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US Abortion Rate Drops 25% in Six Years

Three independent studies (two by the federal government and one by the Guttmacher Institute) found that the number of abortions for women ages 15 to 44 dropped from 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women in 2008 to 14.6 in 2014. That means there are 1 in 4 less abortions in the United States! Furthermore, the overall abortion rate is LOWER than it was in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided and when the abortion rate was 16.3 per 1,000 women.

For the first time, the drop is representative of the greatest decline in the abortion rate among the poorest women in America. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate of women earning at or below the poverty level decreased by 26% during the same time period. It is important to note that, at 36.6 abortions per 1,000 women, the low-income group still represent the highest proportion of American women obtaining abortions.

Thorough data on the reasons for the decline in the abortion rate is not yet available. However, in the coming weeks, we will be featuring factors we believe to be causing this decline.

 

Factors Contributing to the Drop in the U.S. Abortion Rate:

Less Teen Intercourse A Factor in Drop in US Abortion Rate

 

Reference Links:

American Journal of Public Health

LifeNews.com

Washington Post

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Medical Clinics for Unplanned Pregnancies

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Medical Clinics for Unplanned Pregnancies

All of Support Circle’s services are provided free of charge to our clients thanks to the generous donations of our supporters.  So why should supporters invest in medical clinics for unplanned pregnancies?

Reason #1: Half of Pregnancies are Unplanned

Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  Half! That’s a lot of women that did not intend to get pregnant or did not intend to get pregnant at this time.  While we all know a woman or man that has or will face an unintended pregnancy, we are not all equipped to provide the tangible assistance needed.  To meet the demand for pregnancy clinics, Support Circle has three state licensed Bay Area medical clinics where registered nurses and professional counselors can provide a safe place, at no cost to her, to discuss an unexpected pregnancy and to work through issues that may be causing emotional pain.

Reason #2: Underlying Issues

One in four women in an unintended pregnancy is unsure of what to do.   The reason they are unsure is that they are conflicted and the source of the conflict comes from underlying issues which include financial fears, the relationship with the father, feeling a lack of support, and worries concerning career, school and health.  Support Circle provides the rare environment that enables a woman to address underlying issues like these.  Our professional counselors facilitate an ongoing counseling relationship for up to one year after her decision so she can address underlying issues.

Reason #3:  A Safe Place

Women need a safe place that does not pressure them.  Everyone around her has really strong opinions about what she should do.  Many times, those strong opinions turn into pressure. But she has to live with her decision so shouldn’t she be well-informed about it and not coerced? Women need a third-party place that has their best interest in mind as a person, enabling her to sort through her feelings and provide nonjudgmental support while she works through her most pressing needs and reconnects with her core values.  Support Circle provides a trained, ethnically diverse team of professional counselors who offer nonjudgmental support and assistance with community resources. The atmosphere in our clinics is always relaxing and calm.  We do not profit directly from the outcome of her pregnancy decision.

Reason #4:  Our Laws Are Not Enough

Our laws simply fall short in this social area.  What makes this issue so difficult is that it deals with pregnancy which is a very unique life stage, unlike anything else.  It is unique in that you have a woman and a fetus that are intertwined.  The debate rages over whether it is one person who needs to be able to exercise autonomy over her body, or whether it is a woman and a baby who are two distinct beings with rights.  Our laws fall short because pregnancy cannot be neatly and easily categorized as one or the other, and people fight over that categorization.  Support Circle values both the woman and the baby and what we need are not just laws.  What we need is a proactive place in society where women can come and sort through all of their issues while they are making their pregnancy decision and have their top needs addressed.  That’s what is missing and that is what Support Circle provides.

Reason #5:  Finances

Financial worries dominate the minds of women and men facing unexpected pregnancies.  It is their number one fear.  Financial lack and fear of it can cause all of the people involved to be pitted against each other.  This is a great tragedy for society.  By investing in a medical clinic that addresses these issues, you help to create an environment where they are not pitted against each other.  And Support Circle counselors can facilitate community resources that might not be known otherwise, as well as key relationships that can change the financial equation drastically for clients.

Your support of Support Circle’s pregnancy clinics provides women, men and children facing unplanned pregnancies with the immediate assistance they need.  It is a compassionate response to a daily tragedy in our society.  Thank you for making the women, men and children we serve a priority in your life!

