Whether you are already pregnant or concerned about the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, it is important that you understand the options available. Abortion may be the right choice for some women with certain conditions, but for others, caring for or giving the baby up for adoption is the best way. When it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions, the best thing you can do is to be proactive about using different methods of contraception.
Method 1 of 3: Dealing with an Unwanted Pregnancy
Step 1. Know your legal rights
No one, not even your parents, can force you to have an abortion against your will. The choice is yours, so don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision you don't like. In addition, in Indonesia abortion is also strictly regulated by laws and government regulations.
- Forcing a minor to have an abortion is considered child abuse which is an illegal act.
- If you are threatened or forced to have an abortion, call the police.
- In Indonesia, abortion is only allowed for special cases, namely because of an indication of a medical emergency (endangering the mother's life) or as a result of a rape victim (and is regulated in more detail in Government Regulation Number 61 of 2014 concerning Reproductive Health). The abortion process must also be carried out safely, namely with legal infrastructure, according to health standards and carried out by an authorized expert doctor. In the United States, abortion is a woman's reproductive right. However, some states require you to notify your parents or get their consent in advance if you are a minor.
Step 2. Consider raising your child
With help and support, parenting can be an amazing and overwhelming experience. For some women, parenthood turns out to be the right choice, even if the pregnancy was not originally planned.
- Talk to the baby's father and your family to find out who is willing to help you raise the baby. Raising children will be a much easier choice if you have the support of loved ones.
- Make a plan for how you will support and care for your baby. Think about whether you will have to work and organize your parenting plans while you are at work. Also consider whether you qualify for any financial assistance program. In the United States, the government offers several programs that provide benefits such as food, health insurance, child care and job training for low-income mothers.
- Think about your goals for the future and whether you will be able to achieve them while raising a child. You can create a parenting plan that can still allow you to go to school, for example.
Step 3. Consider adoption options
If you don't feel that raising a child is the right choice but don't want to have an abortion, consider putting your child up for adoption. There are loving families who will be happy to raise your child and give him a wonderful life.
- Start working with adoption agencies as soon as you decide to put your child up for adoption. They will help you find the adoptive parents and take care of all the details.
- Laws on adoption vary by country. In some countries, you can arrange adoption matters without institutional assistance. In some countries, the baby may be put in an orphanage for some time before being adopted. The waiting period until adoption becomes official also differs from country to country.
- There are three different types of adoption. With closed adoption, you won't know who the adoptive parents are and they won't know who you are either. With open adoption, you and the adoptive parents will have each other's contact information. With semi-open adoption, you and your adopting parents will not have contact with each other, but can communicate with each other through the adoption agency.
Step 4. Seek support
Whatever decision you make, it's important that you don't feel alone. This will be the most stressful time of your life, so get the support you need to make the decisions that are right for you.
- Talk to your parents and the baby's father. Know what kind of support you will get. If these people don't provide the support you need, turn to other relatives for emotional support.
- Consider calling the pregnancy consultation hotline if you need objective counseling about your options. Counselors can explain your options, offer guidance and direct you to local organizations that can help you learn about parenting, making arrangements for adoption or abortion.
- Women's health centers and pregnancy support centers are also great resources for pregnant women. In the United States some of these facilities provide assistance with safe and health-appropriate abortions, but they usually also provide counseling and assist with child adoption and care.
- Some pregnancy counseling centers linked to religious organizations may encourage you not to have an abortion, but there are other centers that believe in reproductive freedom, so do some research on these centers before you call or visit them. Pro-life organizations will usually not provide any information over the phone and may provide you with biased information in an attempt to convince you not to have an abortion.
- Even if you're not religious, most churches or other religious organizations will be happy to help you find adoption facilities or talk to you about childcare. Keep in mind that most churches are against abortion, so you probably shouldn't go to church if you're still considering abortion as an option.
Step 5. In Indonesia, abortion is only allowed for special cases, namely because of an indication of a medical emergency (endangering the mother's life) or in pregnancy due to a rape victim (which is regulated in more detail in Government Regulation Number 61 of 2014 concerning Reproductive Health)
The abortion process must also be carried out safely, namely with legal infrastructure, according to health standards and carried out by an authorized expert doctor. In the United States, abortion is a woman's reproductive right, although some states require you to notify your parents or get their consent in advance if you are a minor.
