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Abortion Pill Use a Factor in Drop in U.S. Abortion Rate

The Supreme Court decision on the landmark Roe v. Wade case legalized abortion in America on January 22, 1973. That year, the legal abortion rate was 16.3 abortions per 1,000 women in the U.S. Since then, the abortion rate has fluctuated to as high as 19.4 in 2008 and to the current all-time low of 14.6 based on most recent data from 2014. While the exact reasons why the U.S. Abortion Rate Dropped 25% in Six Years have not yet been established, Support Circle has identified a number of contributing factors evidenced by recent data including:  Less Teen Intercourse, The Work of Pregnancy Centers, the Trend of Delayed Childbirth, and State Abortion Law Restrictions. The fifth factor is the rising popularity of the abortion pill.  Ironically, the growing prominence of the abortion pill has led to a burgeoning black market online for its illegal sale. This black market artificially masks the true U.S. abortion rate, as only legally obtained abortions count in the statistic.

There are two categories of abortion: surgical and medical.  Medical abortions are facilitated through the abortion pill.  More women seeking first trimester abortions are opting for medical abortions. According to Reuters research, medical abortions accounted for 43% of terminations at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2014, up from 35% from 2010. Medical abortions were performed more than surgical abortions in Michigan (55%) and Iowa (64%), states with few abortion restrictions.

California is another state with few abortion restrictions and where Medi-Cal pays abortion costs. For some women throughout the country, obtaining any type of abortion may not be as easy. Because of the barriers they face (i.e. state restrictions, limited abortion providers, living in remote locations, lack of finances, etc.) oftentimes, women may turn to online providers for the abortion pill.

FDA Regulations

Women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant may have a choice between a surgical abortion (D&C) performed in a licensed medical clinic or hospital, or a medical abortion which can be completed at home or outside a medical facility. The abortion pill is a two-drug regimen consisting of Mifepristone and Mifeprex, that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA-approved abortion pill process stipulates an ultrasound to date the pregnancy and confirm that it is not an ectopic pregnancy, obtaining the abortion pill regimen through a prescription from a medical provider, and a follow-up visit 7-14 days later to ensure the contents of the uterus were safely expunged. The FDA has approved this process for the safety of women’s health.

Black Market Skirts These Regulations

Abortion pills obtained on the internet without a prescription are illegal and potentially dangerous.  The allure is that they may be offered at a lower cost than local pharmacies and can be obtained in states with abortion laws restricting access to the abortion pill. Only legally obtained medical abortions are included in the official U.S. abortion rate, so, without regulation of online sales, it is difficult to gauge how much higher the abortion rate would be when taking into account black market abortion pills.

Disturbingly, black market abortion pills disregard the safety of women. Without regulation, the pills may not be exactly what the woman believes she ordered, ineffective, or cause adverse side effects. Abortion pills obtained online also bypass important safeguards including the ultrasound to verify and date the pregnancy as well as the follow-up visit to verify the contents of the uterus cleared completely.

Ultrasounds are important because the abortion pill does not work on ectopic pregnancies and the FDA has not approved the abortion pill for safe use after 10 weeks gestation.  Support Circle provides ultrasounds at no cost to our clients to officially verify and date pregnancies.

Without any data on how many abortion pills are sold online to women in America, it is impossible to make an accurate accounting of how many total abortions are performed each year. This means the U.S. abortion rate is most likely higher than assumed based on 2014 findings. But how much higher, we can’t know. Regardless, the general consensus is that the abortion rate has declined due to several concurrent factors, and the masking effect of the abortion pill black market does not negate this overall decline.

 

Helpful Links

US Abortion Rate Dropped 25% in Six Years

Factor One: Less Teen Intercourse

Factors Two and Three: Pregnancy Centers and Delayed Abortion

Factor Four: State Abortion Law Restrictions

 

Reference Links

FDA-Approved regimen to end early pregnancy

Reuters. Abortion by Prescription Rivals Surgery for U.S. Women. 2016

Cosmopolitan Magazine. Are abortion pills online safe?

 

State Abortion Law Restrictions a Factor in Drop in U.S. Abortion Rate

 

In our ongoing series on the factors behind why the US Abortion Rate Dropped 25% in Six Years, we have explored Factor One: Less Teen Intercourse, and Factors Two and Three: Pregnancy Centers and Delayed Childbearing. This article explores Factor Four: State Abortion Law Restrictions.

Since the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade in 1973, recognizing abortion as a woman’s constitutional right, thousands of laws have been brought before state and federal courts by each side of the abortion debate, either restricting abortions or permitting greater access to abortions. Restrictions vary from gestational limits, public and private insurance funding, provider refusal, counseling mandates, waiting periods, parental involvement, etc.

