Many young people experience the stress and turmoil of an unplanned pregnancy, and these women often look for somebody to confide in. If you’ve had a friend approach you about a pregnancy scare, they may be looking for advice, comfort, and support. It can be complicated to navigate how to support a friend who is considering abortion, especially if you are pro-life, but there are certain ways you can navigate it more easily.
Do not shame her, judge her or question her
Your friend is experiencing one of the hardest things she’ll ever go through. She needs to be loved and supported, not shamed.
“why weren’t you using birth control?”
“why’d you sleep with someone if you didn’t want to get pregnant?”
“why would you sleep with him? You’re okay with him fathering your child?”
or any other question that may imply that you’re judging or shaming her isn’t what your friend needs to hear. If she ultimately makes the choice to have an abortion, she doesn’t need to be shamed for this either. If she trusts you enough to come to you with this information then she more than likely knows your views on abortion. There’s no need to tell her you don’t agree with her decision. She knows. If you’re religious, pray for her, and ask if you can pray with her as well. If she asks why you oppose abortion, be honest with her about the moral and scientific implications of your beliefs. You can also explain to her something along the lines of “well there are so many more resources available to pregnant women now than there were when Roe vs. Wade was decided. Unplanned pregnancy is still scary but you have so many more options and people to turn to now than women in the 1970s.” Saying something like this may open up the discussion to share some of these resources with her.
Offer to help her explore her options
You likely want to avoid her having an abortion, so if this is the case, help her find ways to avoid it. Take her to a local pregnancy clinic. Sit in the lobby and wait for her while she has an ultrasound and meeting with a volunteer there. Find as much information on adoption and parenting as possible. When you feel backed against a wall, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have options. Give your friend clarity by showing her how many resources and options are available to her.
Walk with her every step of the way
If your friend chooses adoption, offer to help her find an adoptive family. If this requires spending long nights sorting through family files, do it. Offer to order a pizza, hunker down and sort through family files until you find the perfect match.
RELATED READ: A Woman’s Guide To Handling An Unplanned Pregnancy
If she chooses to parent, keep going with her to doctor’s appointments, throw her a baby shower. Help her make a baby registry and go shopping for clothes and car seats with her. Help her apartment hunt. Do anything you can to make your friend realize that she is not becoming a parent alone. Your job as her friend won’t be done after the baby comes, either. Keep going to postpartum appointments with her. Offer to babysit.
If she chooses abortion, don’t feel like you have to be her cheerleader through it all. You don’t have to drive her to her abortion appointment or tell her you’re proud of her or do anything else you’re uncomfortable with. After she has had an abortion, she will likely be in pain and may be emotional. This is where you come in. Tell her you still love her. Help her around her house. Pray for her. Do anything to help ease the pain and hurt. Once she has physically recovered, offer up post-abortive resources.
There are so many resources that you can help your friend connect with. Check some of the best ones out, below:
If she’s a pregnant student:
If she’s pregnant from rape:
If she’s considering adoption:
If she is a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence:
If she needs to safely surrender a newborn:
If she is recovering from an abortion:
If she is recovering from a miscarriage:
If she is a single parent: