Listen to her. What is going on in her life to lead her to this difficult decision? Sometimes, what people need most during times of difficulty is not someone to fix all of their problems, but a listening ear, a warm hug, and the knowledge that you will be there for them no matter what. There is no “quick fix” to an unplanned pregnancy, so it’s ok to acknowledge that each of her options will most likely be very challenging.
Offer to be with her as she tells others, (if she wants to do so). Your friend may feel scared when it comes to telling her parents, friends, or the father of the baby. Offer to be with her during these intimidating conversations. Remind her that she has legal rights and protections, and no one should pressure her into making a decision about her pregnancy, even if she is a minor. link to http://thejusticefoundation.org/cafa/
Keep her information confidential. She may not have told many people about the pregnancy. The fact that she shared this information with you means she trusts you a great deal. Keep her trust by making sure what she shares stays between the two of you.
Help her get accurate information. One of the first things women think about when it comes to abortion is, “is this procedure safe?” Encourage her to make an appointment at The HOPE Center to discuss abortion procedures with our medical personnel. There’s a lot of misleading information about abortion, and people can become confused by what they find online. You can be assured that at The HOPE Center we will discuss the facts surrounding each of your friend’s options in a calm and caring environment.
Offer to go with your friend to her ultrasound appointment. She will need an ultrasound before making her decision, to determine how far along the pregnancy is and see which abortion procedure options would be available to her. The ultrasound is also necessary to confirm whether or not the pregnancy is viable. Approximately one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and your friend will not need to make this difficult choice if the pregnancy ends on its own. An ultrasound is needed to determine this, as she will not necessarily know right away if she miscarries early in pregnancy. Whether your friend comes to The HOPE Center for a free ultrasound, or goes to an OB/GYN, she may want to have you there with her for support during the scan.
Be her advocate. If she decides to have an abortion and wants you to go with her, there are several things you can look for at her appointment. Is the clinic unclean, does it appear dusty or have a bad odor? Infections can result from unsanitary conditions. If the clinic appears unhygienic, point this out to your friend and encourage her to go elsewhere. She may be scared, nervous, and emotional when she arrives at her appointment. Remind her that she can change her mind about the abortion, even at the very last minute. The clinic is legally required to refund your friend her money in the event she changes her mind before the procedure has taken place. Encourage her to read over everything that the clinic asks her to sign. Be calm and steady for her, and make sure she knows that you will assist her out of the clinic at any time if she changes her mind or wants to wait.
Provide encouragement. Sometimes, during the uncertainty that can come with a decision like this, people need to know that someone believes in them. Express this to her by stating the positive characteristics you see in her, such as her strength, intelligence, and courage. If you sense that she desires to continue her pregnancy, but she is worried about how others may react, provide support by letting her know that you will be by her side no matter what. Through encouragement, you can help her build the self-confidence she may be looking for to make this decision.
I am so glad you are here. My name is Anna Muller, and I am the Nurse Manager at The HOPE Center. I love working at The HOPE Center and meeting all of the wonderful women and families that visit our clinic.