Unplanned Pregnancy

Questions and Answers

This page will help clarify your thinking about the many issues surrounding unplanned pregnancy. Click on the question below for the answer. Feel free to contact us with your questions and comments.

    1. How can I tell my parents I’m pregnant?
    2. What if my boyfriend wants me to have an abortion?
    3. What about a woman’s right to choose? should the government or anyone else have the right to tell her what she should do?
    4. I wouldn’t have an abortion myself, but I’m still pro-choice. I don’t have the right to impose my view on others.
    5. What if a pregnancy is due to rape or incest?
    6. What if a child is going to be severely deformed or handicapped? Wouldn’t it be cruel to bring this child into the world?
    7. Wouldn’t birth control be the solution to unwanted pregnancy?
    8. Do you give out birth control?
    9. Do you have any information about sexually transmitted diseases?

 


1. HOW CAN I TELL MY PARENTS I’M PREGNANT?

sitting girlIf you are under 18 and pregnant, you have been thrust into a role that carries adult responsibility. If you are beyond your teens much of what follows will still be valuable in helping you tell those you need to tell. Another human being is depending on you for his or her very life. Neither you nor your parents are ready for this. You know they will be very disappointed in you. They may be angry and upset. They may believe you have tarnished the family reputation. It is important to acknowledge all of these feelings of theirs when you tell them. They will be more understanding of you if you are understanding of them.

Think through several practical matters. What time of day would be best to tell them? What room in the house? Would it be better to tell them someplace away from home? Would you prefer telling them together or separately and have one tell the other? What about writing them a letter and leaving it on the kitchen table or on their bed? Would you want someone else with you such as a girlfriend or a counselor from Birth Choice?

Many families have said that a letter works well. It gives the parents a chance to let the news sink in before they react. Most parents, even though they are upset, do get used to the idea, and they do love their daughters and want to help them through the pregnancy.

If you believe your parents will want you to have an abortion, it is very important for you to know the following:

If you violate your own conscience and take the life of your baby to please your parents, your relationship with them will deteriorate badly, not improve.

No one can force you into having an abortion you don’t want. If you have an abortion without telling your parents in hopes of “making the problem go away,” and they find out later, they may be horrified that their daughter went through something so traumatic without their knowledge, they may be hurt that you didn’t even give them a chance to love and support you, and they may grieve the loss of their grandchild. Both they and you will suffer deep emotional damage. Even if they never find out, you will feel the weight of this huge secret that separates you from them. You’ll find it difficult or impossible to ever be close.

If you have complications after an abortion such as bleeding or pain and need medical attention, you will be forced to tell them after the fact. Then there may be greater anger, hurt and regret than if you had told them you were pregnant in the first place.

You need to be very well informed about the development of your baby, about the negative consequences of abortion and have some plans in place before you tell them. You need to be able to express these facts clearly and with conviction. This will help them respect you and see you as an adult. Practice what you want to say in writing.

Tell them you love them and you appreciate all they’ve tried to do for you. Express true remorse for having pre-marital sex. Mention ways you know your pregnancy will be difficult for them. Then say you need them now more than ever to support you. Make it clear you have already begun to take responsibility and have researched your options and you have absolutely ruled out abortion for these reasons, then list them. Ask for their input but be firm that abortion is not an option. Share literature from Birth Choice with them.

Here are some sample letters:

Dear Mom,

I’ve always loved you, and most of the time I’ve tried to make you proud of me. I’ve messed up a lot of times in my life, but you’ve always been there for me. Now I’ve messed up pretty bad. I dread having to tell you and put you through this. I’m pregnant.

I’ve spent the last three weeks crying. But I’ve also taken some responsibility. I’ve done some reading and calling around to find out about my options. I’ve learned that at eight weeks, which is how far along I am, my baby’s heart is already beating, there are already brain waves and all the organs are present. I could never have an abortion because I know that my baby is a true human being who shouldn’t have to die for my mistake. John knows and is trying to be supportive, but he’s pretty scared. I called Birth Choice, a pregnancy help center. They can help with insurance, support groups, clothes and other things. There are even homes where I could live if you think that would be better for our family. I might consider adoption. I want to do what is best.

I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I feel like such a disappointment and embarrassment to you and the rest of the family. Getting through this will be very hard on you. I need you now more than I ever have. Please help me and the baby.

