Making a Decision
Suspecting and confirming an
unplanned pregnancy is an experience most women will
encounter during their fertile years. No contraceptive
method (other than abstinence) is 100% effective and it is
estimated that each sexually active North American woman
using some form of contraception will have an average of two
unplanned pregnancies during her reproductive years. The
incidence of pregnancy increases among those not using birth
control. Although some women receive the news of their
pregnancy with happiness; most feel a range of emotions,
from ambivalence and misgiving, to anger and depression.
Many women feel that because of their beliefs, they will
have to follow through with the pregnancy, in spite of their misgivings.
Most women will contemplate their choices, difficult though
they may be, and many will choose to terminate the
pregnancy. Recent statistics show that half of Canadian
women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose abortion.
Women commonly feel that they
have three options with a pregnancy: carrying the pregnancy
to term and keeping the child; continuing the pregnancy and
giving the child up for adoption; and terminating the
pregnancy. Single parenthood no longer carries the stigma it
did a generation ago. Most women choosing to continue their
pregnancy usually opt to keep the child; the adoption rate
has gone down significantly over the past few years. This
does not mean that it is not a good option, and some young
women struggling with the moral issues of abortion while not
being ready to accept the responsibilities of motherhood
choose this route.
For most women though, the
choice is between continuing the pregnancy and keeping the
child, or choosing abortion. This applies equally to all
women, regardless of social and financial standing. Married
women, single women, students, working women, teenagers,
mothers and grandmothers are all likely to find themselves
faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
If you have found out you are
pregnant and are confused regarding your choice, it will be
important for you to work out what is making it difficult
for you to make a decision. It often helps to write down the
different options you are contemplating and list the pros
and cons of each option. This exercise usually brings
clarity to the situation. But if you are still undecided, it
may help to talk it over with someone—a family member, a
friend or a counsellor.
Some questions to ask yourself:
How do I feel about being
How do I feel about becoming a parent?
What would I lose if I choose one way or the other?
What does this mean financially?
How would my
choice affect my significant others?
How do my choices agree or conflict with my beliefs and
It may help to summarize your
responses to these questions and to write down any other
thoughts that come to you. Take time to ponder your thoughts
for a few days and stay sensitive to your feelings.
A site that can help you
further in the decision-making process is