If you are pregnant and this was unplanned or unwanted, it is important to look at all your options. They are to have and raise the baby yourself (or to have it adopted) or to end your pregnancy with an abortion.
Counselling may assist you in deciding what to do, especially if there is no one close that you can talk with. A good counsellor will help you come to a decision in an open, unbiased way and support you through what can be a difficult time, whichever choice you make.
Pregnancy counselling is available from generalist counselling services, medical practitioners, family planning services, psychologists, social workers and clinics that provide abortion services. The Australian Government funds non-directive counselling in two ways – Medicare rebates for up to 3 pregnancy counselling sessions for each pregnancy and the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline.
Unfortunately not all pregnancy counselling is unbiased. Some organisations offer pregnancy counselling based on their own religious beliefs and exaggerate the risks of abortion or they won’t refer you to a health service that provides abortions.
If you think you may be pregnant, ReachOut has good advice on what to look for. Know4Sure is an excellent plain speak website for young people with all you need to know about unplanned pregnancy.
Health Direct – Pregnancy Birth & Baby provides trusted health information and advice online and over the phone (1800 022 222), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Funded by the Governments of Australia. Its website gives advice on abortion and how to access the service, as does the Women & Children’s Health Network.
Family planning organisations offer non-directive and unbiased counselling at their clinics – in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Canberra, Northern Territory
Abortion is a safe and common procedure and is legal everywhere in Australia although different criteria apply depending the state and territory. Here is ReachOut advice on abortion.
Pregnancy Birth & Beyond offers information and support.