Pregnancy options counseling

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Pregnancy options counseling is a form of psychological counseling that provides information and support regarding pregnancy, often unwanted pregnancy. This type of counseling assists the pregnant woman who is considering choices regarding the continuation of her pregnancy. In it, the counselor helps the patient understand her options that usually include: continuing the pregnancy, either through parenting herself or making an adoption plan, and abortion.

Pregnancy options counselors should know local and national laws governing woman's pregnancy choices, especially those concerning adolescents and their rights to make such decisions. They should provide medically accurate and factual information on prenatal care, adoption and abortion.


Prevalence [edit]

One option that a woman with an unplanned pregnancy has to consider is abortion, the deliberate termination of a pregnancy. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 40-50 million abortions are performed worldwide each year.[1] About 20 million of these abortions are considered unsafe and result in around 67,000 deaths each year.[2] Abortion rates are similar across countries despite it being legal in some and illegal in others. In other words, just as many woman get abortions in countries where it's illegal as in countries where it's legal. The only difference being that they proceed with illegal abortions, which are more likely to be provided under unsafe conditions by poorly trained providers.[2] A woman’s pregnancy options in regards to abortion would be presented differently by her counselor, depending on the country they are in.

World Wide Abortion Policies[edit]

Different countries have different abortion policies, which are based on the extent to which the unplanned pregnancy is affecting mother and baby. 96 percent of countries allow abortions to save a woman who’s life is at risk. Only 6 countries in the world do not permit the termination of a pregnancy under any circumstance. That’s 3%of the worlds countries that don't allow abortion at all. Then there are 50 countries (26%) that allow an abortion only if it is to save the mother’s life, 82 countries (42%) that allow abortion to save the mother’s life or for at least one of the following reasons: to preserve the woman’s physical health, to preserve the woman’s mental health, in the case of rape or incest, to avoid fetal impairment, or for economic or social reasons. Lastly, 58 countries (30%) allow abortions on request for any reason, though these countries usually don’t allow the pregnancy to be terminated after a certain amount of time has passed in the pregnancy.[3] 

Types of Abortion[edit]

Should a pregnant woman’s country allow her to get an abortion, a pregnancy counselor would help her to address the tough questions that might arise and give her information on they types of abortion. Once a woman has decided on abortion, there are two ways in which one can be induced. The first type of abortion is a medical abortion that involves the use of drugs. This option is only feasible within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy.[4] After that, the only other option is a surgical abortion which involves the removal of the placenta and fetus.


Adoption is a permanent, legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from  child’s birth parents to the adoptive parents. Pregnant women looking to place their child up for adoption have many options as to how much involvement they wish to have in choosing the adoptive parents and to some degree. Nonetheless, birthmothers choosing to put their child up for adoption are legally terminating their parental rights to the child. Adoption laws differ state by state; adoption agencies, counselors, and lawyers can be used to provide information to the birth parents and adoptive parents about this process.[5]

Types of Adoption[edit]

There are two general types of adoption to chose from: closed adoption, and open adoption. Closed adoptions are when the birthmother and adoptive parents have no contact with one another. In this case, the records of the biological parents are kept sealed.[6] Closed adoptions are becoming less common within the United States but are still prevalent in international adoptions.[6] Open adoptions occur when the biological mother and adoptive parents chose to keep in touch, though the amount and type of contact varies case by case, depending on what both parties agree on.

Choosing to parent[edit]

Prenatal Care[edit]

If a pregnant woman seeking pregnancy options counseling is considering completing her pregnancy, whether it be in the case of adoption or that she is choosing to parent, her next step would be to start prenatal care.[7] Prenatal care is a type of preventative healthcare which serves to prevent potential health problems and promote a healthy lifestyle during the pregnancy.[8]

Lifestyle Changes[edit]

If a mother choses to parent her child, she should also expect to make some lifestyle changes to ensure the health and safety of her unborn child. The suggested lifestyle changes include stopping the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, recreational drugs, and prescription drugs. The mother is also encouraged to have a healthy diet and excursive regularly.[9] 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Abortion Statistics - Worldometers". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b Rosenthal, Elisabeth (2007-10-12). "Legal or Not, Abortion Rates Compare". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  3. ^ "How abortion is regulated around the world". Pew Research Center. 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  4. ^ "Abortion: Get Facts About the Procedure and Statistics". eMedicineHealth. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  5. ^ "About Adoption | Placing Your Child for Adoption". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  6. ^ a b "Open vs. Closed Adoption - FindLaw". Findlaw. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Pregnancy Options | What To Do If You're Pregnant". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Prenatal Care | Prenatal Testing | MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  9. ^ Australia, Kidspot New Zealand.. / Get Started. "Lifestyle changes during pregnancy|First Trimester|Pregnancy - Kidspot New Zealand..". New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-03-23.