Talking about abortion can be a surprisingly tough challenge.
Many people don’t think about it until they’re confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, and then suddenly they’ve got a whole bunch of things to consider – who do you tell? Where do you go for information? One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime but – amazingly enough – most of us don’t know that! So how do we break the ice, and talk about something so important?
When we honestly and openly talk about abortion, we have the opportunity to tell our story, free others to tell theirs, and strengthen our relationships. Here are four ways to find your voice when talking about your abortion experience:
- How you talk to yourself is just as important (if not more so) than how your friends, partner, or parents talk to you. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer, and your journey is your own. If you’re sitting here, right now, trying to wrap your head around how to move forward with an unwanted pregnancy, take a deep breath and know that you don’t have to go through this alone. We are here to provide information, support, answer any questions, and provide unconditional respect to help you find your way, but you hold the power. Read this handy guide (The Girl’s Guide to Having an Abortion), be gentle with yourself, and, if you still are struggling, definitely call us at 855-729-2272. We pick up the phone in less than 30 seconds, night or day.
- If your boyfriend or husband has questions or lots of thoughts about your decision to get an abortion, this website has some useful information. (Here’s another interesting resource about talking to your partner about an unplanned pregnancy.) Although the website is geared towards male romantic partners, the supportive language could also be useful for close friends. (Remember, if you are supporting someone choosing an abortion, ask her what she needs and how you can best support her during this process.)
- Our parents’ opinions and support can be game-changing for a lot of us, and being able to share your abortion experience with them might be really helpful to you. So did you talk with your mom or dad about your unexpected pregnancy? Here’s an interesting example of one woman talking with her parents after they found out about her abortion.
- If you would rather not talk with anyone in your immediate family or social circle, then consider calling Exhale’s After-Abortion Talkline. Exhale is a national talkline, staffed by trained volunteers, that specialized in listening to people tell their abortion stories. If you’re wrapping your head around your experience still, or if you want to vent, cry, yell, or just chat, they are an awesome resource to do just that.
Remember, you never have to go through your abortion experience alone. You can call us, reach out to us on social media, or write your story down and share it with (or just read other abortion experiences at) the 1 in 3 Campaign. Before, during, and after, there are people and organizations (carafem included) who want to make sure that you’re not just okay, but that you feel better about yourself and your future.