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How To Handle an Unexpected Pregnancy

Life is often filled with unexpected surprises, some wonderful and others questionable. Whether your unexpected pregnancy is wonderful news or has you feeling unsure, understand that support is available.


  • TIP: If you choose to terminate the pregnancy early, make sure that only a health care professional performs the abortion.
  • Step 1: Know that you are not alone -- thousands of women have been where you are now. You have several options, and one will be the right one for you.
  • FACT: Pre-marital births in the United States have risen 25 percent between 2002 and 2007, when more than 40 percent of babies born in 2007 were to unwed mothers.
  • Step 2: Understand pregnancy termination, or abortion. Abortion is permanent, so it's best to talk to a doctor or a trusted confidant before making this decision.
  • Step 3: Understand that choosing adoption means you are permanently giving up your legal right to raise your child. For more information, get in touch with an adoption agency, lawyer, or counselor.
  • Step 4: Decide how you would like to handle the pregnancy. In most cases you have three alternatives to choose from: keeping the baby and raising it yourself, adoption, or abortion.
  • TIP: Talk to the child's father, a parent, a trusted friend, a doctor, clergy, or a counselor to help you make this life-changing decision. Do not feel pressured -- the decision is yours.
  • Step 5: Understand what it means to keep and raise a child. Obtain information about child-rearing from your doctor -- raising a child is a wonderful experience, but it takes dedication, time, and financial stability.
  • Step 6: Make sure you are pregnant. Take a pregnancy test at home using a store-bought urine test available from any pharmacy; then see your doctor to confirm the test and to see how far along you are.

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