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Reproductive Rights

I have a problem. My mom and I are close and when I made the decison to have sex, 4 months ago, I told her and she got me Birth Control. She kept this from my dad. My boyfriend of 1 1/2 years and I decided to wait until we were ready. On September 16th we had sexual intercourse for the 3rd time. While having sex his condom got a small tear. Eventhough I'm on Birth Control, I'm still very scared that I might be pregnant. I'm probably worring over nothing, but I want to do the right thing. Here's the problem: my mother just passed away on September 27th. I'm going through a very rough time right now along with the rest of my family. If I am pregnant I don't want to keep this child. I couldn't bring this up in such a crucial time in my life. I my dad I are not very close and I could never tell him about this right now. I've done research on Abortions and most say I can't obtain one without consent. Is there any way this is untrue or any way I could? My boyfriend is totally aware of the situation and will help me through everything. My boyfriend and I both come from Wealthy families and can afford to have one without financial problems. What can I do? Your help would be much appreciated! Thanks.

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com and I'm so sorry to hear about your mother and about your feelings of uncertainty. It sounds like you have a supportive boyfriend, so I hope that helps to at least ease some of the sadness and stress. Almost every woman I know has worried at some time or another that she may be pregnant--and, in fact, I know many--including me--whose instincts were realized.

I think the first step is for you the determine if you are pregnant. However, you have to be aware that sometimes if it is too early in the pregnancy it might not be detected, so, I think, it is best to wait five weeks from your last period. However, a clinic can tell you more accurately. If your period is late, there could be other reasons for this, too. A fellow Feminist.com board member, Karen, gave the following possible reasons:

1.) you recently went on the pill and I understand from my friends who are on it that it's not uncommon to miss your period once in a while;
2.) you have been under tremendous stress due to her mother's passing and stress can sometimes affect one's period."

You can buy a home pregnancy test and/or go to a local clinic. Planned Parenthood is usually the most reliable and accesible. If you need help locating one in your area, please call information or let me know where you are and I can find out. There is also the National Abortion Federation, which has a hotline (#202-667-5881). They can refer you to the nearest NAF approved clinic.

Once this has been established the next step is to decide what to do, which you have already done--and for whatever it's worth, I support you in that decision. As for getting an actual abortion, the above two sources PP and NAF are the best places to receive safe abortions. If neither of these are options in your area, please let me know and I can ask about other recommendations.

As for "parental consent laws" as they are called....these are imposed by different states, while some states don't require anything, others require anyone under the age of 18 to have the consent of 1.) a parent 2.) both parents 3.) a guardian or adult. These laws aren't in every state nor are they even applied in all the states that require them. To find out if your state is one that does require "parental notification/consent" you can either let me know in which state you live and/or contact the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (#212-514-5534), which has all of this information available. In most states where there are "parental consent/notification laws" there is also such a thing as a "judical override." This basically means that you have to go before a judge and present an argument as to why it is not in anyone's best interest for you to have the consent of a parent. I hope that your situation doesn't come to that.

Also be aware--if you aren't already--that if you are in fact pregnant, the longer you wait to terminate it the more difficult and the more costly it is. The earliest you can have an abortion is at approximatley 7 weeks. After 12 weeks it becomes a "second trimester" abortion, which are more difficult and harder to come by. I say this all as a way of encouraging you to not wait. And for the future, you should also know about the morning after pill, which can be prescribed by any doctor and is basically a large dose of the pill taken at once. This has to be done within 48 hours (or maybe longer-again, the clinic can tell you).

I hope that this information is helpful and I also hope you know that you can call on me and others at Feminist.com to help you get more information.


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