It’s safe to say that the average teen doesn’t want to become pregnant. It’s a stressful ordeal, to say the least, and it’s a little hard to imagine potentially caring for another whole human being when you can barely take care of yourself. Your priorities shift from getting good grades and getting your crush to like your Instagram pic… to dealing with affording diapers? Yeah, not something a 16-year-old really wants to be bothered with. But hey, teenagers still get pregnant. Sure, teen birth rates are at a record low in the United States, and there has never been so much access to highly effective birth control methods. But mistakes happen, birth control fails, condoms rip, and some people just make reckless decisions; we’re all human.
So, what’s a pregnant teen to do? Well, that depends on plenty of factors, from your politics to your religious and cultural beliefs; hell, it might just depend on mere convenience. But you can figure out what to do later. First, we need to set some ground rules about what you shouldn’t do. Check out these seven things you should never do if you find out you’re pregnant. If you’re a pregnant teen who’s reading this, good luck. Hopefully this brief guide will help you out.
Go To Crisis Pregnancy CentersThis is a HUGE one. Okay, so you're pregnant and panicked, and you hear about some clinic that will help you figure out what to do. Please, do your research. You might end up at a crisis pregnancy clinic instead. A crisis pregnancy center claim they'll provide an array of options if you're going through an unplanned pregnancy, but in reality they're propaganda machines. You'll be guilt tripped and scared out of getting an abortion if you were considering it, and they'll use religion, politics, and/or fake science as support. Many of these clinics might not even have certified doctors or nurses, and their staff often employ delay tactics until it's too late for you to actually get an abortion. It's not just abortion that they're against; they don't even provide birth control or condoms! You literally might as well just talk to an old school nun at church, because that's the kind of service you'll receive at a crisis pregnancy center. Don't feel like a chump, these places are designed to be deceptive. But here's how you can make sure that the clinic you're going to isn't a crisis pregnancy clinic. The easiest thing to do is to look up any and all reviews online to see what customers had to say about the clinic. Otherwise--while this takes more effort--your best bet is to call the clinic directly and ask if they provide abortion services, birth control, and condoms. If they say they don't, avoid. If they dodge your answer and insist you come to the clinic in-person, avoid. My Mad Fat Diary
Wait Too Long Before Deciding What To DoYour options are limited the longer you wait. I know that you're scared, but you can't let fear paralyze you. If you're considering an abortion, you need to know sooner rather than later; you can't get an abortion past the first trimester in most places. If you're thinking of adoption, it's best to know ahead of time so you can prepare yourself emotionally. If you know you want to keep your baby, you need to do a lot of planning, especially on the financial front. This cannot be a process in which you're making last minute decisions; time is of the essence. Skins
Try A DIY All-Natural AbortionDon't. Do this. This is so dangerous and can lead to you getting sick. I know, some person on the internet swears that putting some rosemary up your vagina will trigger a miscarriage. Doesn't matter. If you want an abortion, go to Planned Parenthood. Hopefully you live in a state or country in which you don't need parental permission or notification before the procedure, in case your parents are against it. Do not try some at-home bootleg remedy, it's not worth the risk. Plus, it probably won't even work. Then what? iStock.com
Keep It To YourselfYou might think your parents will kill you or kick you out of the house, but you might actually be surprised by their response. At the end of the day, most parents will want to make sure you get the care that you need at this time, even if they are disappointed or angry. If you absolutely can't talk to your parents, at least tell an adult that you trust, even if it is just an aunt or a teacher at school. Please, tell a friend at the very least. This can be pretty traumatic, and the last thing you need to do is keep this to yourself. Skins
Just Go With What The 'Father' WantsAt the end of the day, this is your body. You cannot be pressured by your baby daddy, period. If you want an abortion and the dude who impregnated you doesn't want you to get one, guess what? You're getting that damn abortion. Get me? And if the dude who impregnated you wants you to have an abortion, you don't have to cave in to that either. Secret Life of the American Teenager
Follow Pop Culture As A GuidelinePlease, don't use Juno or Sixteen And Pregnant as some sort of guideline as to what life would be like if you were to go to term with your pregnancy. Hell, don't even see an abortion episode of your favorite TV show and assume that's right for you either. Go with your gut, not what a TV show or movie spits out as reality. Juno
Ignore Going To The DoctorOkay, so a pregnancy test determined that you're pregnant. Unless you get an abortion, you need to make sure that you start seeing a doctor ASAP. You'll have to go in for regular checkups to make sure that everything is okay with your body and your future baby. Neglecting to do this can be dangerous for your health and the health of your baby. Whether you're excited to have a baby or you're absolutely petrified by the prospect of going through with it, you need to do this. Sure, we live in the 21st century, but pregnancy is still a big deal and can still, like...kill you. Sorry to freak you out, but hey, it's time to get serious. iStock.com
Do you think pregnant teens should be able to get abortions without parental permission or notice? Tell us in the comments!