Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Options for Unintended Pregnancy

 

Am Fam Physician. 2015 Apr 15;91(8):online.

  See related article on unintended pregnancy

I'm pregnant. What are my choices?

If you have an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, you have three options. You can raise the baby, choose adoption, or have an abortion. It is important to talk to people you trust and get accurate information. You should think about your goals, religious and cultural concerns, finances, and support from family and friends when making your decision.

Where can I get help?

It is important to see a doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant to make sure you and the baby are okay. Your doctor can give you information to help you decide what to do. There are also many local and national support groups that can help. These support groups have counselors you can call to get advice, as well as financial help, parenting support groups, social services, and listings of medical clinics. Be aware that so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” and “pregnancy resource centers” may provide biased and inaccurate information. Your doctor may also have a list of local support groups.

Listed below are some of the national support groups for each choice. In addition, here are some other sources of information from FamilyDoctor.org:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/your-body/what-to-do-when-your-pregnancy-is-unexpected.html

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/drugs-procedures-devices/procedures-devices/ending-a-pregnancy.html

Raising the baby

If you decide to raise the baby, you may have questions about how to pay for medical care, who to turn to for help, and how you can still reach your goals. The following local and national support groups can help:

National Parent Helpline

http://www.nationalparenthelpline.org/find-support

The National Parenting Center

http://www.tnpc.com

Need Help Paying Bills

http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/charities_and_organizations_th.html

Single Parent Advocate

http://www.singleparentadvocate.org

The Single Parents Network

http://singleparentsnetwork.com

Adoption

Adoption may be a good option for you and your baby, but it can be a confusing process. You may have questions about what type of adoption is best, which group is best, and if the baby will be with a good family. The following support groups can help:

Adopt America Network

http://www.adoptamericanetwork.org

Adoption Network Law Center

http://www.adoptionnetwork.com

American Adoptions

http://www.americanadoptions.com

Child Welfare Information Gateway (search for adoption services in your state)

https://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/

Abortion

Abortions are safe, and many women have them. If you decide to have an abortion, you may have questions about the laws in your state, what type of abortion to choose, which clinics are safe, what problems you might have after the abortion, and medical care and support after the abortion. The following support groups can help:

National Abortion Federation

http://prochoice.org/think-youre-pregnant/resources

Planned Parenthood

http://www.plannedparenthood.org

Provide

http://www.provideaccess.org

Summit Medical Centers

http://www.summitcenters.com/resourceful-links.html

Women on Web

http://www.womenonweb.org


This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at http://familydoctor.org.

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

 

Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

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