In recent years, there has been a steep increase in the number of abortion restrictions passed. A total of 231 new abortion restrictions were passed in the U.S. in the years 2011 to 2014. During this four-year period, state abortion restrictions were adopted at a faster rate than during the whole previous decade from 2001 to 2010 when a total of 189 restrictions were adopted.

The increase in state abortion restrictions does not appear to be slowing down. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which monitored over 2100 legislative proposals from 2010 to mid-2017, estimates that in 2016 alone, there were more than 500 abortion restrictions introduced by Republican state legislatures. Of those, 60 new restrictions passed in 19 states.

State abortion restrictions appear to have a clear correlation on the drop in the U.S. abortion rate. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 652,639 legal abortions which is significantly less than the 730,322 legal abortions in 2011. This represents a faster four-year decrease in U.S. abortions than the previous decade from 2001 (853,485 abortions) to 2010 (765,651 abortions).

Although there has been a huge increase in state restrictions across the country, contributing to the drop in national abortion numbers, that is NOT the case here in California. California has not had as many abortion restrictions as other states. Interestingly, California’s abortion rate has not seen the same sharp decrease witnessed by the rest of the country, either. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which polls each abortion clinic in California every three years, California saw a slight decrease in 2014 with 157,350 legal abortions, from 181,730 legal abortions in 2011. During the previous decade from 2001 to 2010, California’s abortion rate ranged from 236,060 abortions in 2000 (closest year to 2001 data collected) to 191,550 abortions in 2010.

It will be interesting in the years ahead to see if there is a divergence between the California abortion rate and the overall U.S. abortion rate as California continues to experience all the other effects of the trends we have been talking about, including the work of pregnancy centers while abortion clinics are closing, less teen intercourse and delayed childbearing but NOT state restrictions. In fact, California has gone in the opposite direction of other states and passed laws to reduce restrictions on abortions.

There are multiple factors contributing to the decline in the U.S. abortion rate occurring concurrently. California is an instance where we can observe one factor in play while another is not. Going forward it will be interesting to see if the change in the California abortion rate has a noticeable difference compared to the other states since it has all the other factors in play but not the state abortion restrictions.

 

Helpful Links

  1. US Abortion Rate Dropped 25% in Six Years
  2. Factor One: Less Teen Intercourse
  3. Factors Two and Three: Pregnancy Centers and Delayed Abortion
  4. Schedule an Appointment

 

References

  1. Guttmacher Institute. State Policy Overview of Abortion Laws. 1/18
  2. Abortion Stats 2001 – 2014  CDC numbers do not include NH, CA, and at least one other state.
  3. Abortion bills by Congress
  4. Johnston Archive. California Abortion Historical Data
  5. Guttmacher Institute. Laws Governing Reproductive Health and Rights 2014 State Policy
  6. Center for Reproductive Rights. Evaluating Priorities Report v2. 8/17
  7. National Right to Life. Reported Annual Abortions 1973-2014 Guttmacher vs. CDC
  8. Californians for Life. California Abortion Facts

Less Teen Intercourse a Factor in Drop in US Abortion Rate

The abortion rate in the U.S. has seen a 25% drop in the last six years. This is the first article in a multi-part series exploring the factors behind this massive drop.  At 14.6 abortions per 1,000, the abortion rate is now lower than it was in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was passed (16.3 per 1,000 women), according to three independent surveys (two by the federal government and one by the Guttmacher Institute). Lower abortion rates are encouraging but what are the reasons for the decline?

While the exact reasons for the decrease in abortions has not yet been established, Support Circle has identified a number of contributing factors evidenced by recent data. One encouraging factor is that young people, consisting of teens and young Millennials (aged 20-24) are having less premarital intercourse which is resulting in lower pregnancy rates in this age group.

Teenagers and young Millennials report the lowest rates of premarital intercourse in decades. The reduction in intercourse has been attributed to the reduction in teen pregnancies, abortions and births. In fact, CDC data indicates that the portion of high school students in 2014 who have had sex fell to 41 percent from 54 percent in 1991.

According to the Guttmacher Institute and the Archives of Sexual Behavior journal by researchers from three U.S. universities, less young people are having sexual intercourse and more report having no sexual partner. This goes against the popular belief that young people are more sexually active due to dating apps and a hook up culture. Dating or “hook up” apps, such as Tinder, may actually be making it more difficult for young adults to engage in sexual activity because of the emphasis on physical appearance and physical perfection.

