What places a woman in a situation where she cannot continue the current course? There are too many to list because each person’s life is different, but some of the more common ones are as follows:
Maternal Health Risks: an unplanned pregnancy can place a predisposed high-risk person in jeopardy of death during or prior to labor. There is no sense in risking childbirth if the mother won’t be around afterward. Health risks to the mother cannot be trumped by anything else, and termination is often the most sensible path.
Rape or Incest: though not very common, pregnancies can result from such malicious acts. Every reasonable person can understand that the trauma of such an event can be multiplied when a seed is planted inside a victim. Again, it is completely understandable that she does not want to continue the pregnancy.
Exposure to Environmental Hazard: the first few weeks are the most crucial for development, and many women are yet unaware because they have not yet missed their period. They go about their business as usual, and continue to take medications, smoke, drink, have radiological studies (x-rays), or be exposed to other chemicals. Such events can cause malformations, and by the time it is discovered, the damage has already been done. When one is faced with the possibility of a damaged or malformed fetus, it becomes obvious why she would go to a nearby abortion clinic for termination.
Known Malformation or Otherwise Abnormal Fetus: during the course of prenatal care, many feti are discovered to be abnormal. As for the above reason, termination is completely understandable.
Economic Hardship: everyone has a different financial status, and some have it harder than others. Finances also change depending on the time in one’s life, and if a low time coincides with birth, it can be extremely difficult for that woman. Many critics of pro-choice forget or minimize such a hardship, but we must understand that when she can barely afford to get by with her current family, bringing an extra person to the household can stress all the others to the breaking point. Thus, this may mean the difference between saving the existing family.
Lack of Emotional Support: caring for a child takes a lot of energy, love, and attention. Although we would like to think that such things are abundantly given, it is not always true. For whatever reason, the current home environment may be such that the required level of care cannot be given. There may be only a single parent. Worse, there may be a parent or other member that is neglecting or abusive. To bring a child into a home that lacks emotional support or exposed it to abuse is far worse than aborting it. Again, critics cannot comprehend this reason, but most understand the validity of not wanting to bring a child into this situation.
Age: being too young or too old. Extremes of age can be a high-risk factor for the health of the mother, and so this ties in with the first reason mentioned above. In addition, being very young also ties in with the above reason of not being able to provide adequate emotional support. One cannot generalize about all, but most younger teenagers do not possess the emotional or intellectual maturity to care for a child. That mother is a child herself. Young teenagers also do not possess the economic means to support a baby. Finally, those that do continue to give birth usually end up sacrificing their future education and career. Such a sacrifice may be worthwhile for some, but we must concede that it is not worthwhile for others. Being 15, single, and pregnant can be very scary.
Career and Education: to live a fulfilling life, many have a need to obtain an education and go on to have a career. This had never been more true than now. To have a better future, some have to make difficult decisions. For some putting such goals on hold or even writing them off is acceptable. For others, their importance in life is higher and cannot be discarded. Again, we must remember and respect each woman’s personal life, needs, and goals.
Family Size: we all have a predetermined size for our family. The borders of that size may be flexible to some extent, but not only so much. For others, there is less flexibility. When those limits are stretched, it is natural to try to halt that expansion beyond the comfort of the family. As before, the respect of self-determination allows us to realize the reasons behind wanting a termination and pursuing the help of abortion clinics.
Timing: this reason is more vague than the others, but it is tied in with many of the above. The timing may be wrong for a child because of health, finances, relationship problems within the household, emotional difficulties, age, or education and career. All of these are legitimate factors and play into each other dynamically.
As previously stated, this list is not complete, and other things may factor in that are not mentioned here. Any one of them is a valid rationale for termination. Often, more than one of these is involved and they tie in together. Most importantly, we must comprehend that the decision for searching for help from family planning providers is uneasy and done because of a difficult personal dilemma. The need to promote self-determination commands that we respect and be compassionate to a woman’s right to choose. That choice may be to continue an unplanned pregnancy to birth, or it may be to terminate it via an abortion.
Therefore, it comes down to her choice. No matter the choice, and no matter how difficult, we respect that decision. That is our view and belief, and that is why our clinic is appropriately named “Her Choice Women’s Clinic.”
We are located in Santa Ana, but we serve patients that visit us from all of Southern California, including Orange County, Anaheim, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, Westminster, Whittier.