Men’s thoughts about their partners’ unintended pregnancies aren’t often a major part of public conversation. Most likely it is because these thoughts currently have no legal standing. However, what men feel and express about the pregnancy can impact not just their lives, but also those of their partners and future children.
Your girlfriend told you she was pregnant. How do you feel? You could be ecstatic about the news. You could be feeling like you are having a mild heart attack.
I know it can be difficult, but do not panic. If you need to take a short walk to calm down, do it. If you need a moment to compose yourself, take the moment. Or simply, take a deep breath. Your partner is looking for your reaction in the moment. Most likely she has been feeling afraid or worried. So, don’t say anything you might regret. The best thing to do is ask her, “How are you feeling?” In the moment, take care of her needs, get her water or ask her to sit down. Doing these things will help you calm down as well.
It is important that you double check that your girlfriend or wife is really is pregnant. Take another pregnancy test or better yet, come in and get a free pregnancy test to find out if you are really pregnant. The test you buy at the drugstore can be accurate, but sometimes they give false positives. If you find out that you are not pregnant, use this as a wake up call to think about your relationship and what you would do if you were pregnant.
If you find out that you really are pregnant, take some time to think about things. There is no rush. Most likely your partner is early in her first trimester. Remind her that she does have time. She might be feeling a bit queasy or emotional so be kind and think about the decisions you have to make.
This is the time to ask yourself some questions and you don’t want to do this in the moment when your emotions are high. You might feel overwhelmed and want to shut down. Don’t. If you shutdown your partner can think you are shutting her out. Even if you don’t know what to say or do, tell her. Ask her how she feels about things and make sure you also tell her how you feel. If you feel like she is going to have an abortion and you would like to keep the child or make an adoption plan, tell her.
DO: ASK QUESTIONS
Ask yourself if you really know how you feel. Have you thought about the physical and emotional effects of an abortion to your partner? Have you considered adoption? You might want to talk to your friends who have children, both biological or adopted so you know the reality of parenthood. If you want more information, please contact us.
DO: KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
How do you both feel about the options? It is not wrong to express your feelings. In fact, it is very important. This is a very important matter to your partner and even though you think you might be supportive by saying, “do whatever you want”, taking the matter lightly might leave your wife or girlfriend feeling unsupported and misunderstood.
As a father, even if you are married, you cannot prevent or insist upon abortion or continuing the pregnancy. However, most likely she will be looking to you for comfort and guidance. There are fathers who have chosen to raise their children on their own, because they wanted their child. They did this by speaking up and then showing up. They let their feelings be known and then they helped with the pregnancy and took full responsibility for their child after the birth.
DON’T FORCE, COERCE or THREATEN
Forcing women to abort can have significant legal ramifications, and unwanted abortions are an internationally recognized human rights abuse.
We can help both you and your partner come to an informed decision. To help her understand your support, come with her for the pregnancy test.
If she does have an abortion make sure you are supportive. You might have disagreed with the decision and want to cut off ties. Know that after abortion, women suffer trauma, physical injury and nearly 4 times higher death rates (including but not limited to suicide rates). Even if you choose to break up, make sure she has a support system in place. If she decides to keep the child, she will also need support. We can help you find sources of emotional, medical and financial support. No matter the decision or outcome, you also might want someone to speak with for yourself. Please reach out to us, this decision will affect you as well. Even though we are called Free Women’s Clinic we are here to speak with anyone who needs support.