The moment you see the positive pregnancy test, and you weren’t planning on getting pregnant, it can invite a slew of overwhelming emotions: panic, fear, anger, or perhaps even numbness as your mind reels from the news.
These emotions are completely normal! While you may feel overwhelmed, you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and options available as you face your unplanned pregnancy.
At Crossroads Women’s Center, we provide no-cost pregnancy services, such as pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, to help women make an informed decision about their pregnancy.
If you are starting to put together a plan for your pregnancy, but know parenting is not an option for you, read this article to learn more about the possibilities of adoption or abortion.
Potential After-Effects of Abortion
While sometimes presented as one of the more convenient solutions to unplanned pregnancy, some mental health side effects are often under-discussed with women considering this option.
Both sides of the abortion issue agree “that at least some women do have significant mental health issues that are caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience.”
Women who have an abortion will often have elevated rates of mental health struggles compared to those who are not.
While the psychological aspects are important, there are some potential risks to be aware of.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following as potential risks of surgical abortion:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
If you are early enough in your pregnancy for a medical abortion, there are some other potential risks to be aware of. The Mayo Clinic lists the following:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
A more immediate and practical effect of abortion to also consider is the expense. It can cost up to $500 for a medication abortion (this occurs in the first trimester), while a surgical abortion can be $1500 or more.
What Do I Need to Know About Adoption?
Most adoptions in the US are open adoptions, which means that the biological mother has a relationship with her child and their adoptive family. However, as the mother, you have complete control over what an adoption would look like.
You can also choose between a closed or semi-open adoption, which keeps details about your identity private or allows you to exchange non-identifying information with the adoptive family through the adoption agency.
Just as there are possible mental health effects of abortion, such as loss or grief, the same is possible with adoption. However, birth mothers may also demonstrate signs of postpartum depression.
In many cases, you will have the support of an adoption counselor or support group to help you through the process.
If you are interested in an open adoption, having a relationship with the child could positively influence your mental health, but that may not be the case for everyone.
There is no cost to the biological mother for making an adoption plan. In many cases, the adoptive family often covers the pregnancy care costs for the birth mother.
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This article is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you a solid start to helping you make an informed decision.