Early Pregnancy Decisions
Here are three things to think about and do immediately after a positive pregnancy test result:
1. Think about sharing your test results with someone who can help and support you
You are not alone. Talk to or ask for support from someone you trust. You do not need to let anyone know you are pregnant and your doctor cannot tell your parents, partner, or social worker without your permission. But it can be nice to get help and support during this time.
2. Find out more about your options—parenting, adoption, abortion—by talking to a pregnancy counselor
The beginning of pregnancy – especially the first three months – is an important time. There’s a lot to consider, and you need to learn what your options are so you can make the best decision for your health and happiness. The sooner you find out that you are pregnant and talk to a pregnancy counselor or doctor, the more choices you will have.
Your conversation with a pregnancy counselor will be totally private. A pregnancy counselor will give you information, explain your options, and answer questions. It is your choice whether to terminate your pregnancy or to stay pregnant and either become a parent or arrange an adoption. A pregnancy counselor will not push you to make a certain choice. You can find a professional pregnancy counselor by calling:
- ACCESS Women’s Health Justice 1-800-376-4636, or
- Backline 1-888-493-0092.
WARNING! Don’t be taken in by fake pregnancy counselors and agencies
There are about 230 “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” in California. You see their advertisements everywhere. They pretend to have pregnancy counselors and health care services, but they give pregnant women the wrong information about pregnancy and their choices and sometimes pressure women into having babies and giving their babies up for adoption. You can learn more about Crisis Pregnancy Centers and how to avoid them by calling one of the above numbers. Planned Parenthood also has information on Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
3. Get health care
Even if you have not decided what to do, you should go to a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you get medical care, the better off you’ll be. If you do not want to go to your regular doctor, you can find a health clinic near you by clicking here.
Once you have made a decision about staying pregnant or getting an abortion:
If you choose to stay pregnant, it is important to stay safe and get medical care as soon as possible. There are programs that can provide you with food, prenatal care, and other assistance as you go through your pregnancy.
- You can sign up for WIC to help get you food and nutrition supplements. Call 1-888-WIC-WORKS (1-888-942-9675) or use the online search feature to find a local office to sign up.
- You can find out about your rights to stay in school and get help staying in school while pregnant here.
- You can find out about your rights to mental health support here.
Parenting or Adoption?: You don’t need to make a final decision right now. If you decide to place your baby for adoption, you can plan and prepare for it at any time during your pregnancy by talking to adoption agencies and lawyers about the process. But an adoption cannot become final until after the baby is born.
For more information on your rights and responsibilities as a parent, click here.
For more information on adoption, click here.
If you choose abortion: If you decide to terminate your pregnancy, speak to a doctor as soon as possible. It is important to take the time you need to make a decision, but the risks to your health and the cost of the procedure increase the longer the pregnancy continues. Abortion is still an option if you are already three or more months pregnant, but if you wait too long it could become too late. Click here for more information about abortion.
For common legal questions and answers related to pregnancy options, go to the “I am pregnant. Now what?” section of this website.