Deciding whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy can be an emotional decision. Women face this decision for a variety of reasons, such as an unplanned pregnancy or learning the baby has a life-threatening disease and is not likely to survive. In each case, the decision is intensely personal. Though you can get input from the important people in your life, ultimately, it’s your body and your choice. No one should make this choice for you.
Research all of your options thoroughly. You can keep the baby — even as a single parent — give the baby up for adoption or have an abortion. Learn the facts about each of these.
Look into your finances. Having a baby is expensive. You may incur medical costs and there is the additional cost of care once the baby is born. If you are well off, this may not be a factor, but if you aren’t sure that you can support the baby, you may want to consider terminating the pregnancy or giving the baby up for adoption.
Ask the baby’s father for his input. If this was an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll want to see if he plans to be in the baby’s life and how active he hopes to be or if you can afford the baby as a couple. If this is a wanted baby, likely to be born with a disability or life-threatening illness, discuss what impact that would have on your lives — whether you can handle the additional stress of a child with severe disabilities or the heartbreak that comes from losing a child.
Talk to a professional counselor. Choose a counselor who is philosophically neutral on the issue of abortion. You don’t want to speak with someone who is going to push you to keep the baby or to have an abortion. You want someone who will listen to your thoughts and help guide you to a decision based on your situation and beliefs.
Do some soul-searching. For some reason, religious beliefs are an important consideration when it comes to thinking about pregnancy — termination isn’t an option. Even those who aren’t religious may simply feel that terminating a pregnancy is wrong.
Talk to your doctor about your baby’s chances for survival. Technology often allows you to determine that there is a problem with your baby long before he is born. If you know that your baby has a low chance of survival or that he’ll have a low quality of life, this may affect your decision.
Call your best friend to talk things through. She is the person who knows you the best. She can help you imagine your future with and without the baby.
Think about how you might feel after an abortion. A wide range of emotions are normal. One woman may feel a sense of loss, while will feel that she did the right thing. Science Daily reports that women who have had an abortion are no more likely to become depressed or have low self-esteem than those who have not had one.
Make your decision based on what’s right for you and the baby.