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You’re pregnant. What are your options?

If you’re pregnant, you have 3 options: keep the baby, give it up for adoption, or have an abortion. Don’t remain alone while you’re thinking things through; surround yourself with people who respect you and take the time to consider everything carefully before you decide.

Keeping the baby

If you decide to keep the baby, that will have consequences for the rest of your life. Once you become a mother, you’re a mother forever. If that’s what you want, here are some things to think about:

  • Are you ready to take responsibility for a baby who will depend on you for everything? A baby needs to be loved, fed, cared for, and comforted 24 hours a day, even at night!
  • Can you count on support from the father, your family, or other people?
  • How will you continue your education while taking care of a baby?
  • How will you get enough money to meet its needs?
  • Where will you live? Do your parents agree that you can live with them if you have a baby?
  • How do you see your personal life with these new responsibilities? You’ll definitely have much less time and energy for your friends and for going out and having fun.

If necessary, talk things over with a social worker from your CLSC. He/she can give you valuable support, especially by guiding you to financial assistance and resources available for young mothers.

Giving the baby up for adoption

You might decide to continue your pregnancy and then give the baby to a member of your immediate family and remain in its life in other ways. Or you also have the option of using the adoption service of your region’s youth centre so that the baby can make another family happy.

If you’re thinking about this solution, ask for help from a social worker at your CLSC. He/she can guide you through the steps to take.

Having an abortion

To end an unwanted pregnancy, you can also have an abortion. This operation is free, as it’s covered by provincial health insurance.

Where can I go?

Hospitals, many CLSCs, and private clinics offer abortion services. Start by visiting your CLSC or your regular clinic; they’ll be able to guide you.

Until when?

An abortion is generally done between the fifth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy. In Canada, you can terminate a pregnancy up to 20 weeks, depending on the situation. It’s preferable to make an appointment as soon as you reach your decision, since abortion methods are simpler at the start of pregnancy.

What are the consequences?

An abortion very rarely has physical consequences, but there are often emotional consequences. Most importantly, don’t go alone. Make sure you’re accompanied by someone you trust, during and after the procedure. Don’t keep it secret: you may need to talk about it and seek comfort.

What does it involve?

Before the abortion, you’ll have an appointment to assess the situation and give you all the information. You’ll also have a medical examination. The doctor will then explain the procedure in detail.

The operation itself will usually be done under local anaesthetic, which means you’ll be given a drug that will help you bear pain while remaining conscious. It lasts about 15 minutes.

After the abortion, you’ll need to rest for at least 24 hours, then take certain preventive steps to reduce the risk of infection.

Whichever decision you make, there’s no way out that doesn’t have consequences. That’s why it’s so important to be supported while you’re thinking things through.

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