I love you. Jennifer

Dear Mom and Dad,

You’ve always tried your best to raise me right. You’ve made sacrifices so I could play sports, take ballet and drama, qualify for scholarships and go to college. Your plans and goals for me are wonderful, but now something has happened that wasn’t in our plans. I’m pregnant.

I don’t blame you for being angry. You probably think I am so stupid and ungrateful. I was stupid, and I am so, very, very sorry. But I’m not ungrateful. I appreciate so much everything you do for me. You have always been strongly pro-choice. It does seem like abortion would just make this problem go away, and no one would have to know. But I can’t have an abortion. Several of my friends did that, and they are messed up and feel so guilty about it. I’ve read about lifelong physical and emotional damage women can have after abortion. The abortion methods are brutal and painful for the baby. My conscience will not allow me to take my child’s life in order to deal with my (our) problems.

I found out I was pregnant at a pregnancy center called Birth Choice. They have lots of help for pregnant girls there. It was really helpful to talk to them, and I’d like you to go there with me. You might not agree with everything, but it will help us make informed decisions. I need you so much. You’ve always been there for me. 

Please be there for me now.

Love, Jamie


2. WHAT IF MY BOYFRIEND WANTS ME TO HAVE AN ABORTION?

Even if pressure from others is intense, no one can force you to abort. Your baby is a real human being. No one, especially not the father of the child, has the right to take the baby’s life in order to make his own life easier. A woman who aborts to please a boyfriend or husband is often horrified later to find out that the stress, sadness, anger, and silence about what took place drives such a wedge between them, the relationship falls apart. She feels overpowered and betrayed, and now she is left with two devastating losses.

Tell your boyfriend you can’t go against your conscience. Ask him to talk to a counselor at Birth Choice. We will help him understand the reality and value of his baby’s life and the damage abortion will to do you and his relationship with you. We’ll inform him about the effect of abortion on men. We’ll appeal to his role as protector and provider.

We’ll help you both develop a plan of action.

If your boyfriend is saying, “It’s either the baby or me,” he has shown he is a bully. A man who requires his child to die as a condition for his relationship with you is not a man with whom you want to plan a future. It may be painful to leave him, but you will be avoiding the far greater pain of the death of your child by abortion. Taking a stand for your child’s life will be the best first step you could take to becoming the strong, confident woman you’ve always wished you could be. Birth Choice can provide a host home where you can live, assistance with medical insurance and find ways to meet other needs as well.


3. WHAT ABOUT A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE? SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT OR ANYONE ELSE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL HER WHAT SHE SHOULD DO?

The phrase, “a woman’s right to choose” is always left unfinished. A woman’s right to choose what – a red outfit or a blue one? A Toyota or a Jetta? Whether to go to the symphony or the football game? We are all pro-choice about these and thousands of other choices that harm no one.

But we are not pro-choice about assault and battery, theft, rape, extortion, child abuse and murder. These inhumane, violent acts do not become permissible or moral if the perpetrator’s circumstances were difficult.

A woman’s right to choose a lifestyle that requires her child to be killed is an unacceptable choice that must be opposed. Dealing with difficult circumstances is why Birth Choice and other pregnancy help centers exist. Misery or abortion is a false portrayal of a woman’s situation. With our encouragement, most women get past the early stage of hopelessness. They learn all the facts, widen their view of their options, take courage and start to look forward to their baby’s birth.

The proper role of government is to protect the basic human rights of everyone, rich or poor, healthy or sick, born or unborn. Equal protection under the law is what sets free countries apart from totalitarian regimes. But if we say there are certain categories of human beings that don’t qualify for equal protection, we have reverted to the days of slavery when black people were denied equal protection and were fit to be beaten, sold or killed, or Nazi Germany where 6 million Jews and other “undesirables” were brutally murdered. The law protects the powerless and the innocent while it restrains those who are not yet convinced of its moral teachings. There are millions of women and men mourning for their aborted children who wish desperately the law had restrained them and the abortion industry while they worked through their temporary period of instability. America, the champion of liberty and justice for all must repeal Roe vs. Wade and restore its laws to protect the unborn.


4. I WOULDN’T HAVE AN ABORTION MYSELF, BUT I’M STILL PRO-CHOICE. I DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE MY VIEW ON OTHERS.

