Who is a Good Support Person?
Deciding who in your life is safe to tell about your abortion is important. People’s responses may surprise you in both positive and negative ways.
- Your best friend who always supports you may be struggling with her own inability to get pregnant. She may respond to your desire for an abortion in a surprising way.
- Your mom, who you expect to be against abortion, may surprise you with her full support.
It is hard to fully anticipate the responses of others, so expect anything.
If you are really struggling with your choice, reaching out to people in your close network can be a lifesaver in terms of thinking things through. When you are pregnant, the surge of emotions can cloud your decision-making, and it is helpful to have people around you who can help you make sense of your circumstances and emotions.
It is also important that you take time with yourself to fully understand how YOU feel about this pregnancy, separate from the people in your life.
When deciding who to tell, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need to tell them to help me feel safe during my abortion? Sometimes people in your household can help you better keep the secret
- Will telling this person help me in my own process?
- Will this person shame or hurt me in any way if they know I’m having an abortion?
Telling the Person that Got You Pregnant
There are times when it is useful and supportive to tell the person that you are pregnant. Other times it can be dangerous or even more painful. Ask yourself the following questions before telling the person that got you pregnant:
What kind of support do I want from them in terms of this pregnancy?
- Do I want them there during the abortion?
- Do I want financial support to have an abortion?
- Do I want emotional support?
- What would the best sort of support look like?
How do I anticipate their response?
- Will they want me to keep the baby, but I want an abortion?
- Will they pressure me to have an abortion when I want to keep the baby?
Is this person safe?
- Will they be able to handle this information?
- Will they make the process easier or harder?
These are important questions to answer. Of course, you cannot fully anticipate how they will respond, and people can surprise us. What is most important is that you set yourself up for the safest, and most stress-free abortion possible.
The experience is intense, and it is important to include only those who can be supportive and not add more pain and stress. This is an important part of self-care. Many women choose to include their partners in the abortion experience, but many others do not. It is entirely up to you and your situation.
You do not need to “confess” this to the people in your life to atone for your sins. Sharing this with others should be to seek support.