Open Arms Blog

An unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming. No matter what, your life is changed forever. Your next step is critical, with many factors to consider.

Abortion vs. Adoption

As you are figuring out what to do, we want you to know you have options. While this is your decision, you do not have to make it on your own. The staff at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you. It costs you nothing to come in and talk with us. That is why we are here.

Your Options

You have a decision to make. Don't panic and make a decision you may regret.  Take your time to learn and be fully informed. The most important thing to remember is this should be your choice. No one has the right to tell you what to do. 

If you know that parenting is out of the question due to your financial situation, age, or other factors, you still have choices. Your other options include abortion and adoption. As you explore both options, here are some things to consider.


Any time you are altering your body with drugs or surgery, understand there is always the possibility of complications. Before you make this choice, you need to consult with a medical professional who knows your health history.

Did you know 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? Whether it is parents, the baby's father, or well-meaning friends, their advice may not be what you want. You must make this choice for yourself regardless of what others say.

Other women choose abortion because they feel people will judge them for their unplanned pregnancy. They think the "quick fix" of abortion will keep a secret or make the "problem" go away.   

Is it as easy as that? Abortion is a final solution. Once you have chosen to abort, there is no turning back.  If the reason you choose to abort is to keep the unplanned pregnancy a secret, you would then carry two secrets alone which is one reason many women report feeling a sense of guilt, regret, and loss after abortion.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about abortion?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about abortion?
  • Do I feel pressured in any way to have an abortion?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after having an abortion?


Often, women do not consider adoption as an option. Either they have never known anyone involved with adoption, or they do not understand how adoption has changed over the years.

There was a time when adoption was considered "giving up" a baby. The doctor or adoption agency chose the family for the birthmother. Neither she nor the adopting family had any information about each other. Birthmothers were expected to end their relationship with their child.

Times have changed. Today, the birthmother (and birthfather, if possible) chooses the family. You review several portfolios that include photos and a biography about prospective adopting families. In addition, you select the type of adoption you want. They can range from an open adoption that shares all contact information and allows you to know your child to a completely closed adoption that shares no identifying information.

Adoption is not an easy choice to make, either, and can also lead to a feeling of loss.  However, when you choose adoption, you can maintain a relationship with your child if you want to and have the satisfaction of watching them grow and thrive.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about adoption?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about adoption?
  • Would I want to maintain contact with my child through adoption?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after choosing adoption?

Option Counseling

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic has licensed medical professionals here to help you.  We treat each patient with dignity and compassion, providing accurate and truthful information on all options.

Before you can decide, you need to do two things. You need to have a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Clinic. Contact us today. Call or text 818-626-9400. We will help you think through your pregnancy-related decisions.

post a comment

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

What to do when everyone wants you to have an abortion

Did you know that 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? We know it will not be easy for you to tell others about your unexpected pregnancy, especially when you think no one will be happy about the news.

You worry about what others think. What if your partner leaves you? You worry about telling your parents or other family members. Will they be disappointed in you? Out of fear, you may consider not telling anyone.

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

You have the final say

No one has authority over you or can tell you what to do. Regardless of your age, marital status, or financial ability, only you can decide what is best for yourself and your baby. According to Canterbury Law Group, "It's 100% the mother's decision by law."

Although you may want to take everyone's opinion into consideration, no one can force you to have an abortion. It takes a powerful, independent woman to stand up to those around you and choose for yourself.

As the mother, you have all legal rights

Community Legal Aid states, "An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child has custody of the child automatically." This statement assumes you were not married to the baby's father or anyone else at the time of birth. An unmarried mother has legal custody without having to go to court also. Your rights as a parent include:

· The right to make the decision about who can see the child and for how long

· The right to limit visitation, or to remove the child from the state

· The right to enroll your child(ren) in school

· The right to acquire medical treatment

· The right to receive public benefits for the child

If you want to receive child support from your partner, you must legally establish paternity first. If the birth father does not wish to voluntarily support the child, you must go to court to obtain DNA paternity testing.

As the mother, you have the responsibility

Often, when women lack financial resources or relational support, abortion starts to feel like the only option. The biggest influencers are either the woman's mother or her partner. 

Many young men may not take responsibility for fathering a child. Unfortunately, the baby's father may even end the relationship because the woman will not abort her baby. Again, it takes a strong woman to be willing to end a relationship and choose what is best for yourself and your baby.

There are resources available

Today, there are many resources available for young, single mothers. At Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we offer options counseling. If, after counseling, you decide to parent your baby, we provide our Life Essentials Program. We'll teach you about the changes taking place in your body and what to expect as you near delivery. 

