So Your Friend Wants an Abortion. Now What?

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So your friend has just confided in you that she’s pregnant. If circumstances were different, you might be thrilled for her. But you both know that this was not in the plan. Not now, anyway. Before you’ve even processed this news, she says the words you never expected to hear from her: “I have to have an abortion.”

What can you possibly say to that? This conversation is never any easy one, so we want to give you five tips for supporting a friend experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Check these out:

1. Start at the beginning.

It can be easy to immediately address the most glaring issue of abortion first, but before jumping the gun, start at the beginning. Your friend may still be reeling from the news that she’s pregnant. Ask her to share her story. When did she find out? Has she confirmed the pregnancy anywhere? Does the father know? Take time to listen to everything your friend has to say before responding.

2. Don’t dismiss her feelings or concerns.

In your attempts to encourage your friend, it may be easy to respond to her legitimate concerns with things like, “It will all work out,” or “Don’t worry, God will provide.” But such platitudes, while well-meaning, don’t do anything to address the very real anxieties of how to pay hospital bills, provide basic needs for a child, or what to do if the father bails. Rather than offering broad, general solutions, you can try and pinpoint practical solutions. For example, a common concern is being able to provide baby clothes and diapers for a new child. There are so many resources in Greensboro that can address this need that are either low cost or free—and GPCC is one of them!  

3. Remind her of her options.

When a woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, she may feel as if she has only one option in front of her: abortion. Whenever faced with a crisis, it’s natural to feel backed into a corner. Your role as a friend and a voice of truth is to remind her of all the options available to her, and this includes both parenting and adoption.

4. Address inconsistencies in a loving way.

When a friend is in crisis, we often lean toward one of two extremes: (1) Either we play the role of “I’ll support you no matter what” without actually speaking truth, or (2) we only speak truth without offering compassion, love, or practical help. Neither of these is helpful. Our goal, instead, should be to find a response that’s somewhere in the middle.

If your friend is expressing thoughts that contain misconceptions or half truths—“This baby will ruin my life,” “There’s no way I’ll ever be able to finish my education,” “It’s better to abort this baby now than to have a child with a low quality of life”—then the best thing you can do for her is to correct those incorrect views. These types of confrontations can be difficult, but are necessary, and of course should always be prefaced with stating that you love your friend and want what’s best for her.

5. Connect her to us.

Please don’t ever hesitate to point your friend to GPCC. In addition to helping your friend confirm her pregnancy with a test, we also have staff and volunteers who are trained to present and discuss all options, as well as provide referrals for relevant community resources. We also have nurses on staff who can provide ultrasounds and answer common questions about pregnancy and abortion. We offer all of these things at no cost to clients because we believe women and men in unplanned pregnancy deserve to be fully informed prior to making such a life-changing choice.

Contrary to what some might think, abortion is never an easy decision, and it would be misleading to imply otherwise to someone in an unplanned pregnancy. These types of discussions are very difficult. But if your friend is sharing her situation with you, that’s a sign of trust already. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a voice of truth to your friend and truly help them.

If you have a desire to support women experiencing unplanned pregnancy, we’d love to see you at our next open house on Monday, September 11. You’ll be able to hear from our staff about how we serve women and men on a daily basis, and also take the next steps to becoming a volunteer with GPCC. Click here to register or find out more information.

 

Mary Holloman is the Communications Assistant at GPCC. She has a handsome husband, two beautiful children, and a love/hate (but mostly love) relationship with Diet Mountain Dew. You can read more from her at AllMySpringsBlog.com. 

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