There is only one reason to be personally against abortion, and it is a reason that requires everyone to be against it – abortion kills children. Why would anyone defend someone else’s right to kill children? If abortion does not kill children, there is no need for anyone to be against it.

Suppose someone tried to make this case: “I would never abuse my child, but I don’t have the right to be against my neighbor’s right to abuse his child if that’s what he wants to do. It’s his private business. I’m not in favor of child abuse, you understand, but other people have the right to choose if they will abuse their children or not.” The moral outrageousness of such thinking is obvious.

To the baby who dies it makes no difference whether those who refused to protect her called themselves pro-choice or pro-abortion.


5. WHAT IF A PREGNANCY IS DUE TO RAPE OR INCEST?

Pregnancy due to rape or incest is extremely rare. Estimates for abortions performed for reasons of rape range from one to three percent. To say that we must have legal abortion for rape and incest victims diverts attention from the vast majority of abortions, 97% or more, done for reasons which most people say they disapprove of.

When a pregnancy does result from a rape, the woman deserves an outpouring of sympathy and support. Rape is so degrading and so horrible it is easy to transfer our anger to the wrong objects, the innocent woman or the innocent child. Both are infinitely valuable human beings which this vilest of acts cannot take from them. It is the rapist who ought to be severely punished. (Many pro-lifers favor stricter punishment for rape than do many pro-choicers).

Abortion does not undo rape. Some women have said their abortion was worse than the the rape because they perpetrated it. They felt they sank to the level of the rapist by similarly violently attacking an innocent person to meet a misguided sense of need. Healing can never come about by more violence or by denial, and aborting the baby is an attempt to deny the rape. Having and holding an innocent child can do much more good for a victimized woman than knowing she had the child put to death.

All of the so-called “hard cases” apply to born people as well as to the unborn since all are human beings. If today you learned that your best friend was the product of rape, would you love that friend any less? Would you say, “You don’t deserve to live. We should kill you.”?

Individuals and society at large become better when we embrace and uplift the suffering, not kill the innocent and then say we’ve been helpful.

When a young girl is the victim of incest, pregnant or not, it is an evil and a tragedy. Pregnancy is often the event that finally exposes the sexual abuse. Abortion hides the abuse and allows it to continue, and pregnancy could recur in addition to ever increasing damage to the girl’s body and soul. The abuser, not the girl or the baby, is the problem. What is needed is legal intervention, counseling and protection from further exploitation for the girl and punishment of the perpetrator.


6. WHAT IF A CHILD IS GOING TO BE SEVERELY DEFORMED OR HANDICAPPED? WOULDN’T IT BE CRUEL TO BRING THIS CHILD INTO THE WORLD?

All of the so-called “hard cases” apply to born people as well as to the unborn since all are human beings. Would we say to a disabled person, “Your life has no value. It is too hard for us to help care for you. We should kill you.”? If that is an abhorrent idea, then it is equally abhorrent that we should by our actions say the same thing to the unborn child with a disability. How we treat the less powerful among us demonstrates the level of our own morality, character and compassion.

Sometimes a diagnosis is wrong. “Termination” is often recommended if a couple’s genetic history suggests even a possible risk of abnormality.

Researcher David Reardon says, “Of all eugenic abortions prescribed on the basis of genetic history, one-half to three-quarters of the unborn children destroyed are not affected by the disease. More normal children are killed than ‘handicapped’ children.” Many couples who were told their unborn child would be defective chose to let the child live. They were then amazed to give birth to healthy, normal babies.

When a diagnosis is correct, and a disabled child is born, there will be hardships. What makes this a “hard case” is not whether the child deserves to live or die. What is hard is the care he or she will require. Loving, supportive people and organizations should and do step in and assist the family. Stories abound about the joys and lessons these children bring to all who know them.

It is instructive to recognize our society’s mixed attitude toward the disabled. On one hand we provide special parking and elevators for the handicapped. We are touched by the poster children for various diseases and the accomplishments of the Special Olympics children. On the other hand, when we hear a woman is pregnant with one of these children, we say, “Kill it before it is born.” It is never justified to inflict suffering or death on one person in order to (supposedly) benefit others.


7. WOULDN’T BIRTH CONTROL BE THE SOLUTION TO UNWANTED PREGNANCY?

Several methods of contraception have been readily available over the past 25 years at public health facilities, clinics like Planned Parenthood and some schools. This was supposed to virtually eliminate unwanted pregnancy. Instead teen and out-of-wedlock pregnancy have skyrocketed since the early 70s.

