For some people, decisions around unintended pregnancy are simple. For others, making a decision can be difficult and overwhelming. If you're pregnant and weren't expecting to be, you have options. You don't have to face this on your own.
What are my options?
If you have an unintended pregnancy (you're pregnant when you weren't expecting to be), you can decide to:
- Continue the pregnancy and be a parent.
- Continue the pregnancy and choose adoption, fostering, whāngai or find an option appropriate to you and your whānau.
- End the pregnancy by having an abortion.
Things to think about if you have an unintended pregnancy...
I want to continue the pregnancy
- Find out about services and support available to you while you're pregnant or, make an appointment at Family Planning or with your GP or health practitioner to talk about your needs.
- Find a midwife in your area.
- Find out about funding support for pregnant people.
- Find out about about adoption, fostering or whāngai. See adoption and fostering and placing your child for adoption.
I’m not sure what to do
If you've had a positive pregnancy test and aren't sure what to do, that’s OK.
- There's support available to you.
- You might want to talk to someone you trust and who'll listen to you, such as your partner, a trusted friend or whānau member.
- If you're looking for a health professional to talk to, you could speak to a doctor or nurse, or a Family Planning doctor or nurse. If you're at school, the school nurse or counsellor could help.
- Free counselling is available to you. It can be organised through a local abortion provider.
I don’t want to be pregnant
- You can contact a local abortion provider directly without a referral from your doctor to talk about your abortion options.
- You can talk to us (the National Abortion Telehealth Service) or, make an appointment at Family Planning or with your nurse or doctor to talk about your options as early as possible in your pregnancy.
- Read about abortion on this website.
- Remember, if you're considering abortion, you can ask to talk with a counsellor before making a decision.
When do I have to make a decision?
First, confirm that you're pregnant as soon as possible by taking a pregnancy test.
Then, act quickly. Whatever you decide, it's important to act quickly if you're pregnant so you can begin maternity care or get an abortion as early as possible. The sooner the abortion is performed, the less complicated the procedure.
Early medical abortion is an option up to nine or 10 weeks of pregnancy, and early surgical abortion up to the first 13 to 15 weeks (depends on the provider).
Later medical and surgical abortions after about 14 weeks of pregnancy are possible, but timing and location varies around the country.
It’s your decision
- Whatever you decide to do, whatever others’ opinions, it’s your decision to make. No one has the right to pressure you into continuing the pregnancy, keeping the baby, giving it up, or having an abortion.
Having an unintended pregnancy can be distressing for some people, their partners or whānau. If you're worried about your safety, there are free support services that can help you.