If you just learned that you’re pregnant, there’s no wrong way to feel about it. It can help to acknowledge how you feel and talk about your options with someone you trust. It’s also important to get the information you need to make the right choices for you.
Whatever you decide, know that your body is your own. You should be the person who has the final say in what happens to it. You can take the time you need to find that option that suits you and your unique situation best. It’s also okay if you know right away which option is right for you!
Your first steps after a positive pregnancy test
If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and it gave a positive (pregnant) result, you may be feeling a lot of different things. You may know right away what you want to do, or you may need some more time to think. It can help to see a doctor or nurse at a CLSC or other clinic. At the clinic, you can do a second test to confirm that you’re pregnant. You can also talk to the doctor or nurse about your options.
What are my options if I’m pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, you have three options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. Abortion means ending the pregnancy. Adoption and parenting both involve staying pregnant and eventually giving birth. All options are valid choices. What you choose may depend on a lot of different things, so it can help to learn as much as you can about all the different options.
If you know that you don’t want to be pregnant and don’t want to give birth, then abortion might be a good option for you. In Quebec, abortion is legal, safe, and free if you have RAMQ health insurance.
You have time to decide whether or not you want to get an abortion. You can get a medical abortion (using the abortion pill) up to 9 weeks after your last period and you can get a surgical abortion up to 22 weeks after your last period. If you decide you want to get an abortion, you can find a clinic and call to make an appointment.
Adoption means carrying the pregnancy to term, and then giving up your parental rights so that someone else can raise the baby after it’s born. That means that you won’t have the right to make any future decisions about the child. The father of the child (if known) may also have to agree to a adoption. If you’re thinking about adoption, it can help to talk to a counsellor or social worker for more information. Adoption is not an alternative to abortion for someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant at all.
If you choose adoption, it means that you will be pregnant for about 9 months and then give birth. It’s important to have a doctor that you see regularly to take care of your health and the health of the baby.
Parenting means choosing to raise the child. If you’re a parent, you’re responsible for your child’s needs, including food, shelter, and clothes as well as caring for them emotionally. Parenthood can be unpredictable, so it’s impossible to be completely prepared. But, you can ask yourself questions to see if you’re ready to take that on.
Becoming a parent can be a great decision. But just like anything else, making that decision needs your own informed and enthusiastic consent! If you feel pressured into parenthood, or like you don’t have any other options, there are people you can talk to about other possibilities. If you choose parenting, it’s a good idea to see a doctor regularly to take care of your health and your baby’s during and after your pregnancy.
I feel pressured into making a decision
If you’re over 14, it is your choice whether to have an abortion, put the child up for adoption, or become a parent. No one can force you into any of these options. If you’re under 14, your parents or guardians are responsible for your medical care, but you can still have a voice. It’s not okay for someone to pressure you into making a decision about pregnancy that you’re not comfortable with.
If it feels like you’re being pushed towards one decision or another by your parents, partners, friends, or family members, it can help to talk to someone neutral, like a nurse or counsellor. You can call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse. If you want to talk to someone confidential and non-judgmental about your options, you can contact services like Tel-jeunes, Head and Hands, and Grossesse-Secours.
Dealing with people’s reactions
It’s up to you who you want to tell about your positive pregnancy test. Often, when people learn someone is pregnant, they can assume things about that person. Sometimes those judgments fall on the decisions that person makes about their pregnancy. Some people judge others for having an abortion, but there’s also stigma surrounding adoption, and around people having kids. Those stigmas can make these decisions feel scary! But pregnancy is something that happens naturally, and it doesn’t make you a bad or immoral person. Whatever decision you make, you deserve safety, information, and support.