There are some things in life no one can explain unless you’ve experienced it yourself. And there are some decisions only you can make, even though you respect the opinions of those close to you. The intense emotions that a woman experiences through pregnancy and birth are some of those times.
Jordan, a previous client of Life’s Choices, would be the first to tell you that becoming pregnant was not part of her plan. But this is what she had to say about her feelings after meeting her newborn son:
“…That’s the part no one can explain; that pre-baby/post-baby transition. You have to experience it for yourself to truly understand the change in perspective; the newfound love you receive when they first place your baby on your chest.”
This unexplainable “pre-baby/post-baby transition” is the reason no one but you can make a decision about your pregnancy. If becoming pregnant was unplanned and seemingly untimely, those close to you like your parents, friends or the baby’s father may pressure you into having an abortion. But if you are feeling any kind of uncertainty, even if you can’t fully explain it, that is a reason to take your time and become fully informed before terminating your pregnancy. See previous blog for things you should know about abortion.
Abortion is a major decision with physical and psychological consequences. Because of this there are laws to protect you from someone pressuring you into making that choice. The following is an excerpt from a publication of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
- It is not legal for anyone to make a woman have an abortion against her will.
- It is not legal for any doctor to perform an abortion on a woman without her informed consent, which means that
>> the woman has a private medical discussion with the doctor and is given information about the procedure
>> all the questions she may have are answered
>> the doctor talks with her about other options before she agrees to have an abortion. If the doctor performs the abortion without first obtaining her informed consent, the woman can sue the doctor in court and she may be awarded money.
- The father of a child is responsible by law to help support that child, even if the father has said he wanted the woman to have an abortion.
- The law lets adoptive parents pay costs for care during pregnancy, childbirth and costs for care of the newborn baby.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE NOT SURE
What if you’re feeling pressure to abort, but you’re not sure? How can you defend your choice if you can’t fully explain it yourself? Many women contemplating abortion feel an internal conflict that is hard to express. Understanding that tension can be helpful.
In 2011, an organization called The Vitae Foundation funded research by the Right Brained Group to study this internal conflict in abortion vulnerable women. An analysis of the research revealed that there are three primary tensions that these women experience: (1)
1. My Life vs. the Baby’s Life
The Conflict: This tension is usually experienced by someone who is focused on accomplishing educational or career goals. She feels like she has to choose between sacrificing the goals she has for her life or sacrificing the life of her baby.
The Reality: In reality, many women whose life is interrupted by an unplanned pregnancy go on to accomplish great things. There are many resources available for pregnant students and working, single moms:
A pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned, may result in taking some time off from pursuing your career goals and dreams for a few months or a few years, but it’s entirely possible to raise a family and experience a successful life. Furthermore, the path to a fulfilling life is rarely a direct route. You will most likely find that life takes many unexpected twists and turns that eventually lead you to a better place than you could ever have imagined.
2. Bad Life vs. Good Life
The Conflict: The woman who experiences this conflict is often one who is struggling with financial or emotional difficulties or has several other children and is already feeling overwhelmed. She feels that by having a baby she will be giving up the hope of ever having a good life and is destined for a life of hardship. In addition, she may feel like it’s not fair to her child to be unable to provide what she considers to be the good things in life.
The Reality: The truth is that children do not need and often don’t have a desire for many of the things we consider to be essentials. Basic needs like shelter, food and clothing, of course, need to be provided, but they can be very simple for a child to have a happy and carefree life. Love and security are the most important things you can give your child. In fact, many adults who were raised in near poverty situations express that they never realized they were poor, as a child. Again, there are many programs and resources to assist those that are struggling to make ends meet. Conversely, many wealthy families struggle to be happy and content, emphasizing the fact that it is not an abundance of money that indicates true wealth.
3. Shame vs. Guilt
The Conflict: The woman experiencing this tension feels that it is better to suffer the private guilt of abortion than public shame of an unwed pregnancy. It is often someone who was raised in a religious home with high moral standards or who feels that pregnancy outside of marriage is a shameful thing. She may be concerned her parents will be angry or that her reputation in her church or other community will be ruined.
The Reality: Most parents, even if they are initially disappointed and upset, are able to come to a place of acceptance and grace for their pregnant daughter. After all, the baby is their grandchild! The reaction by family members is rarely as bad as you anticipate and over time they rally around and celebrate the coming baby. If your family is unable to accept you and your baby, there are likely deeper issues involved that would come out eventually in another time of crisis. Any rejection you feel from a church family are also indications of an unhealthy situation. True Christianity offers love, grace and forgiveness, and if you feel shamed, we encourage you to find another more welcoming faith community. They do exist!
CONTACT US TODAY
If you are feeling any of these internal conflicts we would love to talk with you and help you process before choosing abortion. Most importantly, don’t allow someone to pressure you into making a decision you might later regret. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We are here for you.
(1) The Three Tensions, published by CompassCare Pregnancy Services, https://www.ccoptimize.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Three-Tensions-White-Paper-04-18-18.pdf