Our Essentials in Motherhood class teaches about infant care, such as nutrition and cleanliness. Plus, we offer Essentials in Fatherhood. This class teaches men how to be good fathers and to respect their child's mother. We even provide free maternity and baby items from our baby closet. 

We can discuss the adoption process, too. If you are concerned about a lack of support, adoption may be the best alternative. Today, making an adoption plan means you can have as much or as little contact with your child as you would like.  Choosing adoption for your baby also takes strength and courage. 

If you are currently being pressured into making a decision you do not want to make, come and talk with us. We want to help you walk through this important, life-altering decision. You are not alone!

post a comment

You and your partner thought you were being careful, but it happens. Now, you wonder if you are pregnant. Even with birth control, there is a chance you could get pregnant. Sometimes, it is hard to remember to take your daily birth control pill or you may have discovered the condom broke. Resist the urge to take a pregnancy test too soon and watch for some of these other symptoms.

How Soon Should I Take a Pregnancy Test After Sex?

A missed period 

A missed period is usually the first sign that a woman is pregnant. However, there are other reasons you can skip a period. Stress, diet, and weight issues can all affect your menstrual cycle. 

If you do not typically track your periods, you may not be aware of your regular cycle. For most women, it is 28 days. Healthline suggests you wait at least one week after your missed period, or a full month since your last period, before taking a pregnancy test. 

If you are pregnant, your body needs time to build up a noticeable level of the hCG hormone. A pregnancy test measures the level of hCG in your urine. If you take the test too early, you may receive a false negative result.

Other symptoms of pregnancy                                             

There are other signs to look for if you suspect you may be pregnant. Pay attention to these indicators:

  • Light spotting.

    • You may experience some spotting. Watch to see if there is a change in color, texture, or the amount of blood.
  • Cramping.

    • It is possible to experience the same cramping you usually do when you start your period, but your period never comes.
  • Tender breasts.

    • This is another symptom many women feel before starting their period, but this will be ongoing. As more estrogen and progesterone are produced, your breasts will grow increasingly tender.
  • Feeling nauseous.

    • Often it is called "morning sickness," but feeling like you are going to be sick to your stomach usually accompanies pregnancy.
  • Fatigue.

    • If you are pregnant, your body is working harder to pump additional blood to the embryo. As a result, you may feel more tired than usual.
  • Frequent urination.

    • A lot of women are surprised by the urge to urinate more when pregnant.

It's been over a month, now what should I do?

If your period is at least a week late, or it has been at least a month since your last period, it is time to get tested. To get an accurate result, we recommend you have a pregnancy test done at a medical services clinic. 

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free and confidential clinical pregnancy confirmation. In addition, all of our medical services are provided by licensed professionals, and no insurance or Medi-Cal is needed.

To help you further, we also perform a free limited obstetric ultrasound to determine the dating and viability of your pregnancy. At Open Arms, we treat each patient with dignity and compassion, providing accurate and truthful information on all options.

Schedule a Free Appointment

You are not alone on this journey. Let us help you. Call or text us at 818-626-9400. Or schedule your appointment here.

post a comment

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you may be looking into the abortion pill. There's a lot of confusion about this pill, and many people don't understand what it is or how it works.

Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill?

Whether you're considering a medical abortion or surgical abortion, abortion is still a serious medical procedure, and you deserve the facts. Let's look at some of those facts to understand why a prescription is needed for the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The "abortion pill" is actually two pills taken to end a pregnancy.

The first, mifepristone, is taken at the abortion clinic and blocks your body's natural production of progesterone. This causes fetal demise; in other words, the fetus will stop growing.

The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This pill causes contractions so your body expels the contents of the uterus.

Potential side effects of the abortion pill

A prescription is needed for this medication because it contains powerful drugs that can cause some pretty serious side effects. If anything goes wrong, it is important to be under the care of a doctor so you can go back and receive needed treatment.

Some common side effects of the abortion pill are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood clots
  • Fever
  • Incomplete abortion

These side effects should not last more than two weeks, and if they do, you'll need to see your doctor immediately for medical attention and help.

Can I get a prescription for the abortion pill online?

While more websites are cropping up offering to ship the abortion pill straight to your house, you should be wary of these and not order the abortion pill online. There are a few reasons for this:

Ordering the abortion pill online violates FDA regulations

The FDA sets regulations for all approved drugs in the United States to ensure they are prescribed correctly and administered safely.

Because the abortion pill is so powerful, the FDA requires a physician or certified health professional to prescribe the pill in person after verification of pregnancy. Ordering online skips the prescription process, putting your health at risk.