Method 2 of 3: Helping Women Through Crisis
Step 1. Check the state
If you have a friend or loved one who is dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, it is important that you recognize that they are going through a very difficult time. Don't forget to call or visit her often to see how she is and to see if she needs your help and support.
Beware if he seems to isolate himself from others. If he's really self-isolating, encourage him to spend time with you and other supportive people around him. Consider inviting him to participate in fun activities to take his mind off the problem for a while
Step 2. Let him know you can help
If you are very close to a woman who is dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, letting her know that you are willing to help her if she decides to take care of the child can be very helpful. If he seems ready, talk about your contribution.
- If you are the baby's father, talk about your plans for the future. Share your thoughts on the pregnancy and let the mother share her opinion too.
- If you live with the woman, talk about living arrangements and childcare options.
- Don't push him to make a decision. Instead, simply tell him that you want to talk about these things so he has all the information he needs.
Step 3. Suggest counselling
If the woman is undecided about what to do with her pregnancy, encourage her to get as much information as possible and consult a counselor. Talking to an objective expert can really help him make the best decision for himself.
- If he needs help finding various infrastructure, help him. He may even need someone to accompany him to a counselor for emotional support.
- Whatever your views on abortion, it is important that you direct your loved one to a counseling center that will provide them with information about all the options available to them and not try to influence their decision based on their individual beliefs.
Step 4. Do what he wants
You may want to help a loved one deal with this situation in every way you can. Even if your instincts are good, you should first ask him what kind of help he needs from you. This will ensure that he doesn't feel disturbed or pressured by your help.
- If he doesn't want to hear advice from others, respect his desire to make his own decisions. If he asks for advice, give your opinion but still respect him if he doesn't agree with you.
- If he wants to talk, let him talk. You can provide support by listening carefully and providing selfless support.
Step 5. Avoid being judgmental
You may feel angry, sad or disappointed that your loved one is in this situation, but don't let them know. It's important that you show him your love and support instead of judging his decisions.
- Remember that he already has a lot of problems; he does not need to be burdened with criticism from those closest to him.
- If you have to talk to someone about how you feel about their pregnancy, find someone else to talk to. Avoid venting all your problems on the pregnant woman, as this will only make her more depressed.
Method 3 of 3: Preventing an Unwanted Pregnancy
Step 1. Educate yourself
Having accurate medical information about sex can lower the chances of an unwanted pregnancy. Try websites like Scarleteen and Planned Parenthood to teach yourself in detail about contraception, responsibilities, stress, and the emotional aspects of relationships. You need to be able to understand your own anatomy, know exactly how to put on a condom, recognize the warning signs of pressure and abuse, and know how to say "no" to your partner.
Consent needs to be communicated clearly and continuously. Get consent before engaging in sexual acts, and make sure you have that consent at all times. If you don't want to do it or change your mind, say no. If your partner is angry, disrespectful, or aggressive after you say no, this is a red light to watch out for
Step 2. Make a plan
No matter how you choose to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, it's important that you have a solid plan in place. Think about what methods are easiest for you to use and which are most effective. Remember that most contraceptive methods must be used correctly on an ongoing basis.
- Be sure to talk to your partner about plans to use contraception. Let him know that you expect him to play an active role in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
- If your partner refuses to take part in a pregnancy prevention plan, that is unacceptable. If he refuses to wear a condom or use another method of contraception, don't have sex with him.
Step 3. Consider abstinence
Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only way to keep you from getting pregnant. Not everyone thinks this option is right for them, as it requires a lot of discipline. It's important to consider your situation, and only become sexually active when you're ready for the responsibilities.
- Remember that pregnancy can not only be caused by penetration alone. Whenever sperm comes into contact with the vagina, pregnancy is possible.
- Only having oral sex will prevent pregnancy, but will not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Having a backup plan is a good idea if you're on abstinence. Many couples get pregnant because they plan to abstain but then have unprotected sex. Consider using hormonal contraception or always have protective contraceptives on hand in case your abstinence plan fails.
Step 4. Use hormonal contraceptives regularly
Hormonal contraceptives work by releasing hormones into your body that prevent you from getting pregnant. In the United States, you need a prescription to use hormonal contraception. This method can be expensive, but many types of hormonal contraception are covered by health insurance.
- The most common type of hormonal contraception is oral contraceptives or birth control pills. Some pills contain both estrogen and progestin, while others contain only progestin. You have to take the pill every day for it to be effective.
