We know that an unintended pregnancy can be shocking and overwhelming.
Summit provides options counseling free of charge and free of judgment or pressure, especially for unintended pregnancy.
This page might help you begin sorting out your feelings about your pregnancy. In addition to this information, you can find more detailed pregnancy options workbooks at the bottom of this page.
No matter what you choose, our staff will provide you with honest information and guidance about options you’re considering. We strive to help you make the best choice for you, whether you choose to continue your unintended pregnancy, opt for abortion, or are seeking adoption alternatives.
Summit’s counselors (health educators) have special training for abortion and pregnancy options counseling. They have skill, experience, compassion, and commitment to providing patients with honest, safe, and confidential help. Whether you’re seeking support for your first gynecological exam, advice about a positive STD result, an unintended pregnancy, or considerations about birth control, we are here to help.
If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant, you may be happy, shocked, or angry, just to name a few. It’s important to know that you have choices regarding your pregnancy. Only you can make the best decision for yourself, but you must make a decision. The sooner you decide, the sooner you can responsibly move forward.
If you opt for abortion, doing so earlier rather than later is safer and less expensive. If you opt to continue the pregnancy, you’ll want to seek out prenatal services as soon as possible.
Take some uninterrupted space and time to think (no TV, no kids, no cell phones, etc). Even if you feel overworked and busy, you owe it to yourself to think through this decision thoroughly.
Work your way toward answering these two questions:
- Is this an ideal time to bring a child into the world through my body?
- Am I genuinely prepared to raise a child in a responsible, nurturing, and loving way?
The answers may not be as simple as “yes” or “no”, so don’t expect them to come that easily. Take your time considering the unintended pregnancy. Without imposing notions of “right” and “wrong,” just be honest with yourself.
- What is best for you right now?
- What are you prepared to handle today?
Sit with the answers before moving on to the next set of considerations.
Of course you want to reach a “rational” conclusion, but don’t undermine your intuition. Take the opportunity to dig beneath the surface. What does your gut tell you? Are you are overwhelmed by the thoughts of balancing a child with work, school, and finances, yet deep down, you don’t feel that abortion or adoption are good choices for you? Or, though you may have family, partner, or financial support, something inside questions your ability to nurture or successfully raise a child right now? If so, you may find it helpful to consider abortion or adoption alternatives.
Write it or say it. If you feel “shocked” about your unintended pregnancy, start by writing or saying your story out loud, alone or with someone you trust. This will help ground you and provide a foundation for you to explore your options.
Learning from the past. Review your emotional history from the last 3-5 years. List the times you were extremely happy and optimistic, as well as times you were sad, lonely, or depressed. What prompted longer bouts of happiness, joy, heartache, or depression? How have you dealt with losing a job or loved ones? Breakups or illness? What lessons of strength or patience can you draw on to help you now? What might your past suggest about your ability to emotionally handle parenting, or abortion, or adoption alternatives?
Having a child is a lifetime commitment. Whether you are considering being a single parent or parenting with a partner, raising a child (an infant, toddler, adolescent or teenager) is a 24-hour/day job. Are you willing to sacrifice your free time, needs, wants, and privacy for your child? Can you do this without resentment and anger? Are you patient? Do you enjoy children? How do you deal with anger and frustration? If you’ve been lonely at all during the last several months/years, be sure you’re not considering a baby to help you feel needed, or as a cure to loneliness or sadness.
Talking with a partner. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or not, there are two people involved in this pregnancy. You’ll need to speak to one another without glossing over the uncomfortable stuff: discuss your financial and emotional expectations of one another. List some positive and negative aspects of your relationship, and talk openly about each item you’ve noted. Why are you together (or not)? Where do you see yourselves in a year or two, with or without a child? If you’re in a committed relationship, ask each other: if we broke up, would we be willing respect one another and act civilly for the sake of our child? It may not be the most romantic conversation you’ll ever have, but if you’re unwilling to be honest now, consider what that implies about your ability to be honest and direct with one another in the future.
Beliefs, values, and unconditional love. What type of belief system or values do you have? Are you prepared to support and love your children no matter who they become, even if their beliefs, religion, or politics are different from yours? If you have hopes about a child’s sex/gender, how will you feel if it comes out differently? Can you offer unconditional love and acceptance to your child if it chooses a partner of another race, religion, sex, or gender?
Telling your parents. If you’re a teen or young person, talking to your parents about an unintended pregnancy may be difficult. List your reasons for telling/not telling, even if you think you may disappoint them. Sometimes the hardest part is getting the words out; consider writing your parents a letter and then read it to them. Talking with them may make you feel safer, more confident and supported, and they may have helpful insight and advice. If you fear that a parent may become violent, or physically or emotionally abusive, consider speaking to someone you trust first to help you decide. You can always talk with a Summit counselor if you need assistance with telling a parent, or talking about options.
Again, at Summit Centers, we welcome you to take advantage of our counseling services free of charge. Contact your local facility today to make an appointment.
You may find this online pregnancy options workbook helpful in sorting out feelings about your pregnancy: http://www.pregnancyoptions.info/pregnant.htm
If you’ve decided to have an abortion but are unsure as to which method to choose, visit this for additional help: http://www.pregnancyoptions.info/whichmethod.htm
Lastly, if you’ve had an abortion and are looking for guidance with emotional/spiritual healing, visit: http://www.pregnancyoptions.info/emotional&spiritual.htm