Taking the abortion pill ordered online can damage your health

There's no way to verify where the abortion pill is coming from. Or if it is being sent to you with the correct dosages.

If the pill is coming from another country, the purity of the drugs may be compromised. If the dosages are off, the pill may be ineffective, meaning you'd need to either retake it or have a surgical abortion.

The abortion pill has to be taken within a specific timeframe

The abortion pill is only approved for use within the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After that, it is ineffective and dangerous to try to end a pregnancy with the abortion pill.

If the pill arrives late or you aren't exactly sure how far along in your pregnancy you are, taking the abortion pill without a prescription can be very risky.

What should I do before I get a prescription for the abortion pill?

To get a prescription for an abortion pill, you need to confirm that you're pregnant, know how far along you are, and understand if the pregnancy is viable.

To determine these things, you need a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic.

Pregnancy Test

It's possible to experience common pregnancy symptoms like a late or missed period, tender breasts, and extreme mood swings without actually being pregnant.

The first step in knowing for certain is to take a pregnancy test.


After taking a positive pregnancy test, the second step is to have an ultrasound to determine the dating and viability of the pregnancy. 

Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to capture images of the inside of your uterus. Using those images, the nurse can determine the gestational age, which will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

If the ultrasound shows an empty uterus, that can be an indication you have an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are non-viable and pose serious health risks if not removed immediately.

The abortion pill is a serious medication that requires a prescription, according to the FDA2.  Before you can get a prescription for the abortion pill, you should have an ultrasound to answer these essential questions about your pregnancy. We offer both for free and can provide information on all your options regarding your unplanned pregnancy.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!


post a comment

If you're facing an unintended pregnancy and think you want an abortion, you may be wanting to schedule an appointment at an abortion clinic right away. However, there are three reasons it makes sense financially and otherwise to visit a pregnancy clinic first.

Reasons to Visit a Pregnancy Clinic Before Abortion

Free Pregnancy Test

The first reason to visit a pregnancy clinic before getting an abortion is to get a free pregnancy test. Many women think they're pregnant because they're experiencing common symptoms like a late or missed period or tender, swollen breasts. But the only way to know for sure if you're pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy clinics offer these tests for free and can also answer any related questions you may have. It's very important to know for sure you're pregnant before getting an abortion, especially if you're thinking about taking the abortion pill. Otherwise, the drugs could wreak havoc on your body and you'll spend money on a procedure or prescription you don't need.

Free Ultrasound

While a pregnancy test will reveal whether or not the pregnancy hormone is present, it can't tell us anything about the viability of the pregnancy.  That is done through an ultrasound exam.  Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to generate pictures of the inside of your uterus to answer important questions about the pregnancy like the following:

Where is the pregnancy located?

An ultrasound will reveal whether the pregnancy is located in the uterus or not. Sometimes the pregnancy attaches somewhere else, most commonly in the Fallopian tubes, and this "ectopic pregnancy" can pose serious dangers to your health if not addressed immediately by a doctor.

This type of pregnancy is nonviable and will need to be removed by a doctor.  The abortion pill and other abortion procedures do not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy.

How far along is the pregnancy?

Based on the images generated from the ultrasound, the size of the fetus is measured which will indicate how far along you are in the pregnancy.

This is important if you're considering an abortion because it will determine the type of abortion you would have. Generally, the abortion pill can only be taken up to 10 weeks. After 10 weeks into the pregnancy requires the surgical procedure.

Is there a heartbeat?

Fetal heartbeat begins around 22 days after conception and can be seen through an ultrasound exam as early as 5 ½ weeks.  If there is no heartbeat, the pregnancy is not viable and may miscarry naturally.  A pregnancy test may still come back positive even soon after a miscarriage because the hormone is still present.

It's important to determine the dating and the viability of a pregnancy prior to having an abortion.

Free Information & Support

Another very important reason to visit a pregnancy clinic before getting an abortion is so you can be aware of all the resources and support available to you. It's important to consider all your options before making a decision that will impact the rest of your life.

You should seek all the information you can, and because pregnancy clinics do not profit from your decision either way, you can trust the information provided.

Pregnancy clinics exist to help you navigate your pregnancy-related decisions, providing all the information and education you need to make a fully informed decision.

If you're considering abortion but need more information or the free services a pregnancy clinic can provide, please contact us to schedule an appointment today!

post a comment

If you are a single parent or pregnant and living in California and are worried about affording child care while you finish school or build your career, there is good news!

California Child Care Assistance

There are several programs in California to provide low cost or even free child care. This is especially the case for single parents trying to finish school or transition into a better job opportunity.

