Unplanned Pregnancy: Your Options
At bpas we accept that unplanned pregnancies happen and that every woman has the right to decide for herself how to deal with the situation. We know that you might be finding it hard to make a decision about what to do.
The ideas presented here are based on our experience of talking to over 55,000 women every year who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. It's not meant to encourage you to make any particular decision - instead it offers ideas that we know other women have found helpful.
Have you confirmed your pregnancy?
If you have confirmed you are pregnant, then you have three options open to you:
So how do you feel about being pregnant?
You can ask yourself questions like these below:
"What are my hopes and plans for the future?
"What are the two or three things which matter most to me in my life now?
"What are the two or three things that I hope to achieve over the next five to ten years?
"How would other people who matter to me (such as partner, family and friends) react to me if I....
"Most importantly, considering my own values and beliefs, how would I feel if I.......
Becoming a parent
Having an abortion
So how do you feel now?
Making a decision can be difficult and frightening. Our experience in talking to other women in the same situation is that it helps if you can be clear about your feelings and why you have them. You could list some questions like the ones we have shown here and explore how you feel. To see how you are feeling at the moment, try to finish each of these sentences:
"The idea of having a baby makes me feel.................................................................................................
"The idea of placing the baby for adoption makes me feel.....................................................................
"The idea of having an abortion makes me feel ............................................................................
What if I still don’t know?
Ask yourself "Can I live with those feelings?” If the answer is "Yes", then you are ready to decide.
If you are still unsure, you may need more information about your choices or talk to someone you trust - they won’t be able to decide for you but may be able to help you decide what you think will be best for you. That person could be a parent or another member of your family, your partner or a close friend. Alternatively you can make an appointment to talk to someone impartial at bpas.
Try not to put your decision off for too long.
If you do decide to continue with your pregnancy, it is important that you start having antenatal care so that you and your baby are healthy. If you decide to have an abortion, the earlier it is carried out, the easier and safer it will be.
If you need more information You can contact a number of organisations for advice or written information, although bpas accepts no responsibility for the advice or information given by other organisations.
Please be aware that some organisations advertising free pregnancy testing and counselling on the internet and in phone books are strongly opposed to abortion. They will not discuss all the options available to you in an unbiased way. If they talk about abortion as an option for you at all, it may involve unevidenced or untrue claims, or statistics that are not reliable. They may not provide you with any information on how to access abortion treatment.
Before you make any pregnancy counseling appointments, we would recommend that you ask the organisation whether they will be able to refer you for abortion treatment if you decide on that option. There is a list of registered Pregnancy Advice Bureaux on the Department of Health’s website. These have all met the Department of Health’s required standards on accurate and balanced information-giving, because they refer for abortion. Click here to view the list of registered Pregnancy Advice Bureaux, which includes bpas centres. Although there are other reputable organisations that are not included on this list, it’s a good place to search for impartial pregnancy counselling.bpas
bpas is a registered charity and provides a national network of 40 centres offering pregnancy testing, consultation on unplanned pregnancy, abortion, emergency contraception, and vasectomy.
You can book an appointment with bpas to talk things through, or to explore the abortion options available to you dependent on your stage of pregnancy and circumstances. To make an appointment at bpas click here.
bpas can help in the following ways:
fpa (Family Planning Association)
Citizens Advice Bureau
For information regarding maternity allowance, child benefits, child tax credit and support.
For information and advice if you continue your pregnancy:
National Childbirth Trust
For information and advice on adoption and fostering:
British Association for Adoption & Fostering