Confronting an unplanned pregnancy can be very scary and stressful. However, a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy generally has three options in Pennsylvania: parenting, abortion or adoption.

Deciding between these options for unwanted pregnancy is a very difficult decision. Every unintended pregnancy option has its positives and negatives, and this decision cannot be made lightly. Therefore, a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy in Pennsylvania should only make her decision after fully researching her options and truly thinking about what is best for her. The information presented in this article is a good place to start.

What are My Options if I’m Pregnant in Pennsylvania?

The options for dealing with unplanned pregnancies in Pennsylvania are parenting, abortion, or adoption. Which path you choose will always be up to you and should be based upon your personal circumstances. What may be possible for one woman facing an unplanned pregnancy in Pennsylvania may not be possible for another. Fortunately, there are free unplanned pregnancy counselors to get you the information you need and help you make the decision that is best for you.

In the meantime, here is some information about these three pregnancy options in Pennsylvania.

Option 1: Parenting

A woman facing an unintended pregnancy always has the option to parent her child. Before choosing this path, she may ask, “Am I ready to be a parent?”

There are many things a woman should consider when deciding if parenting is the right choice for her. First, is she emotionally and mentally ready to care for a child?  Is she able to provide a stable and consistent living environment for her child?

She should also consider her financial situation. Caring for a child is expensive; a middle-income married couple spends an estimated $233,000 to raise a child. She also needs to think about the support system and local resources available to her, as well as her relationship with the birth father.

For women who feel emotionally and mentally ready to raise a child, there are government-funded programs in Pennsylvania that can provide financial assistance, if needed. The Pennsylvania WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) provides nutrition services, health care and social service referrals. There are also benefit programs in Pennsylvania that can provide money for school meals, a child’s health insurance and more.

Option 2: Abortion

If a woman is considering an abortion in Pennsylvania, she should contact her doctor as soon as possible. Her doctor will be able to counsel her on the abortion options available in her situation, discuss any medical history that may complicate the abortion, and determine how far along she is in her pregnancy.

In Pennsylvania, only women in the early stages of pregnancy will be able to choose abortions as options for unwanted pregnancy. Any woman considering this path needs to make sure she understands the following Pennsylvania laws on this procedure:

  • A minor must have parental consent before an abortion is provided.
  • A woman must receive state-directed counseling and then wait 24 hours before the abortion is provided.
  • Insurance policies for public employees cover abortion only in the cases of rape, incest, or life-endangerment.
  • Public funding will only cover an abortion in Pennsylvania if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or if the life of the mother is endangered.
  • Health plans offered in Pennsylvania’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act will only cover an abortion in the cases of rape or incest, or if the woman’s life is endangered.

Before choosing to terminate your pregnancy, make sure you have received unbiased, objective information about your choices from organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Option 3: Adoption

Adoption is also an unplanned pregnancy option in Pennsylvania. But, women in this situation often ask, “How do I know if adoption is right for me?”

As with all unwanted pregnancy options in Pennsylvania, adoption has its pros and cons. Here’s what you should know:

  • Adoption is free for prospective birth mothers, including prenatal and hospital expenses. Prospective birth mothers may also qualify for financial assistance with living expenses.
  • When choosing adoption, the prospective birth mother is in control of the entire adoption process, with the help of an adoption professional. She is able to choose the family for her baby and create an adoption plan based on her preferences. She can also change her mind about her adoption decision at any point until giving her adoption consent after delivery.
  • The prospective birth mother can also choose the amount of contact she’d like to have with the adoptive family and her child as he or she grows up. She has a say in who she’d like in the delivery room and who first holds the baby. She can get to know the family as much as she wants before the birth.
  • A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy in PA is never alone throughout the adoption process. She will have counseling, health care and legal representation provided to her, free of charge.

Remember: Pregnant women have three options when facing an unwanted pregnancy in Pennsylvania: parenting, abortion, or adoption.

When deciding between these, a woman may ask herself, “Should I keep my baby? How do I know how to decide to keep a baby or not? How do you know if adoption is right for you?” An unplanned pregnancy counselor can be instrumental in helping her make the decision that is best for her.

Counseling services are available to pregnant women through many agencies. Complete this contact form to be connected with a specialist today who can provide free information about all of your unplanned pregnancy options in Pennsylvania.