Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Men and Pregnancy

Men and Abortion

Since January, 1973, with the legalization of abortion in the US, the primary decision a woman makes in choosing abortion parenting, or adoption has been centered on “a woman’s right to choose.”   Does the father have rights and what about men and abortion?  The Supreme Court says the father does not have any legal rights. [Planned Parenthood of Missouri v. Danforth (1976)].  This means that, though he may have influence as a result of his relationship with the woman, legally, he has no rights at all regarding the decision to carry and parent or terminate.  There’s no requirement that he even be informed.

The decision-making process that precedes an abortion, complicates how the abortion ultimately effects a man.  He may not know about the pregnancy, and so the abortion may happen without his knowledge or input.  He may oppose the abortion, and state that clearly and emphatically.  He may know about the pregnancy, but in trying to be loving, supportive and affirming of the woman’s rights, he may withhold his feelings or beliefs about abortion.  He may have not formed an opinion, and may simply go along with whatever the woman chooses.  He may support and even encourage her choice to terminate.  He may pressure her, using coercion and threats to leave her if she doesn’t agree to abort.  Or, he may completely abandon her, walking away from the relationship and the responsibility for the pregnancy, leaving her to cope and decide on her own.

These different reactions will have different levels of impact on the man, both in terms of his own emotional responses and his relationship with the woman.  If he pressures, encourages or even actively supports the abortion because he is fearful or complacent, he can have a significant emotional response later when he lives with the reality of abortion and how it may affect him and the woman.  If he abandons her, either literally, or by withholding his feelings and beliefs, he may find himself in the same boat.

The most common initial responses after an abortion to which he agreed to or maybe did not agree to are:

  1. Relief – relief the abortion is over and the decision to have an abortion. Relief the relationship can possibly get back to “normal”.
  2. Anger – anger he did not express his desires for this baby to be born or anger he had no rights. Anger he felt he had no control over the decision-making process.
  3. Denial – beginning to deny the experience or decision, to lock away the emotions and not deal with them, and to keep silent about it all thinking it will go away. All of which could lead to other destructive and complicated behaviors if not dealt with.

So, what is the long-term impact of abortion on the men involved?  There are as many as 28 studies which indicate most men feel overwhelmed, and many have disturbing thoughts about the abortion.  Often men generally are not very comfortable expressing vulnerable emotions like grief, guilt and shame.  They tend to go silent and withdraw, or become angry leading to hostility and sometimes aggression.  They may struggle with depression and anxiety.  They may wrestle with feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.  They may suppress their emotions, or become angry and belligerent. Whether they remain in relationship with this particular woman or not, their relationships going forward can be negatively impacted by the abortion experience.

Sometimes when a couple faces an abortion decision, a genuinely caring man feels he is trying to be supportive of the woman he loves, stay silent for the express purpose of making her feel empowered, of not pressuring her, and making sure she knows she can make the best decision for her own life.  Yet often the end result is what she most needs, his stabilizing presence and his opinion, his silence causes her to feel alone and abandoned.  The destabilizing of the relationship often begins in the silence and the distance that results.  Statistics show that most relationships end after abortion in spite of often believing this will save the relationship it can end it.

The loss of an unborn child through abortion leaves most men at some point trudging through grief, confusion, guilt, and trauma.  His choices are to forge on, trying to deny the undeniable impact of his loss, or to accept his responsibility, grieve the loss and work through his feelings.  If you are such a man, or you are in relationship with one, reach out to someone who can walk with you through the process.

Here at Choices Women’s Clinic we care about women and men and the choices you make.  We are here for you and invite you to consider our ongoing care programs like life coaching or abortion recovery to begin a healthy process of working through difficult decisions.  We believe there is always a way back!

Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned Pregnancy…Now What

About 46 percent of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  Which would mean that if you are reading this, you have found yourself in that same situation or know of someone who is. Perhaps you or a friend are seeking advice on what to do next.

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, the first thing that happens is that you are in a state of disbelief.  Maybe such disbelief that t is hard to know exactly what to do next.  When in disbelief, we just want it to go away. The crisis like situation that was not planned for certainly can be overwhelming and even isolating.  It can be difficult to think through what to do next or where to go from here.

While going through this, it is essential to seek out professional information and consider all your options.  It is also essential to take the time to research, seek professional resources, weigh pros and cons, self-reflect and ask yourself specific questions.  Good decisions are not usually quick decisions and not meant to be made alone.

You have 3 choices in your unplanned pregnancy: abortion, parenting or adoption.  Each of those choices are life altering and require you to fully understand each one. You may experience having a fear of telling others and fear of judgment. You most likely have a lot of questions.

  • What kind of abortion procedure would I have, how much does it cost, and what are the risks involved?
  • What does my current support system look like to make each of these choices?
  • What are the risks medically, physically and emotionally of each choice and what is the long term impact?
  • What resources are available to me to make these choices?

You owe it to yourself, your future, and your unborn baby to slow down and make a healthy decision.

