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Having an abortion is a very personal decision. Every situation is unique, so what is right for one person is not necessarily the best choice for another. However, we can use our own experiences to guide our children when they are making important decisions. If my daughter was ever in a situation where she was considering an abortion then I would want her to have as much information and support as possible. However, I would not recommend or pressure her into a particular choice. She is the only person who can make the right decision for herself.
The most important thing that I want my daughter to understand about abortion is that it is much better to avoid needing one than to have to make that decision. Anyone who is having sex needs to be aware of the risks and what they can do to reduce them:
I would recommend for my daughter and anyone who is sexually active to learn about the different kinds of contraception that are available and to use the one (or more) that suits their needs. Preventing an STI or unwanted pregnancy is always the best option. However, it is also a good idea for anyone who is sexually active to think about what they would do if their contraception failed. If it does happen, it helps to be prepared and aware of your options.
The most effective forms of contraception can prevent 99% of pregnancies. This means that for every 100 women who use that contraception correctly for a year, one of them will get pregnant. If my daughter happened to be that one woman then I would want to help her to make the right decision about her pregnancy.
The best way for her to do this is to get advice from an experienced doctor who can talk her through all of the options. She needs to know what her choices are before she can make the right one. During an initial consultation at an abortion clinic, women will get unbiased advice on all the options, including abortion, adoption and keeping the baby. I would recommend for her to consider each of these options and to think about how they would make her feel. She should also consider the impact that each choice would have on her physical and mental health, education, career, and relationships with other people.
Although this is your daughter’s decision and you should never pressure her to make a particular choice, there are still some important things you can do to support her:
As a parent, there is one more thing that you can do to help your daughter you can share your own experiences with her. You will be able to tell her what it was like to become a parent and what kind of impact it had on your life. If you have ever experienced an unplanned pregnancy or had an abortion then you can share these experiences too. How did you feel at the time? Did your feelings change later? What do you wish you had known at the time?
Talking honestly about your experiences can help your daughter to make a more informed decision. It can also strengthen your relationship. However, it’s important for both of you to recognise the differences in your situations and personalities. What was right for you back then might not be best for her now. Her relationships, plans for the future and even the attitudes of the people around her towards abortion and parenthood are probably very different.
In the end, the main thing to remember is that this is her decision and no one can make it for her. As with so many other aspects of your children’s life, all you can do is be there to support them when they need you. Make sure that they have access to the care and information they need and be there to provide emotional and practical support when you can.
How do you support your child when they’re going through an experience like this?