In a 2016 Washington Post article, a few experts noted concern that some young people are having difficulty “forming deep romantic connections… (and) cite other reasons for putting off sex, including pressure to succeed, social lives increasingly conducted on-screen… and wariness over date rape.” Another upside of “young people putting off sex and taking it slower could lead to better first marriages and slower divorce rates,” according to Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University in an interview with the Post.  

In discussing reduced sexual intercourse, it is important to note that young people in the 60’s or 70’s were more likely to consider oral sex as sex. Whereas teens and Millennials find a distinction between oral sex and intercourse and are less likely to include oral sex when reporting on their sexual activity. This distinction might explain why rates of intercourse among young people is down but the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in their age group has increased.

 Along with the decline in abortion rates and sexual intercourse, teen pregnancy rates have seen a steady decline. Teen pregnancy rates include pregnancies that end in abortion, miscarriage and live births. Data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey “shows sharp declines in sexual activity among high school students from 2013 to 2015.” The declining teen pregnancy rates have been attributed to less sexual intercourse, use of more effective contraception and teens receiving more information about pregnancy prevention.

Reality TV has been attributed to a reduction in teen pregnancies. A “2014 Brookings report found that MTV programs 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, reality TV shows that follow the struggles of teen mothers, may have contributed to up to a third of the decline in teen births from June 2009, when they began airing, through the end of 2010.” At the time, critics thought the shows would glorify teen pregnancy and result in an increase in teen pregnancies.

Less teen intercourse is only one of the many factors that are helping the abortion rate to decline. Stay tuned as we explore those other factors throughout this series.  Support Circle is a licensed medical clinic dedicated to providing time, space and support to women in unintended pregnancies. We offer women a safe place to make an informed decision about their pregnancy. Our team of professional nurses and caring patient advocates listen and provide non-judgmental emotional support and access to community resources before and after the pregnancy decision. Clients love our relational approach built on respect, trust and confidentiality.

Our services include pregnancy testing and verification, ultrasounds, patient advocates, community referrals, health insurance information, symptom relief, nutrition and patient education.  Support Circle provides pregnancy dating and information about pregnancy and abortion to aid clients in decision making.  We do not perform or refer for any medical procedure or dispense medication for the final pregnancy decision, whether labor/delivery or abortion.  Women may receive our services for up to one year after their decision, regardless of what her decision is. All services are offered at no cost to our clients.

 

Helpful Links

US Abortion Rate Drops 25% in 6 Years

Schedule An Appointment

 

Reference Links

American Journal of Public Health

Washington Post. October 19, 2017

Vox

Health and Human Services

Pew Research

CDC Vital Services, National Health. 

Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

Abortion – Are you considering an abortion?

If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering abortion.  Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. Half of pregnancies in America are unintended. It may feel like you are alone and pregnant but many women in the San Francisco Bay Area have experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Approximately 75% of pregnant women know what they want to do with their unplanned pregnancy.  Women who have decided on abortion might seek out Planned Parenthood in Oakland or Women’s Options Center in San Francisco for their abortion clinics.  Women planning to parent might seek out their OB/GYN to begin prenatal care.  Women choosing adoption might seek out adoption agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The other 25% of women in unintended pregnancies are unsure and need a safe place to discuss their pregnancy options.  They are typically looking for:

  • Lab Grade Pregnancy Tests
  • Limited Ultrasound
  • Decision Counseling
  • Community Resources and Referrals
  • Nurse Consultation
  • Proof of Pregnancy

Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office, pregnancy clinic, or pregnancy center in the Bay Area? Abortion procedures require a pregnancy verification.  Lab-grade pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS pharmacy or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy at a Support Circle Pregnancy Clinic, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? The pregnancy ultrasound provided at our clinic is able to provide accurate dating of your unplanned pregnancy. This is important because your pregnancy options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, a pregnancy ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are rare, but are serious conditions where treatment is needed to prevent complications.

Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Many women begin researching their options online.  Abortion clinics Bay Area, abortion Oakland, abortion clinics Redwood City, women’s options center San Francisco, abortion cost San Francisco are common searches. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the Bay Area, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves.

Call our pregnancy centers first.  We want you to be well informed about your pregnancy decision.  We provide the services you need to make your decision.  Our funding comes from local residents and other friends who believe that women should receive information from a place that doesn’t profit from either outcome of their pregnancy decision.

If you would like to talk to someone about your pregnancy decision, adoption decision, abortion decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle’s pregnancy centers in the San Francisco Bay Area are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after your pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three Support Circle Pregnancy Clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle provides information about but is not a provider of abortions.

