If you are pregnant, you have three options. First, you can stay pregnant and become a parent, with or without the support of the other parent. Second, you can carry the pregnancy to term (when the baby is ready to be born), and then give the baby up for adoption. Third, you can have an abortion, ending the pregnancy.
No matter what decision you make, be responsible and find out everything you can about each of your options. Get opinions from adults that you trust and seek medical care. You have the right to confidential health care with your privacy secured.
The longer you wait to make a decision, the fewer options you may have. None of the options are easy, but you should find out as much as you can from several different agencies.
However, be careful when gathering information from agencies because many "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" will not present all of your options and may have their own agendas.
Do not just "let pregnancy happen." Be responsible!
Choosing to be a parent while still a teenager is a very difficult choice that will have educational, financial, social, physical, and emotional costs.
In most cases, a teen will need a very supportive partner, family, school, and community to be able to raise a child. Talk to teens who are parents and ask about their lives.
Do their realities match your dreams for your future? What support do they have, and will you have? Yes, it's difficult, but if you decide to continue your pregnancy, be confident in your abilities and gather as much support and resources as you can. It's hard work, but it's possible.
Back to top
There are many different options available if you choose to give your baby to another family. There are "open" adoptions, in which you can visit your child and be a part of his or her life. There are also adoptions that are "closed," meaning your identity is sealed and you have no relationship with your child.
People choose both options, for different reasons. You will need help making this choice. Find out as much as you can from several different agencies. Be careful. Many "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" will not present all of your options – they may have their own agenda.
Back to top
Abortion means the end of pregnancy before the fetus can live independently outside the mother. If abortion happens spontaneously before 24 weeks of pregnancy it is called a miscarriage. An induced abortion is caused deliberately in order to terminate the pregnancy.
In the case of Roe v. Wade, 1973, the Supreme Court confirmed women's right to choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Since then, courts have upheld this decision. However, the decision to have an abortion is extremely personal.
Back to top
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Birth Control Methods: Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office on Women's Health.
Abortion, Planned Parenthood.
National Abortion Federation (NAF)