Photo Credit: wjersonIf you're pregnant, you have three options to think about — abortion, adoption, and parenting. Learning about each option will help you get the facts and may help you decide what to do.
Raising a Child. Being a parent can be a wonderful experience. It can help people grow and understand themselves better. A child can bring joy into people's lives. However, being a teen parent is often very difficult. Raising a child involves major commitments in time and money. Teens often have to put school and career plans on hold in order to raise a child. Spending time with a child takes priority over going out with friends and having fun. The children of teen parents may have a harder time growing up than children who are raised by adults. Raising a child without a partner can be even more of a challenge. Learn more about parenting.
Placing a Child for Adoption. Many women who make this choice are happy knowing that their children are loved and living in good homes. And some feel empowered in their role as birth mother. But some women find that the sense of loss is deeper and longer lasting than they expected. Adoption laws are different in every state. Find out in advance what they are in your state. You will also need to find out what rights a birth father has in your state. You may need his consent in order to plan an adoption. Learn more about adoption.
Having an Abortion. Abortion is a legal and safe procedure. Most women say that early abortion feels like menstrual cramps. Some say it feels very uncomfortable. Others feel very little physical discomfort. Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are rare. Most women feel relieved. Some women experience anger, regret, guilt, or sadness for a short time. Many teenagers want to consult their parents before an abortion. But telling a parent is not required in all states. Find out what the laws are in your state. Learn more about abortion.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from PlannedParenthood.org, a website that provides education about reproductive and sexual health.