Links:

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

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Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

Abortion – What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?

What if I decide to abort my pregnancy?If you are reading this article, you may be pregnant and considering an abortion. Most women do not come to the decision to abort lightly. You may be concerned about your school or employment, housing, what your family will say, finances, etc. According to a recent Public Opinions survey, one of the biggest factors in women deciding on abortion is the relationship with the father. Women contemplating an abortion are often in most need of their friends, family, partner. Sadly, this may feel like a very lonely time for you. Whatever your reasons for considering abortion, at Support Circle, we are able to provide you with a caring, listening, non-judgmental counselor that can help you through this time and even in the months following your pregnancy decision.

Before going any further, first things first. Have you confirmed your pregnancy by visiting a medical office or clinic? Medical pregnancy tests can be more accurate than home pregnancy tests purchased at your local CVS or Walgreens pharmacy. After confirming your pregnancy, you may choose to have an ultrasound performed. Why? Ultrasounds are able to provide accurate dating of your pregnancy. This is important because your options are determined by how far along in the pregnancy you are. And, an ultrasound can go one step further to see if this is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are usually treatable with medication if discovered early but can be potentially life-threatening.

Medical Abortion

If the pregnancy is less than ten weeks from the date of your last menstrual cycle, you may be eligible for a medical abortion, also known as the Abortion Pill. Medical abortions are performed using two different drugs while under the supervision of a doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife. The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy. Typically, during the initial medical visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to beginning the drug regimen.

The two-part drug regimen can only be obtained with a prescription. The first drug makes the uterus a difficult place for the fetus to remain implanted. The second drug helps to remove the fetus from the uterus. In technical terms, Mifepristone is an anti-progesterone that causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed and it softens and dilates (expands) the cervix, thus facilitating an abortion. Misoprostol, the second drug, is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is taken approximately 48 hours after taking Mifepristone. When these two drugs are taken in combination with each other, a medical abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time. A follow up visit 7-14 days later is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully.

Some women experience mild cramping and/or nausea in addition to vaginal bleeding or spotting. The most common side effects of the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen include: pelvic cramping, vaginal bleeding, and spotting (including the expelling of tissue and blood clots) for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness and diarrhea. Contact your medical practitioner if you are concerned about the side affects you are experiencing.

Surgical Abortion

Depending upon how far your pregnancy has progressed, there may be two kinds of surgical abortion options available to you. Aspiration (also known as vacuum aspiration or suction curettage) can be performed up to 12-14 weeks after the start of the last menstrual cycle. It only requires one visit to a medical clinic. Typically, during that visit, you will be asked to complete blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling prior to the procedure.  A local anesthesia will be applied to the cervix to numb pain. You might feel some minor pressure but should not feel pain. The cervix is dilated (expanded) and the aspiration device empties the contents of the uterus. While the aspiration procedure only takes approximately 5-15 minutes, you will need to recover for about 30 minutes afterward.

For pregnancies from 13-24 weeks after the start of your last menstrual cycle, a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is the surgical abortion procedure available. A D&E is similar to the aspiration abortion. However, the cervix is dilated more and this procedure requires two or three visits. For the first appointment, blood tests, an ultrasound and counseling session are standard. Also on the first visit, either medication or fiber rods are used to begin to dilate the cervix. On the next visit, if your cervix is sufficiently dilated, the same aspiration device is used to empty the uterus. Additional instruments may be used to ensure the contents of the uterus are fully cleared. A local anesthetic to numb the pain and make you semi-conscious is often used. Sometimes, a general anesthetic may be used to put you to sleep, depending upon the medical facility. The D&E procedure is usually 10-45 minutes with at least one hour of recovery time afterwards.

Deciding to abort a pregnancy is seldom a decision made lightly. No one should pressure you into making a decision about your pregnancy. This includes the father, family, friends, counselors, etc. And sometimes, the greatest pressure comes from ourselves. If you would like to talk to someone about your decision, thoughts, emotions, or ask medical questions at any time, the caring counselors at Support Circle are available to listen and to provide non-judgmental emotional support before and after the pregnancy decision for the coming year. Our nurses can confirm your pregnancy test results, provide you with pregnancy verification and assist with dating the pregnancy during an ultrasound.

Call or visit one of our three medical clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free of charge.

Support Circle is dedicated to providing women with a safe place as they make a decision about their pregnancy and not to profit from any medical procedures resulting from that decision. For this reason, Support Circle provides information about abortion procedures to our clients, but does not perform or refer for abortion. We do not operate as an adoption agency.  We do not perform or refer for labor and delivery.