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I was alone and found help

I was alone and I found a lot of help

support circle“I would like to thank all the people that supported us because if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know if I would be here right now. All the help that I got made a difference, a huge difference. I was alone and I found a lot of help.” – Serena

Thank you for helping our client, Serena. After four pregnancy tests taken at home, Serena and Brian finally came to Support Circle and her pregnancy was confirmed by a registered nurse. With the help of our patient advocates, the underlying issues that caused her denial and great stress was addressed.

Click to view the video of Serena and Brian’s candid video.

At Support Circle, we offer first line care to women facing unplanned pregnancies. We hear their stories and are committed to helping with emotional and medical support. With face-to-face professional services and access to community resources, women and men are encouraged to grapple with life’s adversity and take steps out of it. No judgment, just compassionate service.

Please join us in providing profound support to women and men at our three licensed Bay Area medical offices.

Help us raise $240,000 by September 30 and your gifts will be DOUBLED by a few of our benevolent friends. Your generosity is a significant blessing to our clients.

Thank you,

Albert K. Lee
Executive Director

Double My Pledge

Support in the Field

Support in the Field

While tensions pump through our airwaves, isn’t it nice to know a place that runs on respect and treats people with dignity?  The atmosphere across America is tense right now over racial tensions, gun control, terrorism, and immigration. Pregnancy is in the spotlight too with the Zika virus health concerns. And, with the presidential election always comes renewed activity regarding abortion laws.  But in the midst of all this, Support Circle is a safe place for women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy, where they can focus on their thoughts, on their feelings, and on overcoming the challenges in their lives. Isn’t a safe and civil place refreshing when we’ve become so accustomed to the media’s endless diet of fear and acrimony?

We are profoundly changing lives together.  Deferentially providing women with a safe and civil place so they can address their underlying issues is quietly enabling life transformation!  You can see it in the faces of Serena, Brian and Emma in these beautiful photos.

FullSizeRender (16)  Serena Brian 2

She Matters.  And He Does Too.  These have been rallying cries at Support Circle.  Women and men who are conflicted about their unplanned pregnancies need real help and support.  They don’t need vitriol.  Women need immediate and accurate medical information.  They want to be able to sit down and sort through their thoughts and emotions.  And they need to lay out their concerns and develop a plan. In America, there are too many arm chair commentators, but how many players are actually on the field, providing direct services and helping women? How many of those people profit from her decision? At Support Circle, we bypass the political fighting, social media trolls, and naysayers by helping women and men face-to-face in our medical clinics.

One particular client, “Lily,” who was in an abusive relationship comes to mind. At Support Circle, Lily received immediate practical assistance in several areas such as food and transportation.  Her Support Circle counselor provided Lily the resources to develop a safety plan and self refer to a domestic violence shelter.   While internet trolls were busy flaming each other online, our counselor drove Lily and her daughter to the shelter, which was in another county for their safety. Lily had only a car seat, a stroller, and one bag. The counselor knew the shelter would be able to move Lily and her daughter to a safe house, which was priority number one.  And she knew that Lily would be connected to other essential resources through the shelter to deal with the emergency such as legal services.  The Support Circle counselor gave Lily a phone card so that she could add money to her cell phone and stay in communication with each other. After her immediate safety was secured, Lily resumed counseling sessions at Support Circle.  Through these actions, our counselor was embodying Support Circle’s three powerful and unique care promises:

  1. Time, space and support.
  2. Emotional support for the coming year no matter what you choose.
  3. A safe and civil place.

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We honor women as decision-makers and do not pressure or manipulate clients.  We do not perform or refer for abortion.  Our way of operating honors the inherent dignity of all women, men and children.  We provide the face-to-face professional services and access to community resources that enable women and men to grapple with their life adversity and take steps of ownership to rise out of it.

Thank you for making a difference in real lives and real families!  Our clients are facing hurdles that need to be addressed in a caring, loving and supportive environment. They are not statistics or nameless, faceless numbers. They are real people with real problems and real concerns. In addition to dealing with unintended pregnancies, our clients may also need help addressing things like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, domestic violence and may need information on how pregnancy might affect existing health conditions. They come to us because they are pregnant or think they may be pregnant but, many times, they stay with us after their decision because they need help addressing the underlying issues they face.

