For some women and couples, making a decision about ending pregnancy can be one of the most difficult situations you will find yourselves in.
- You discover he isn’t as supportive as you thought he would be.
- You discover that ending a pregnancy is more sad and painful than you expected.
- You’re angry that you need to have an abortion when it’s something you never thought you’d do.
- You find out you really don’t want to be pregnant even though you thought you did.
- You feel different from your partner and feel you don’t really know each other like you thought you did.
- You don’t know how you feel and keep going back and forth, around and around.
- You feel lonely and are afraid to tell anyone you’re close to that you need to have an abortion.
- You had a bad prior abortion experience or have heard of bad experiences, and are frightened to have an abortion.
- You thought you had a clear plan if you got pregnant, but now you just feel confused.
- You have the ability and resources to have a baby, but don’t really feel like you want to.
- You realize you would really like to be pregnant, even though this is such a bad time.
- You feel that abortion is wrong but don’t want to have a baby.
Having an unwanted pregnancy can be a highly emotional time. Conflicted feelings are the normal. Hormones are changing rapidly, making difficult feelings even more emotional. Even if you feel you are making the right decision, you can feel sad, conflicted, frightened, and lonely.
While nobody “wants” to be in these situations, they can also be times of growth. They can be a time when you are able to become clearer about what is really important to you. You can get to know your partner in ways you didn’t know him before. You can see that you need to make some decisions in your life that you were avoiding. You may realize your life needs to head in new directions to make a wanted pregnancy possible in the future.
Women often feel that the emotional conflicts around abortion are unique. However, important decisions are often conflicted. Sometimes we feel we made the wrong decision. Sometimes we never feel good about decisions we had to make. Sometimes we wish we had the conditions to make different decisions. However, you do have a choice about how you can relate to those decisions. You can linger and regret; you can obsess; you can learn and make new choices; you can work to create your life so that you can make different decisions in the future; you can help others in similar situations. While making the decision whether to have an abortion, it can be a time to look at how you approach making difficult decisions in your life in general.
The divisiveness of the abortion debate, and the way abortions are provided in isolated clinic settings has made abortion something women feel ashamed of, and therefore don’t talk about. In fact, abortion is much more “ordinary” than we tend to experience. Most women experience abortion first-hand at least once in their lives. We are in a time when women are having sex, enjoying sex, and birth control is far from perfect. Sex is a time when we get carried away. We make mistakes. Life’s situations and choices are rarely ideal.
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