Young woman seated on her bed contemplating abortionWomen have abortions for many different reasons. Getting information and support will help you make the decision that’s best for your own health and well-being. At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for you.
Deciding whether or not to end your unplanned pregnancy can be a tough decision to make. But by getting all the information you can, talking to your doctor, and giving yourself time for some self-reflection, you can make the right choice for yourself.

Verify You’re Actually Pregnant

The first step you’ll need to take if you suspect you might be pregnant is to get a pregnancy test. These can be purchased over-the-counter at your local drugstore or supercenter. The average price of a home pregnancy test with two test sticks is around $15.
While a pregnancy test is a great place to start, you’ll need to confirm your result with a medical professional. If your pregnancy test is positive, schedule an appointment with your primary doctor or gynecologist. They can confirm your pregnancy through a medical-grade pregnancy blood test.
If the test done in their lab determines that you’re not pregnant and you really don’t want to be pregnant now, it’s time to get on a dependable method of birth control. Your gynecologist can share about a range of birth control methods, including the pill, mini-pill, patch, shot, IUD, and vaginal ring.
Consult a healthcare professional who will ensure you know your options and provide accurate, objective information for your decision-making process. You can also ask questions or address any concerns you might have with an expert. However, your gynecologist should not pressure you towards any one decision, whether that’s parenting, abortion, or adoption. 
Woman in her bathroom anxiously waiting for her pregnancy test results

How Do You Feel About Your Pregnancy?

Maybe you planned to get pregnant because you wanted to have a baby, which you still wish to. If so, you will probably decide to continue your pregnancy and become a parent.
But what if having a baby is no longer what you want? Or you didn’t plan to get pregnant in the first place? Start by looking more closely at how you feel about your pregnancy.
An unplanned pregnancy can bring up many different feelings. Most women find they have mixed or conflicting emotions.
You might feel worried about being able to manage a baby or about how other people may react. At the same time, you might feel happy or excited by this new and unique event. If you’re young, you might also be anxious about how to tell your parents you’re pregnant or even if they can force you to have an abortion.

Should I Have an Abortion? – Questions to Help You Decide

Family, school, relationships, work, life goals, health, safety, and personal beliefs — think carefully about these things before having an abortion. Since you’re the only person walking in your shoes, you’re the only person who can decide whether to get an abortion.
Think about your current situation.  It’s important to do this before you talk to people about abortion or decide on it. Taking some time for self-reflection will allow you to determine the fallout of an abortion without hearing anyone else’s opinion at the same time.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Am I ready to be a mom right now?
  • What would it mean for my future if I had a baby now?
  • Would having a baby change my life in a way I do or don’t want?
  • How would being a parent affect my career goals?
  • Do I have strong personal or religious beliefs about abortion?
  • Will I be able to cope with the emotional and physical experience of abortion?
  • Is anyone pressuring me to have or not have an abortion?
  • What would it mean for my family if I had a child now?
  • Would having an abortion change my life in a way I do or don’t want?
  • If I decided to have a baby, what kind of support would I need?

What Are Your Goals and Plans?

It’s also important to ask yourself questions about your life and future. Consider:

  • What are two or three things that matter most to me right now?
  • What are two or three goals that I hope to achieve in the next five or ten years?
  • To have or accomplish those goals:
  • How would becoming a parent help?
    How would having an abortion help?
    How would choosing adoption help?

  • What would I lose or have to give up:
  • If I become a parent?
    If I choose adoption?
    If I have an abortion?

  • How much money could it cost me:
  • If I become a parent?
    If I choose adoption?
    If I have an abortion?

  • How would people close to me react:
  • If I become a parent?
    If I chose adoption?
    If I have an abortion?

Since you probably have conflicting feelings about each choice, you might feel like whatever decision you make won’t feel like the “perfect” decision.
It is natural to continue to have mixed feelings. Ask yourself, “Can I handle these feelings?” If your answer is “Yes,” you are ready to act on your decision.
If you can’t decide, you might talk with someone you trust, not to make the decision for you but to help you determine what you think will be best for you. That person could be one of your parents or another family member, a close friend who cares about you, a teacher, or a religious counselor.
Now that you have clarified your feelings about your pregnancy and considered how it will affect your life, it’s time to explore your choices.

Learning About Your Choices

If you’re pregnant, you have three basic choices:

  • Continue your pregnancy and become a parent.
  • Start an adoption plan.
  • End your pregnancy by having an abortion.

Decisions about your pregnancy are private and complicated. Abortion is a very complex and personal decision that you should only make once you have all the needed information.
There are many things to consider, and it’s totally normal to have many different emotions when making your choice. That’s why getting factual, non-judgmental information about your options is important. Support from your partner, family, friends, and others you trust may also be helpful. However, this decision is 100% yours to make.
We believe that you should have choices when facing an unplanned pregnancy. At Pregnancy Help Online, you can explore the pros and cons of all the pregnancy options available to you without judgment or pressure.
We understand there are no easy answers when you’re trying to decide. Our website can help you find answers to the tough questions. We’ve worked with many women facing the same choices you may be facing today.
No one can predict the future. No one can be certain what the consequences of their choice may be. What you can do, however, is carefully consider your plans, values, and feelings and then make the best decision you can.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 22, 2016, and has since been updated.