Experts recognize that providing child care assistance for a single parent can be the difference between the parent finishing school and starting a career or dropping out of school altogether and staying stuck in a low-income job.

That's why free- or low-cost child care has been a priority for leaders in California, with the state government recently expanding access to more parents for those child care programs.

The largest child care assistance opportunities are found through programs like CalWORKS, Child Welfare and ACCESS as well as other government-funded programs.

These programs, found throughout California range from more general assistance to programs designed for parents in specific situations.

For example, the Cal-Learn Program is for teen parents and pregnant teens who are enrolled in CalWORKS. Cal-Learn is a resource designed to help teen parents and pregnant teens graduate from high school. As part of the program, Cal-Learn provides assistance for child care.

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start in figuring out which programs are best for you as the parent. That's where your local Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) can help. The CCRC in your community can help you figure out which child care program is best for you and what steps are needed to get started.

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is also a great resource for single moms or pregnant moms who are planning to parent. Their staff listens to you and your needs and dreams for the future and can help connect you with the program that will best fit your plans.



Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash

post a comment

With all the nonstop news about Coronavirus and COVID-19, this season can feel alarming. Fears and emotions can run even higher if you are pregnant or nursing and are unsure about the effect it could have on you and your baby.

COVID-19 and Your Pregnancy

It's normal to be worried, but there's also good news if you are an expectant mom or nursing your baby.

Can I give COVID-19 to my baby?

There have not been any recorded cases of a mom transferring COVID-19 to her unborn baby. In fact, a limited study with pregnant women who were infected with COVID-19 found no evidence of the infection being passed on to the baby.

Do pregnant women have a higher risk of catching COVID-19?

While there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more likely than the average adult to be infected with COVID-19, it's important to remember the bodily changes during pregnancy can make some women more susceptible to respiratory infections like COVID-19. Health officials recommend that pregnant women take the same precautions being suggested for the general population, such as social distancing, avoiding contact with people that are showing symptoms, and exercising good hygiene like frequent handwashing.

Is my pregnancy at higher risk if I contract COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that there is no evidence of an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes to women with COVID-19. However, there have been cases of miscarriage and stillbirth in women who were infected with other severe respitory illnesses like SARS and MERS, and it's important to note some of the symptoms of COVID-19, like high fever, could be detrimental to your baby in the first trimester. That's why it's important to contact your doctor right away if you are showing any signs of COVID-19 or were exposed to an infected individual.

COVID-19 and breastfeeding mothers

Can I transmit COVID-19 to my nursing baby through my breast milk?

Not only has the CDC reported the virus has not been found in the breast milk of women with COVID-19, but the mother's milk may have antibodies that may help the child fight off COVID-19. In order to best protect your baby, though, you should take precautions while caring for and breastfeeding your baby if you are showing symptoms of, or have, COVID-19. These precautions include wearing a mask when caring for your child, including during breastfeeding, washing hands thoroughly before and after contact with your child, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting any potentially contaminated surfaces.

If you become too ill to breastfeed, it is recommended that you express milk, either through a breast pump or by hand that can be given to your child by a bottle, cup or spoon.

For both pregnant women and nursing moms, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or was showing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away for any additional recommendations and precautions. 




Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

post a comment

Understanding the possible risks, side effects and alternatives is the best way to ensure you are making a fully informed decision.

What is a ''Medical'' Abortion?

To put it simply, a medical abortion uses medication rather than surgery to end a pregnancy. The procedure is done either in a clinic or at home depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. If you were to choose a medical abortion, the risk is lowest during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Having an ultrasound is the most effective way to determine how far along you are in the pregnancy and whether or not the pregnancy is viable, so we highly recommend having an ultrasound before scheduling an abortion. Understanding the possible risks, side effects and alternatives is the best way to ensure you are making a fully informed decision.

The Abortion Pill

To put it plainly, the abortion pill ends a pregnancy within the first 11 weeks. It's a two-step process that uses two different medications. The first drug, mifepristone (Mifeprex) is given at the abortion clinic. This drug blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to thin. A thinner lining prevents the embryo from staying implanted and growing. The second drug, misoprostol (Cytotec) is taken at home within 48 hours after the mifepristone. This drug causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus.

Plan B

This drug is often referred to as the "morning after pill." It's designed to decrease your odds of getting pregnant in the first few days after unprotected sex. It works by preventing or delaying ovulation. Depending on where you are in your monthly cycle, conception can occur anywhere from minutes up to 5 days after unprotected sex. As a result, Plan B will not help if ovulation or implantation has already occurred.

