Would you know what to do
If someone you knew was thinking about having an abortion?

by Dawn E Slike

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You can't just do nothing.

Whether she's your friend's daughter, your neighbor, a coworker or "the friend of a friend of a friend," she's feeling pressured by her pregnancy, probably pressured by her boyfriend and maybe her parents, or his parents ... and she's more than a little bit scared about her future. To her, abortion might seem to be the only "choice" she has.

But it's not a good choice.

Abortion will kill her innocent baby. Abortion will take its toll on all her relationships. Abortion will come back to haunt her again and again. Furthermore, an abortion now may interfere with future pregnancy. And abortion, especially an abortion before her first full-term pregnancy, is known to cause an increased risk for breast cancer.

She may not care about these things at the present time ... but you should.

What can you do for her?

First, PRAY.

God created the child inside her womb. He does not want the child to be killed. If you ask for His gift of wisdom, He will help you determine how you can best persuade her to allow her child to continue living.

TRY TO FIND OUT if she has received any counseling yet. She may not even have taken a pregnancy test yet. Try to persuade her to go to a crisis pregnancy center such as Birthright where she can be given a free pregnancy test and receive helpful, no-pressure counseling. (See if she needs transportation, then help her make an appointment.) If she's already scheduled an appointment at an abortion facility, try very hard to discourage her from keeping it, since a positive test result will trigger the "counselor" to push her to make a hasty decision to "terminate" her unintended pregnancy.

If she's under 18, the law in many states is on your side: she can't have an abortion without at least one of her parents being notified, or a judicial bypass. But don't depend on this alone to protect her baby: she could use someone else's ID, and the abortion facility could pretend they don't know it's not hers.

ENCOURAGE HER to talk with her parents if she still hasn't told them she's pregnant. If she is deathly afraid of their reaction, try to assure her that most of the time parents cope very well with surprises. Perhaps you can offer to be with her when she talks to them.

In some family situations, it's the parent(s) who try to force the daughter to undergo an abortion. Sometimes they threaten to "throw her out" if she doesn't comply. Be watchful for this scenario. Listen to the young woman's fears about why she's reluctant to tell her parents.

In this situation, the law is on her side. As a pregnant mother, she can exercise her freedom to choose to keep the pregnancy. There are other places she can live temporarily. There are caring people who will help her through her struggles with family rela tionships.

She does not have to abort her baby, regardless of who is telling her otherwise.

NOW ... whether she's waiting for her appointment at Birthright, or she's determined to stiff-upper-lip her way through an abortion, the time spent waiting should be used to educate her. Talk to her (and show her literature) about the beautiful and precious life now growing inside her. Spend a little time explaining to her that the gift of life is the gift of hope. Try to impress upon her that even though her unintended pregnancy seems to her to be a real crisis in her life, in reality it's a situation which is creating problems for her, but not one which can't be worked through. Assure her that there are lots of people out there who can offer her help and support, meeting whatever needs she may find herself facing in the coming months.

Whether this young woman is someone you barely know or someone very close to you, she will be touched and reassured by your kindness and words of support. The very fact that you've taken time out of your personal life to console and advise her will communicate to her what you've been trying to put into words:

she's not alone.

places to call for help

for information about pregnancy assistance facilities In your community

For educational materials about fetal development, abortion, and the risks associated with abortion,

Lake County Right to Life, Inc
P.O. Box 1750
Mentor, OH 44061-1750

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Posted 18 Sep 2003

Copyright 1998 by Lake County Right to Life.
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