Options for Unwanted Pregnancy

Woman stressed over unwanted pregnancy

Figuring out your options for unwanted pregnancy while dealing with your emotions and well-being is an intimidating and complicated task. Since being pregnant may be something you want to keep secret, it can be even more difficult to find reliable information that you can trust.

Exploring Your Options for Unwanted Pregnancy

Thankfully, there are several options for unwanted pregnancies. Adoption, abortion, and keeping the baby are all choices to consider.

Getting the right information will help you make the right choice for you and your family. It also helps if you can talk about your options with a friend, family member, or your partner. However, the decision needs to be one that you are comfortable with and can live with. Don't let a well-intentioned loved one steer you into a decision that you will regret later.


Many women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy choose to carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption so another family may raise the child. There are millions of good parents who are unable to have biological children and would love to welcome a new child into their home. The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a good resource for more information about your adoption options.

Open Adoption

Depending on the adoption agency and the level of openness you choose, you may be able to meet with the adoptive family before you give birth. This can help you get to know the environment your child will grow up in and can make you feel more comfortable with your choice.

After the child's birth, there are several different ways to have an open adoption, ranging from occasional contact and communication to being an active part of the adoptive family. These relationships can be very rewarding, but they may also be difficult to maintain. It's important that you speak with an adoption counselor or lawyer about your options and that you and the adoptive family agree about the relationship.

Closed Adoption

A closed, or confidential, adoption means that after you give birth, you will have no contact with the child or adoptive family. Sometimes, you can make provisions that will allow the child to contact you when they reach adulthood.


For some women, abortion is the best option for unwanted pregnancy. It's important that you make sure you visit a trained medical professional for an abortion. The National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood are both good resources that provide abortion information and a list of providers in your state.

When researching an abortion facility, make sure that the clinic you choose actually performs the abortion procedure you have chosen. Some anti-abortion organizations advertise themselves as "crisis pregnancy centers" or "pregnancy alternatives," but they do not provide any actual abortion services.

Since the laws vary by state, you will need to find out what your abortion options for unwanted pregnancy are. In some places, you will need to wait 24 hours after consulting with a counselor at an abortion clinic. You may need a parent's involvement if you are under 18.

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion can be performed during the first seven weeks of a pregnancy. Two pills are taken to induce an abortion. The first, given to the patient at the clinic, stops the growth of the embryo. The second pill, which is taken at home about 36 hours later, causes the uterus to contract and expel all pregnancy-related tissue. This occurs like a heavy period and may be accompanied by strong cramping.

A few days after the medical abortion, you will need to return to the clinic for a medical examination. The doctor will make sure no tissue remains in your uterus, since this could lead to infection.

Surgical Abortion

A surgical abortion may be performed later during a pregnancy than a medical abortion, usually up to about 20 weeks. In this procedure, the patient is usually given local anesthesia and a small suction or vacuum is used to remove the pregnancy tissue. The entire procedure is handled in a medical facility and you will need to remain at the clinic for a short time after to make sure you do not have any adverse reactions or heavy bleeding.

Keeping the Baby

Sometimes, the best option for unwanted pregnancy is having the baby and raising it. Although the pregnancy may be unplanned or come as a surprise, it might turn out to be a positive experience that you were not expecting. If you decide to keep the child, make sure you get proper prenatal care and follow a healthy diet.

Options for Unwanted Pregnancy