Making Your Abortion Plan: Things to Include
For a generation, women have made birth plans to ensure they can give birth safely, respectfully, and on their own terms. Having a safe abortion is not enough. Women who seek abortions deserve good experiences that honor their choice. Making an abortion plan can help you decide what’s most important to you, and empower you to more effectively communicate with your caregivers. Here are 10 questions to ask as you devise your plan. Be sure to discuss these issues with the abortion clinic you select, so you can ensure it’s a good fit.
- What are my abortion options?
You can have a surgical or medical abortion if you are relatively early in the pregnancy. With a medical abortion, you take a pill that induces a miscarriage. Different clinics have different rules and options, so call around and ask about time cutoffs and specific options for various abortion procedures.
- What are my anesthesia options?
Some people prefer to be completely asleep for their abortion. Others want only local anesthesia, so they can be awake without feeling anything. And some prefer a middle ground of sedation that leaves them awake but groggy. Ask the abortion clinic you choose which options it offers.
- Do I want anyone to go with me?
If you’re having a surgical abortion, you’ll need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Consider who the right person might be. Some women also like having someone at the clinic with them for support and companionship. Choose someone who fully supports your choice, and who is capable of focusing on your emotional needs for the entire day.
- What sort of support do I anticipate needing?
Even if your abortion is the right choice for you, you may have a range of feelings about it. That’s doubly true if you’re aborting a wanted baby for medical reasons. Consider how you feel about this procedure, and if you think you might need extra support, begin lining it up now. Talk to friends, family, and your partner about how they can best support you.
- Do I want to tell other people I’m having an abortion?
If you don’t want other people to know you are having an abortion, consider what you’ll tell people about where you are for the day. There is no shame in protecting your privacy; you don’t have an obligation to disclose your abortion to anyone, and your doctor has to keep your abortion confidential.
- Am I prepared to deal with protesters?
At many clinics, you can expect to encounter protesters. This can be difficult and scary. Plan to avoid them, and to protect your privacy, consider wearing a hoodie and sunglasses to hide your identity.
- What can I take to the clinic with me?
Because of protesters, many clinics limit what you can bring in. Call ahead to ask. Then take a few items to make the day feel more comfortable–a blanket, a book, and a water bottle if they are allowed.
- Can I take some time off?
An uncomplicated abortion doesn’t require a lot of down time. You might feel some cramping, though, and you deserve a chance to rest. Ask about taking a day or two off. Your doctor can usually write you a note for work or school.
- What do I want to do after my abortion?
Take advantage of the down time to rest and recover. Put some movies in your Amazon or Netflix queue, or buy a couple of new books.
- What supplies do I need?
The only thing you absolutely need is a few maxi pads. Some ibuprofen, period underwear, comfy sweats, and comfort foods can make recovery easier. Put together a recovery bag so you have everything you might want.
- Can I get financial assistance?
Check with the abortion clinic you are schedule to visit, ask them if they offer financial assistance or can refer you to an organization that can help pay for all or a portion of your abortion, travel, and/or hotel stay if necessary.
Your abortion plan begins with choosing the right abortion clinic. Click here for tips on choosing a provider who respects you and your needs.