How to Support Someone Who is Having an Abortion?

If your partner, friend or family member is considering abortion, there are a lot of things you can do to help support her.

Find Out More About Pregnancy Termination

Learning more about abortion can be an important first step when someone you know is considering pregnancy termination. You don’t have to become a medical expert, but it can be useful to know what she is talking about when she tells you if she is having a medical abortion or a surgical termination. You will find a lot of information online about what abortion is and what the process involves.

Be a Good Listener

Having an abortion can be a big decision for many women. You can help by being someone to talk to while she is considering her options. You can also be there after the abortion if she needs to talk about how she feels. Remember that everyone is different, so not every woman will want to talk about the experience. It’s also important to be aware that listening to what she has to say is more important than anything you can say back. You don’t have to offer any solutions or have the perfect piece of advice.

Offer Practical Support

Pregnancy termination is a medical procedure that will require visits to the clinic and some time off to recover. One of the best ways to support your friend, partner or relative through this process is to provide practical support. Don’t pressure her to accept help, but make sure that she knows if you can help by:

  • Driving her to and from the clinic (this is especially important if she needs someone to pick her up after a surgical abortion)
  • Waiting with her at the clinic (although you can’t come into the consultation room, it can still be helpful to know you’re there)
  • Looking after here while she’s recovering (for example by cooking meals, providing childcare or just being there for company)
  • Making sure she knows she can ask if she needs anything else

Take Care of Yourself Too

Although supporting the woman who is having the pregnancy termination will be your priority, it is important not to neglect your own wellbeing either. Make sure that you’re eating well, getting plenty of rest and staying healthy so that you can keep being there for her. It’s also important to work through your own feelings about the abortion too, especially if you are the father. You may be feeling sad, guilty, angry or stressed about the pregnancy and the abortion. Providing emotional support for another person can also be very draining. You should ensure that you have someone to talk with and get support through your GP or a therapist if you need some extra help.

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