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!