Why is my period late?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3

 

Image posed by model.

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Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

Is the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill the same?

What is the “Abortion Pill?” Is the Abortion Pill and the “Morning After Pill” the same? The Abortion Pill and Morning After Pill are not the same medication and they each function very differently. This article is intended for informational purposes so that you can differentiate between the Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill.

The Morning After Pill, also commonly known as Plan B, is a popular name for numerous brands of birth control pills that contain the hormone Levonorgestrel. These pills can be used to prevent ovulation and do not harm an existing pregnancy when taken as directed. In California, a prescription is not required to obtain birth control pills. To read more about the Morning After Pill, click here.

The Abortion Pill is a drug called Mifepristone, Mifeprex, or RU486 and is available by prescription only. Mifepristone, when used in combination with Misoprostol, disrupts an existing pregnancy (but not if the pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy—a different procedure or medication will be needed). It is now approved for use up to 70 days (10 weeks) from a woman’s last menstrual period to terminate an early pregnancy. Mifepristone is obtained, with a doctor’s prescription only, at your local pharmacy such as Walgreens pharmacy, CVS pharmacy or Target pharmacy.

Disrupting an existing pregnancy is a two-part regimen when using these pills. Mifepristone, or Mifeprex, is an anti-progesterone that ends a pregnancy by blocking the uterine wall receptors to the hormone progesterone. This causes the lining of the uterine walls to shed like they do during a menstrual cycle. It also softens and dilates the cervix, thus facilitating abortion.

Misoprostol is used to help expel the pregnancy. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin that induces uterine contractions and softens and dilates the cervix. It is used approximately two days after taking Mifepristone to complete the abortion process. When used in combination with Mifepristone, abortion is complete approximately 97% of the time.

After taking the Mifepristone and Misoprostol regimen, it is common to experience pelvic cramping and vaginal bleeding and spotting, including the expelling of tissue and blood clots for an average of 9-16 days. It is also common to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, fever, chills, weakness, and diarrhea.

A follow-up visit 7-14 days after taking the abortion pill regimen is very important to ensure there is no tissue left behind and that the abortion occurred successfully. In the event Mifepristone has not worked, as determined by an ultrasound during the follow-up visit, a woman will discuss her options with her provider.

For women considering using the abortion pill but who would like to meet in person with a registered nurse or trained counselor to discuss personal questions, we recommend visiting one of our three Support Circle clinics in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City. All appointments are confidential and free.

Support Circle provides information about the abortion pill and morning after pill but does not prescribe or dispense these medications.

Links:

Morning After Pill – An Overview of Emergency Contraception

Plan B Emergency Contraceptive

Ella Emergency Contraceptive

Combination Pill Emergency Contraceptive

 

References:

  1. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm
  2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf
  3. http://www.rhtp.org/Abortion/mifepristone/default.asp
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/429755_3
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Pregnancy Options

Pregnancy Options

If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, in an unintended pregnancy, you may have a floodgate of emotions and questions.pregnancy options What do you want to do? Do you want to parent, create an adoption plan, or have an abortion? Each decision carries its own set of unique results and will determine your next steps. Talking to a patient advocate may help you to sort out your thoughts and emotions and to think through each option.

 

Your three pregnancy options include:

Parenting. A decision to carry a pregnancy to term and raise the child. Many women would like to parent but they may have concerns about how to make that happen. You and your partner may choose to parent together, co-parent or you may parent alone. You will have many decisions to make but you do not have to make them all at once or alone. A patient advocate can assist in developing a plan, provide access to community resources and answer your questions.

Adoption. A decision to carry the pregnancy to term and to make an adoption plan involves relinquishing parental rights after the delivery. You may choose the level of involvement you may prefer. These options include: open (usually an on-going relationship), semi-open (usually letters and photos exchanged) and closed (no communication). A patient advocate can explain the different options, answer your questions and help you to develop an adoption plan.

Abortion. A decision to terminate or abort a pregnancy involves the use of either medication or a surgical procedure. Which abortion method depends on how far along the pregnancy has progressed. One of our nurses can answer your questions and provide accurate health information and education about the abortion procedure(s) available to you, including any possible health risks.

According to a recent Public Opinion Strategies survey, the most pressing need of women deciding about an unplanned pregnancy is sorting out their thoughts and feelings. A patient advocate can provide information on your options that will help you in your decision-making process. Whatever you decide should be in line with your beliefs and values. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Support Circle exists to serve the woman who is unsure of her pregnancy decision by providing time, space, support so that you make the right decision for you. No matter what choice you make about your unintended pregnancy, our options, services and support are free.