- The contraceptive ring is inserted into the vagina for three weeks, then removed for a week and replaced with a new ring. The contraceptive ring releases hormones into the body that prevent pregnancy, but you should never forget to remove and re-insert a new ring on schedule.
- The contraceptive patch is a small flexible patch that sticks to your skin and releases hormones into your body. You wear the patch for three weeks then take it off for a week and replace it with a new patch. Just like the ring, you should never forget to remove and change the filling on a schedule to effectively prevent pregnancy.
Step 5. Consider using long-acting hormonal contraception
If you're worried about forgetting to take a pill every day or changing your patch every month, there are other hormonal contraceptives that may be more suitable for you. One short visit to the doctor can keep you from getting pregnant for months or even years.
- Injectable contraceptives are hormonal injections that are given in a doctor's office. This type of contraception is effective for one to three months and you should not forget to take the injection on time to avoid pregnancy.
- The implant contraceptive is one of the most effective hormonal contraceptives because it works for years without you having to think about it at all. The implant is a small rod that is implanted under the skin of your arm by a doctor. This implant slowly releases the hormones that prevent you from getting pregnant for up to three years.
- Intrauterine contraception is also a very effective and long-lasting form of contraception. Intrauterine devices are small devices that your doctor implants into your uterus or womb. The device secretes either hormones or copper into your body which will prevent the egg from attaching to the uterus. Intrauterine devices prevent pregnancy for five to 10 years, depending on the type.
Step 6. Use a condom
Condoms are easy to use and very effective in preventing pregnancy if used properly. Using a condom is also the only way to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active. You should always use a condom, even if you are already using another method of contraception.
- Male condoms are usually made of latex and are attached to a man's penis to prevent the exchange of body fluids during sexual intercourse.
- Female condoms are also available. These condoms work in a similar way to male condoms, but are worn inside a woman's vagina. Female condoms are not as effective as male condoms.
- Using condoms along with other forms of contraception will further lower your risk of getting pregnant.
Step 7. Use a spermicide
Spermicides are chemicals that help prevent pregnancy by killing sperm. Spermicides are sold over-the-counter in drug stores in a variety of forms, including gels and creams. Spermicides are not an effective method of contraception when used alone, but they can further reduce the risk of pregnancy when combined with other protective methods of contraception.
Some condoms contain spermicide for added protection
Step 8. Find out about contraception with other protective methods
You can also prevent pregnancy by using a diaphragm or cervical cap that is placed in the vagina before sex to block sperm from entering the cervix.
- You should see a doctor for the installation of these devices because the anatomy of each woman's body is slightly different.
- Diaphragms and cervical caps usually have to be used in conjunction with spermicides to be effective.
Step 9. Consider spaying
If you are absolutely sure that you don't want to get pregnant at all, you may consider having a surgical sterilization procedure done by your doctor. This will prevent you from getting pregnant for the rest of your life. Therefore only use this option if you are sure that you will not change your mind and wish to conceive in the future.
- There are two different types of sterilization for women, both of which can be performed on an outpatient basis. With the ovary binding, the fallopian tube is tied shut which will then prevent the egg from meeting the sperm. With transcervical sterilization, the fallopian tubes are irritated with instruments causing them to form a thin tissue that prevents eggs from passing through the tube. This type of sterilization can take up to several months to be effective.
- Your partner can undergo sterilization with a vasectomy. This is an outpatient procedure that prevents a man's sperm from reaching the penis. This method is very effective though not 100%.
Step 10. Don't forget about emergency contraception
If your regular pregnancy control plans fail, there are still ways to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception must be taken within five days of unprotected sex, but is more effective if taken earlier than that.
- There are several different types of emergency contraceptive pills available. Some are sold over-the-counter at drugstores. This pill does not cause an abortion if you are already pregnant; these pills prevent you from getting pregnant.
- Emergency contraceptive pills can be purchased at most pharmacies without a prescription and are also available at women's health clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
- Emergency intrauterine devices are also available. You need to see a doctor to insert this contraceptive.
- If you need more information about emergency contraception or where you can get it, read the article on How to Buy Emergency Contraceptive Pills.
- Emergency contraception should not be your primary means of pregnancy control because emergency contraception is not as effective as other methods of contraception. For example, if you forget to take one birth control pill or if your condom leaks, you should consider using emergency contraception.