I recall facing an unplanned pregnancy at the age of eighteen.   I had recently graduated from high school and left home to live with friends.  I had my agenda of attending college and living “La Vida Loca”.  Finding out that I was pregnant, I was afraid of what people would think or say, especially after leaving my home without my parent’s approval.  I was not in the right place with the father of the baby and did not have a healthy support system.  However, I knew I was at a crossroad of what to do and believed there was only one solution: abortion.

I decided I needed to speak to someone about my unplanned pregnancy.  While driving, I saw a clinic and called and made an appointment to be seen and weigh all my options.  Upon arriving, I felt scared and wondered what they were going to think of seeing a young girl pregnant.  I wondered what they would think about me wanting to have an abortion. What I experienced was quite the opposite where I felt welcomed and not judged.  These strangers provided professional services like an ultra sound and genuinely cared and helped me lay out all three options.

I felt empowered and encouraged, and by the end of that evening, I choose to have my baby and parent.  I was not aware of how I was going to pull this off, but I knew abortion and adoption were not for me.  Twenty-five years later, that has been one of the best decisions that I made.  What seemed to be the worst time in my life brought a great outcome for me. Today I have a son and I can’t imagine my life without him.

Here at Choices Women’s Clinic, we can first provide professional medical services to help you assess your options like ultrasound, a medical consultation and a pre-abortion screening.  We equip women and men to make an informed pregnancy decision. We believe and respect the fact that each person is capable of making a healthy decision when given the proper information. We are here for you regardless of your circumstances or your decisions. Choices Women’s Clinic can provide no cost medical services, non-judgmental consultation and resources to answer any questions and address any issues you may be facing with an unplanned pregnancy.

 

 

Pressure of Sex

The Pressure of Sex

 

It seems like from the moment you learn about sex at a young age, the pressure to have sex is on.  Whether you are single, dating or even just friends with the opposite sex, the pressure to have sex can be an issue. This is especially true among teenagers and men and women of college age.  Sexual pressure can be as simple as a commercial on television or as heavy as a partner pushing you past your boundaries to have sex when you aren’t ready. Sexual pressure can impact a person negatively. It’s important to understand that not all sexual pressure is negative.  An effective way at managing sexual pressure is to have open dialog with your peers and possibly adults you trust about sex and the pressure that comes with it.  Together you may find that you are not alone and discover ways to overcome the pressure with positive and healthy solutions.

So what are some ways to overcome sexual pressure?  First it’s important to understand where the pressure is coming from. Could it stem from insecurities? Most men and women feel that you need to be desired physically or sexually in order to be valued or accepted. When in fact, someone’s physical or sexual attraction doesn’t necessarily equate value or even acceptance of you. It can be a means by which you are drawn in for them to obtain what they want from you.  In my opinion, it’s more important to be respected rather than accepted.  Remember acceptance is temporary. You may be accepted today and rejected tomorrow by the same person.  If you struggle with insecurities, whether they are physical or mental, recognize those insecurities and work on ways to strengthen those areas. Giving in to sexual pressure due to insecurities can result in feeding those insecurities and increasing them.

Second, know who you are and what your values are. What are your boundaries? Don’t wait until you’re in a situation where your boundaries are being tested to determine what they are. Ask yourself if you are ready to have sex, and will be able to handle all that having sex comes with. If the pressure of having sex alone is too overwhelming for you to handle, then engaging in sexual activity will compound those overwhelming feelings. Learning to say “no” to the things that push you outside your boundaries or make you feel uncomfortable can be a healthy sign of maturity and will increase your confidence which can lead you to make empowering decisions.

Lastly, don’t believe the lies about sex. Sex does not equal love and cause someone to fall in love with you. If you alone aren’t enough for someone to deem you worthy of love, then sex will not change that. Not everyone is having sex though others might tell us otherwise. Many men and women are respecting their bodies and valuing their sexual purity these days. Despite what you see on TV and what your friends are telling you, many people are waiting until marriage to become sexually intimate.

Another lie is that sex doesn’t have consequences.  As long as you are “safe” then you will be ok. That is simply not true.  There is not a birth control method that is 100% fail proof. Even when a person practices “safe” sex, they risk a potential unplanned pregnancy. Having “safe” sex can still lead to STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, emotional devastation, addictions and destructive relationships. Once you have had sex, you are now left with consequences that can last a lifetime.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with sexual pressure is communication.  Don’t be afraid to talk about sex with your friends and partners and mentors/parents you can look up to. Be honest and stand firm on what you believe. Ask questions to determine if having sex is really what you are wanting or seeking. If you have goals, ask yourself if the consequences of having sex right now will lead you to your goals or alter the chances of achieving them. One thing that has worked for me as a single woman, is keeping my eyes on my goals and worth. I have so many dreams that I refuse to allow the consequences of sex ruin or alter them. Also, knowing that I am a beautiful, strong and a capable individual whose ability to have sex does not define or shape my identity. So be bold. Be strong. And when the sexual pressure comes, and it will, find the courage to overcome and not give in.

If you have had unprotected sex and fear that you may be pregnant or are concerned about STD’s please schedule an appointment at our Orlando location as soon as possible.