Plan C

Currently, Plan C is illegal in the United States. Since the abortion pill isn't available to purchase at your local drug store, many advocates are pushing for Plan C. This plan would allow you to order abortion pills over the internet. Without a pregnancy test and subsequent ultrasound, you won't know whether this form of abortion will be successful or not.

Abortion Pill Reversal

If you have begun the process of a medication abortion and are having second thoughts, there is a procedure known as the abortion pill reversal (APR) that has a high level of success in saving the pregnancy if taken after the first drug is given. 

Your Best Option

Before scheduling an abortion, whether it is a medical or surgical abortion, it is important to have an ultrasound to determine how far along you are and to confirm a viable pregnancy. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free and confidential pregnancy testing, ultrasound and options consultation so you can make a fully informed decision regarding your pregnancy. Call or text 818-626-9400. We're here to help.

Information for this post was taken from

Photo Credit:  Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash


post a comment

Telling your boyfriend you're pregnant, especially if you're a teen or still in college, can feel tricky. If the relationship isn't serious, or you aren't sure how he'll respond, this might add even more pressure on you. But ultimately, keeping it a secret isn't good for a healthy relationship or your future together, if you see that as a possibility.

How to Tell Your Boyfriend You Are Pregnant

Here are some tips to make it easier to tell your boyfriend you're pregnant.

Pick a good time

You want to choose a time to tell him when you both will be able to talk about it thoroughly and uninterrupted. Right before you're going to hang out with friends, for example, may not be the best time to tell him. Instead, pick a time when the two of you can be alone and where he can process the information. Keep in mind he might need time to process alone before he's ready to talk about it with you or anyone else.

Anticipate his questions

Try to think ahead to what questions he might have and prepare some responses in your mind to make the conversation more helpful for both of you. He'll likely want to know how far along you are, what you'd like to do about the pregnancy, if you're anticipating him staying involved, etc. Think through how you feel about the pregnancy and envision what your future would look like if you choose to parent, make an adoption plan, or have an abortion.

Give him time to process

What he says in the moment may not reflect how he actually feels. He may initially speak out of fear, uncertainty or anger, but after having time to think and adjust to this new reality, he may be better able to discuss it more thoughtfully. If he's not ready to talk about it when you share your pregnancy news with him, ask him when he'd like to talk again. This will give him time but also put a definitive date on the calendar so you both know it's important to talk again.

Don't let him pressure you

Making a decision based on pressure can lead to regret.  Ultimately, the decision is yours, though if you both can make the decision together, that will be ideal for you both. If he threatens to break up with you or gives you an ultimatum, you probably shouldn't be in a relationship with him anyway. On the other hand, if he offers to support you and help with decisions about the future and your pregnancy, he's demonstrating he genuinely cares about you.

This news can be hard to share, but in a good and healthy relationship, it's important to let your boyfriend know as soon as you can. The decision you make impacts both of you.

If you need help or want to talk with someone before you tell your boyfriend, our staff members are available to meet with you and would be happy to help you prepare for this important conversation. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic also has men on staff who are able to help your boyfriend with his questions and concerns.  Please contact us today.  We are here to help.


Photo Credit:  Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

post a comment

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and parenthood as a single mom, you may be wondering what resources are available to you. The good news is, you don't have to face this path alone! There is support and access to resources along the way, and all provided through Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic.

Resources for Single Moms

Educational Resources

You've chosen to carry your pregnancy to term and become a parent ° now what? We offer a customizable pregnancy education and parenting skills program where you can choose the topics that would be most helpful to you in your journey.

We cover topics like:

  • Eating for two
  • Labor and delivery
  • Your developing baby
  • Newborn care
  • Reducing the risk of SIDS
  • Breastfeeding
  • Infant care and nutrition
  • Sleep and crying
  • And more!

We know how overwhelming it is to be a first-time parent, and we're here to help you prepare!

Material Resources

Attending our classes means you have the opportunity to receive needed items for you and your baby all free of charge. Things like maternity clothes, baby clothes, diapers, wipes, blankets, and more are all available through our Baby Closet.

If finances are tight, attending classes is a great way to learn more about parenthood and prepare for your baby by receiving necessary items. Our closet is stocked with new and gently-used items from people in our community who want to serve and help you!

Community Resources

If you have needs we aren't able to help meet at Open Arms, we can make referrals to other organizations in our community who can provide assistance and care. Whether you need social services, housing, counseling, or help to further your education, we'll connect you to the community partners who can meet your needs.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to carry to term but are scared or need support, please contact us today. We're here for you to provide resources, support, and hope.

post a comment