Info For Teens
Iím Pregnant. Now What?
If you're pregnant, you have three options to think about ó abortion, adoption, and parenting. Reading and learning about each option will help you get the facts and may help you decide what to do.
When Do I Need to Decide?
If you think you might continue the pregnancy, talk with a health care provider about prenatal care as soon as possible, in order to make sure that youíre healthy and the pregnancy is normal.
If youíre considering abortion, you should make a decision as soon as possible. Abortion is very safe, but the risks increase the longer a pregnancy goes on.
While youíre deciding what to do, take good care of yourself and get prenatal care. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, it's important to be healthy.
To make an appointment with the Planned Parenthood center nearest you for pregnancy testing, prenatal care, other health services, or to discuss your pregnancy options, contact your local Planned Parenthood health center.
How Do I Decide?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself that may help you decide:
- Which choice(s) could I live with?
- Which choice(s) would be impossible for me?
- How would each choice affect my everyday life?
- What would each choice mean to the people closest to me?
- What is going on in my life?
- What are my plans for the future?
- What are my spiritual and moral beliefs?
- What do I believe is best for me in the long run?
- What can I afford?
Many women find that talking with someone about their feelings is helpful. You could talk with a family member, partner, friend, school counselor, religious advisor, or other trusted adult. Choose someone you trust, who will listen to you, be supportive, respect your privacy, and not try to pressure you into choosing a particular option.
What Are My Choices?
Raising a Child
Being a parent can be a wonderful experience. A child can bring joy into people's lives.
However, being a teen parent is often very difficult. 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
Some women choose to have a baby and place their child for adoption. Many women who make this choice are happy knowing that their children are loved and living in good homes. 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. Women are more likely to experience serious regrets after abortion if they have strong religious feelings against it.
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.