If someone you know, your child or your partner has decided to end a pregnancy, you have an important role to play in supporting them through the process.
It's important to remember that legally, the final decision to continue or to end a pregnancy is made by the person who is pregnant.
Every year there are unintended pregnancies in Aotearoa New Zealand and for some of these people, the best decision for them and their future will be to end the pregnancy.
Advice for partners
Abortion providers recognise that many partners are involved in the decision to end a pregnancy and will try to involve them in the abortion consultation and treatment process, as much as possible.
If you and your partner are considering this option, there is a lot you can do to help:
- Let them talk about it if they want to, and make sure they get appropriate and supportive advice. A decision to have an abortion is not always an easy one.
- If or when they decide to have an abortion, encourage them to get advice as soon as possible. The sooner the abortion is performed, the less complicated the procedure.
- If your partner agrees you can have joint counselling through the abortion provider. This is generally free. There is no free counselling service for partners or whānau without the pregnant person.
- After the abortion, they might feel like talking about it. Or, they might not. It is up to you to be as supportive and caring as possible, so that the two of you can get on with your lives and consider the future, including safe contraceptive options.
Advice for parents and whānau of young pregnant people
Abortion can be difficult and emotional for whānau or parents, and their children. Providers
recommend that if possible, a trusted adult comes to appointments with the young person. This could be a parent, whānau member or it could be a partner or close friend.
Again, it is the pregnant person who makes the final decision whether or not to have
an abortion. Providers will always see or talk to the client on their own during the consultation
process to make sure they are happy with their choice and that they are able to give consent to (understand and agree to) the process.
Three things to know:
- Studies tell us that most young people do tell a parent or trusted adult that they are pregnant and have decided to end the pregnancy.
- Providers support many young people through the abortion and have strong processes in place to keep them safe.
- It's extremely rare that having an abortion affects a young person’s chances of becoming pregnant in the future.
Advice for friends
Congratulations on being a friend that someone can trust to support them. Your friend may want to talk through making a decision making process or they might just want some practical support.
This support could be:
- Looking after their children while they have their appointments.
- Helping them get to or from the clinic, if they need to leave home.
- Other practical support such as helping financially or offering support if their home
situation is unsafe.