First, maintaining a trust-based relationship with the teenager is important, and doing that without bypassing her parents’ authority may be tricky. If she hasn’t informed her parents of the pregnancy, strongly encourage her to do that. If she has concerns about how they will respond, listen to her while nudging her toward that conversation. Her parents have a right to know about the pregnancy and to help her as she makes such a life-altering decision.
Speaking of her parents, it’s important to note that the majority of states have laws in effect that require a parent to be notified or give consent before a minor has an abortion. If you live in one of these states, a teenager cannot have a “secret” abortion – something she may not have considered.
For background on these laws, see Parental Involvement Laws for Abortion: Protecting Both Minors and their Parents. To see if your state has a parental notification or parental consent law, see Parental Involvement in Minor’s Abortions.
If she hasn’t had a pregnancy test, she can have one free of charge at a pro-life pregnancy resource center. These centers also provide information on her developing baby, her alternatives and some offer an ultrasound so she can see her preborn baby’s development.
One way to gently bring home to her the value of her preborn child growing in her womb is to share a booklet entitled, First Nine Months, which documents fetal development. This booklet puts a “face” on her preborn child and helps her see that abortion would destroy this tiny human life.
It’s important for her to know that abortion can have a negative effects on the woman in the form of physical, psychological and emotional complications afterward, something young women may not consider.
Abortion is often viewed as way of escaping an unplanned pregnancy, especially if a young woman doesn’t think she has any options. Among the leading reasons women give for aborting a pregnancy are a lack of support for the pregnancy and a desire to finish school or keep a job. This may give you insight into what this young woman is thinking in regard to the challenges before her if she carries the pregnancy to term. Ensuring your support will help alleviate the unknowns she faces.
Most of all, your prayers for her wisdom, discernment and courage will be a priceless component of this unexpected journey as you walk along her.