This is because:

  • No birth control method is fool proof. The Pill may be the wrong dosage or may not be taken regularly; condoms have holes and break; other methods have varying failure rates.
  • Many young people have moral beliefs about abstaining from sex before marriage. To prepare for it would be to deliberately plan in advance to violate their consciences. For them engaging in sex happens in a moment of weakness. Therefore no birth control is used.
  • Popular culture mocks traditional morality and modesty that protected earlier generations and encourages sex between unmarried, uncommitted couples. If the activity that creates pregnancy increases, unplanned pregnancy increases. Therefore, simply making birth control available does not reduce unwanted pregnancy.

There is a worse problem than unwanted pregnancy that birth control does not prevent, that of sexually transmitted diseases, also known as sexually transmitted infections and venereal disease. Fifteen percent of condom users become pregnant every year. Pregnancy can only occur 2 to 3 days out of the month. An STD can be contracted every day of the month, so the condom failure rate is far higher for disease prevention than for pregnancy prevention. The Pill offers no protection from STDs whatsoever. Other methods similarly cannot prevent the spread of disease organisms. Most STDs are viral, and there is no cure for viruses. You have them for life. A few are bacterial and can be treated, but they often manifest no symptoms for up to ten years. Without symptoms the victim does not know he or she has an STD, so no treatment is taken. All the while irreversible damage can be occurring. Birth Choice urges our clients who test negative for pregnancy to be tested for STDs so that they can receive treatment and so that they will not unknowingly spread the infection.

Please see question 9, DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE? for more about common STDs, their symptoms, damage and important statistics.


8. DO YOU GIVE OUT BIRTH CONTROL?

Birth Choice does not distribute contraceptives for these reasons:

  • Birth control can fail in the prevention of pregnancy. We don’t want to give anyone false security.
  • Condoms do not completely protect against sexually transmitted disease [more about condoms]. Pills, shots, and patches offer no protection against STDs.
  • There is no birth control in the world that protects from the emotional and spiritual damage of sex outside marriage.
  • We are not a medical clinic and are not authorized to dispense prescription drugs.

At Birth Choice we believe there is an excellent way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It uplifts people, enhancing their self-esteem and confidence. It is 100% effective. Saving sex for marriage or abstinence, frees singles from the stress of possible unplanned pregnancy, contracting an STD, and feeling cheap, used and betrayed. It is the best test of character when you are dating someone and want to know what he or she is really like. A date who wants to use you for pleasure rather than honor you and plan a future with you will see how far he can go with you sexually. A date who respects you, wants to protect you, honor your family and prove his own good character will control himself and respect the fact that sex belongs in marriage.

Abstinence before marriage is a good indicator whether a man or woman will be faithful after marriage. It tells you what many of the women we see at Birth Choice wish they had waited to find out about the men they had sex with before they slept with them. No couple on their wedding night who waited for sex ever regretted that they had no past to haunt them, no former sex partners to make them feel insecure, no disease or or previous pregnancy or abortion to complicate and traumatize their new life together. Abstaining from sex until marriage isn’t easy, the best things in life seldom are, but it always works. You are worth the wait.

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9. DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES?

According to the latest report issued by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, “STDs represent a growing threat to the nation’s health, and national action is urgently needed.” “The Hidden Epidemic” documents 12 million new cases of STDs annually, 3 million of them among teenagers. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described the report as “a call to arms.”

An STD can be contracted every day of the month, so the condom failure rate is far higher for disease prevention than for pregnancy prevention. The Pill offers no protection from STDs whatsoever. Other methods similarly cannot prevent the spread of disease organisms. Most STDs are viral, and there is no cure for viruses. You have them for life. A few are bacterial and can be treated, but they often manifest no symptoms for up to ten years. Without symptoms the victim does not know he or she has an STD, so no treatment is taken. All the while irreversible damage can be occurring. Birth Choice urges our clients who test negative for pregnancy to be tested for STDs so that they can receive treatment and so that they will not unknowingly spread the infection.

Click here for some important information about sexually transmitted diseases.

Approximately one in four young people will become infected by an STD by age 21, and a staggering one-fifth of all AIDS cases in the U.S. are caused by HIV infections contracted by people during the teenage years.