Support Circle is unique in that we provide counseling for the male partner as well. According to a recent Public Opinion Strategies poll, the unique and central factor for a woman undecided about an unplanned pregnancy is the relationship with the father of the baby. By including her male partner in the counseling process, we are better able to help her address her underlying issues and help them to communicate better.  Over 70% of the men have been actively involved in the counseling process with our clients! What a breathtaking statistic that shatters stereotypes. Brian and Serena, featured in the photos of this letter, greatly benefited from counseling at Support Circle, and we are excited to share more of their story in our
upcoming communications.

We are aware of the tension-charged climate in America and the San Francisco Bay Area. Instead of fueling those tensions, we prefer our on the field approach. We want to continue to provide the practical, first line help women and men facing unintended pregnancies need; services such as no cost pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, pregnancy verifications, consultations with a registered nurse, and professional counseling.

Please fund these services which are quietly enabling life transformation. We need to raise a minimum of $240,000 by the end of September to provide these services. I’m delighted to tell you that our matching campaign is live and doubles all gifts until September 30! So far we have over $125,000 in matching funds committed by a group of supporters who want to encourage many new and existing supporters to joyfully and strongly fund Support Circle’s work. Will you help us with a gift today, which will be doubled through the match? Your gifts will be a profound blessing to our clients.

In gratitude,

Albert Lee

Executive Director

 

Double my gift Double My Pledge

 

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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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She’s No Stranger

video-shesnostranger3

 

In honor of someone you know that has been touched by an unplanned pregnancy, watch this exciting new 60-second video and share it with your friends and family on social media and email.  This is the perfect way to anonymously honor her.  She’s our sister, our daughter, our friend.  She is us!

She Matters, not just her decision

Posed by model

Posed by model

She Matters

Not just her decision

At Support Circle, She Matters, not just her decision. From the moment she contacts Support Circle, we want her to know that She Matters. That is why we offer her multiple ways to contact us on her terms. She can search our website, chat with a nurse or schedule an appointment to meet our medical and counseling professionals.

We offer her a non-pressured environment that provides enough flexibility to address her specific needs. Her well-being is the priority during her appointments at Support Circle. Our friendly and professional staff at Support Circle’s three licensed Bay Area medical clinics provide her with a genuine opportunity to receive critical medical information and process her thoughts and feelings. And our counseling staff provides long-term, relational support for the coming year. Why? Because She Matters, not just her decision.

We offer her tangible help by providing a safe, civil place where she can come to address her most pressing needs and fears when facing an unplanned pregnancy. A place where people are not jumping all over her, demanding that she make one decision or another. But rather, a place that gives her deference so she can sort out her own thoughts and feelings to make a well-informed choice that she can own. A place where She Matters. Your financial support helps Support Circle provide a safe, civil place for her, where She Matters, not just her decision.

 

She Matters and So Does He

What are the top fears of men facing an unintended pregnancy?

A safe, civil place in the midst of fear

What to Expect at Support Circle

Meet with a Counselor

 

Support Circle Winter 2016 Newsletter

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Our orgwinter 2016 newsletteranization, benefiting from over 30 years of experience serving Bay Area women and men facing unintended pregnancies, has learned to listen deeply to our clients. We customize our professional services to each unique person and situation, and we remain committed to refining our work so that our clients receive the best care possible. Meet Nancy Cecconi, Support Circle Board Member, and learn more about our circle of care and the services we offer in our Winter 2016 Newsletter.

 

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Get involved

Top Ten Questions – Question #10: What do I need to bring to the appointment?

Top Ten Questions - Question #10

Top Ten Questions – Question #10

Facing an unintended pregnancy raises many questions in the minds of our clients – medical questions, counseling questions, and how Support Circle offers its services. The overreaching question our clients have is: “Am I really pregnant?” Following this, the staff at Support Circle have compiled a list of the Top Ten Questions asked by clients. Answers are provided by Tanya Smith, Program Manager, in brief video snippets. Today, we post Question #10 of 10: What do I need to bring to the appointment? Check back as we post each new question daily.

Chat with a Nurse

Schedule an Appointment

Top Ten Questions – Question #9: Can a counselor meet with me and my partner?

Top Ten Questions – Question #9

Facing an unintended pregnancy raises many questions in the minds of our clients – medical questions, counseling questions, and how Support Circle offers its services. The overreaching question our clients have is: “Am I really pregnant?” Following this, the staff at Support Circle have compiled a list of the Top Ten Questions asked by clients. Answers are provided by Tanya Smith, Program Manager, in brief video snippets. Today, we post Question #9 of 10: Can a counselor meet with me and my partner? Check back as we post each new question daily.

Chat with a Nurse

Schedule an Appointment