simply a “blob of tissue.” For many it is easier to have an abortion if they believe their child is not yet human. Ultrasound photos show that at early stages of pregnancy the humanness of the embryo is clearly evident. When some women view fetal development photos after their abortion, outlining clearly the arms and legs of the unborn child while early abortion procedures are available, many are overwhelmed and even angry that the information the clinic provided was misleading. An ultrasound will reveal the true development of your child.
KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Women who feel like they have no other choice but to abort often change their minds when visiting a pregnancy center. The concept of available physical, emotional and physical support services offers women the choice to continue their pregnancies. Pregnancy centers offer free and confidential help at any level of your pregnancy. There is no obstacle too big that can’t be overcome with friendship and support. Your local pregnancy center can be found at this link –HELP IN YOUR AREA
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. 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 current rates, abortion providers outline that 1 in 3 of American women have chosen abortion. Of these post-abortive women, 47 percent of them have had at least one previous abortion.
If 33% of American women have chosen abortion, why does our world rarely hear women talking about this past choice? Most post-abortive individuals work diligently to keep their choice a secret fearing judgment and societal rejection. Secrets are difficult to maintain over a life time and emotions change as well.
At first, for many women, there main emotion after abortion is relief. They no longer are faced with the problem of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Some will go through another unplanned pregnancy, perhaps aborting many times. For months or even years, the only apparent truth many women perceive is that they made the right decision in that situation.
Yet underlying the feelings of relief are often other emotions that are quite unexplained. Feelings of loss, guilt, and confusion seem to persist for no apparent reason. Life can seem 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 nags at their souls.
Some women avoid this phantom 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 again. 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. An unborn child was taken from the womb, a place that is supposed to be the ultimate in safety and security. As much as she wants to believe that she has had a mere lump of tissue removed in a simple medical procedure, many later outline a 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 many 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) or Abortion PTSD.
Sadly, there is little recognition or resources to address the grief that many follow an abortion decision. Ramah International exists to help those who have aborted come to a point of peace and healing. Your local pregnancy center offers abortion recovery programs to help individuals grieve their abortion loss and come to a point of peace.
Sydna Massé compassionately leads you on the difficult journey through denial, anger, and grief, to forgiveness, redemption, and letting go. Her Choice to Heal offers a road map to healing – practical suggestions, resources for help, space to journal, with the encouragement and hope.
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