Updated 05 June 2014

Pregnant? So what are the options?

If you are pregnant and need to make decisions about the pregnancy, this guide may help you to make the decision that is right for you.


If you are pregnant, you have three choices:

Choice A: Continue the pregnancy and keep the baby.
Choice B: Continue the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption.
Choice C: End the pregnancy now by having an abortion.

The rest of the guide asks questions to help you clarify:

Your feelings about being pregnant
Your plans and dreams for the near future
Your thoughts, values, or beliefs about each of your options.

The guide also gives ideas about where you can obtain information and help you decide which option to choose.

So how do you feel about being pregnant? Perhaps you planned to get pregnant, because you wanted to have a baby, and that is still what you want most at this time. If so, you will probably decide on Choice A - continuing the pregnancy and keeping the baby.

If that is no longer what you want, or if you didn't intend to get pregnant in the first place, you can start by looking more closely at how you feel about being pregnant.

An unintended pregnancy can arouse many different feelings. In fact, most women find they have mixed or conflicted feelings.

For example, you might feel worried about being able to manage a baby, or afraid that you'll have to give up other things that are important to you, or concerned about how other people may react.

At the same time you might also feel happy to learn that you can get pregnant and pleased to have the opportunity to have a baby. You might also feel excited by a new and unique event in your life.

Write down a list of the different feelings you have right now about being pregnant. (When you can't think of any more, go on to the next section. Later, if you think of other feelings, you can add them to your list.)

Questions about your life and your future
What are two or three things that matter most to me in my life right now?

What are two or three things that I hope to have achieved in the next five or ten years?

In order to achieve those things,

1) How would having a baby help?
2) How would adoption help?
3) How would abortion help?

What would I lose or give up right now

1) If I have a baby?
2) If I place the baby for adoption?
3) If I have an abortion?

What would I lose or give up in the next five or ten years?

1) If I have a baby?
2) If I place the baby for adoption?
3) If I have an abortion?

How much money would it probably cost me?

1) If I have a baby?
2) If I place the baby for adoption?
3) If I have an abortion?

How would other people react who matter to me (such as my partner, parents, friends)

1) If I have a baby?
2) If I place the baby for adoption?
3) If I have an abortion

What are your values? What do you believe?
Up to this point, you've been looking at the possible effects of different decisions on your plans and dreams. Now look at your thoughts, values and beliefs about your situation and the different choices.

Following are some statements people often make. Write down the ones that are true for you as well as any other thoughts or feelings you may have

Choice A: Having a baby and keeping it:

  • I feel ready to take on the task of being a parent
  • Some people have said they will help me.
  • I want a child more than anything else.
  • My partner and I both want a baby.
  • I think I am too young (or too old) to have a baby.
  • I don't believe I can manage this by myself.
  • I don't have enough money to raise a child properly.
  • Having a child now would stop me from having the life I want for myself.
  • Choice B: Having a baby and putting it up for adoption:

  • I could continue the pregnancy and give birth, without having to raise the child
  • I could help the child have parents who want it and can take care of it.
  • I could postpone being a parent myself until later in my life when I feel ready.
  • I like the idea of giving someone else the baby they can't create themselves.
  • I don't think I could give up the baby after nine months of pregnancy and delivery.
  • I would not like living with the idea that someone else has my baby.
  • I would worry about whether the baby was being well treated.
  • My family would rather have the baby stay in the family than go to strangers.

Choice C: Having an abortion:

  • I would like to postpone being a parent until my situation is better (older, finished school / college / university, more financially secure, in a stable relationship).
  • I don't want to be a single parent.
  • My partner doesn't want a baby, and I want to consider his feelings.
  • An abortion is a safe and sensible way to take care of an unwanted pregnancy.
  • My religious beliefs are against abortion.
  • I am afraid I might not be able to get pregnant again.
  • My family (or someone else that is important to me) opposes abortion.
  • I don't have enough money right now to pay for an abortion.

Do you need more information?
There may be things you need to find out before you can make a decision. If so, you can get more facts about each of your choices from places like the following. Either call with your questions, or ask them to send your information.

Adoption agencies and abortion clinics in your area are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book. (If an agency tells you that abortion is unsafe or immoral, that is a clue that they are not interested in helping you make your own decision, call our hotline for the name of an agency that will give you accurate information and non - judgmental assistance.)

Your local department of social services, family planning and many doctors have information about adoption, prenatal care, delivery and parenting.

  • Our hotline has facts about pregnancy, adoption and abortion and can refer you to qualified medical facilities near you.
  • Note: If you are a teenager considering abortion, our Act states that you can make this decision on your own, however we always suggest that you involve a parent or a close family member.

    Now that you have explored your choices, obtained more information and clarified your feelings and values about the choices, you may be ready to make a decision.

    Since you probably have conflicting feelings about each choice, you may find that whatever decision you make won't feel like the "perfect" decision. It is natural to continue to have some mixed feelings. Ask yourself, "Can I handle those feelings?" If your answer is "Yes", you are ready to act on your decision.

    If you cannot decide, you may need to get more information about your choices or talk with someone you trust - not to decide for you, but to help you decide what you think will be best for you. That person could be a:

    • Parent or other family member
    • Teacher or religious counsellor
    • Close friend or partner who cares about you
    • Counsellor in a social service or family planning agency

    These questions might help you and that person discuss your choices.

    Even without knowing how far along your pregnancy is, we must emphasise the importance of deciding soon. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, it is important to begin prenatal care early so you and your baby are healthy. If you decide on abortion, the earlier you obtain it, the safer it will be.

    No one can predict the future. No one can be certain what all of the consequences of any choice may be. What you can do, however, is carefully consider your plans, your values and your feelings and then make the best decision you can at the time.

    For further advice, phone the number below:

    Hotline no: (011) - 787-1222

    Ms Glenda Bateman
    DISA Health Care
    Sexual and reproductive health counsellor


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