Unplanned pregnancy can be a difficult, emotional experience for a woman. You may be feeling scared, confused, and uncertain about how to move forward. One of the things you may be unsure about is how to approach the situation with your partner, especially if you’re thinking about terminating the pregnancy.
Bringing up the possibility of abortion with your partner—or informing them that you’ve already made that decision—is often a tricky conversation to navigate. For the best chance at a productive discussion, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you broach the subject.
First, it’s important to understand that you are NOT obligated to discuss abortion with your partner.
Legally speaking, you are not required to get your partner’s consent before having an abortion or even notify them if you have or plan to have the procedure done. The stipulations to ask permission and inform a partner of an abortion were both ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1976 and 1992, respectively. You have a right to privacy in your medical decisions, abortion included.
If you do decide to talk to your partner about abortion, choose an opportunity when you can both put your full time and energy into the conversation.
Plan for a window of time that allows you and your partner to fully work through the complicated emotions that may arise when discussing the possibility of or decision to have an abortion. It’s not a conversation you can just spring on someone when you have a few extra minutes before dinner. You’ll both need time to process the news, react, and talk through your feelings.
Also, don’t be afraid to take breaks during your conversation. Unplanned pregnancy and abortion are deeply personal topics that can be mentally and emotionally exhausting to discuss. You may need to pause for a few minutes—or even a few hours or days—in order to keep your communications calm and constructive.
Before you bring it up, consider whether you want your partner’s input or have already made your choice.
The decision to have an abortion is ultimately yours and yours alone. You may already know this is your best option and intend to tell your partner what you have decided, rather than ask for their opinion. If this is the case, be direct and firm in your conversation. Explain how you’ve come to this decision and don’t feel guilty or pressured if your partner disagrees with you.
On the other hand, you may be seeking your partner’s help in deciding if abortion is the best choice for both of you. In this case, talk openly about your concerns and what your lives would be like if you were to have a child right now. Let them know their opinion matters, but again remember that the final say remains with you.
Acknowledge your partner’s feelings about your decision.
Although the decision to have an abortion is yours, understand that your partner will likely be experiencing strong emotions as well. If you’ve chosen to include them in the conversation, be prepared to empathize with how they’re feeling. Do your best to use language that doesn’t make them feel at fault and remember that they may need your support through this as well. Just like you, your partner deserves the space to react and process the situation.
If you and your partner need help determining your options for unplanned pregnancy or abortion, there are professional resources available to you. You may want to have your conversation with a therapist present to help you through it. Or, make an appointment with a women’s healthcare specialist who can answer your questions with accurate, unbiased information.
At South Avenue Women’s Services, our team is available to provide you with knowledgeable, discreet, and compassionate care whenever you need it.
We would be happy to answer any questions you or your partner have about abortion or other options for unplanned pregnancy. If you do determine that abortion is the best choice for your situation, we can also provide you with safe, expert elective abortion services in our Rochester clinic.
Give us a call at 585-271-3850 to speak with one of our medical professionals and make an appointment to get the information and care you need!