Statistics are valuable because they help us understand patterns within society, and identifying those general patterns can make us better problem-solvers. But there’s no denying it: statistics and stigma sometimes go hand-in-hand. Maybe you’re going through an unexpected pregnancy, trying to figure out which pregnancy option (abortion, adoption, or parenting) is your best way forward. Many persons facing circumstances like yours express fear that parenting would cause them to “become a statistic.” In other words, they’re scared this choice would lead them to experience struggles and disadvantages common to people within a certain group. The phrase, “becoming a statistic” is often associated with failure.
An unexpected pregnancy is bound to trigger emotional challenges as well as practical ones. Feelings like shame and disappointment can have a powerful impact on a person’s pregnancy decision. Avenue Women’s Center is here to weaken that negative influence and help individuals make empowered choices. Our free first-step pregnancy services include medical-grade pregnancy tests, limited medical ultrasounds, options consultations, and more!
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Dealing with Negative Statistics
A person’s worries about “becoming a statistic” usually relate to her fear of parenting within a different context or environment than she may have imagined. In many cases, that would mean parenting without a spouse or supportive partner. According to a 2018 article from Pew Research Center, one-in-four American parents living with a child is unmarried. Fifty years earlier, that number was less than one-in-ten. So, statistics show that unmarried parenting has gradually become much more common, whether society views this as positive or negative. There are a lot of nuances to consider. Within a group of unmarried parents, different patterns exist between solo and cohabiting parents, and between males and females. Research from 2018 suggests about three-in-ten solo moms live in poverty. Statistics with a negative undertone, like this one, tend to trigger anxiety. Pew Research Center also notes that a majority of Americans still believe a growing number of solo moms isn’t good for society. That may explain, to some extent, why statistics on this topic often have that negative focus.
No Person is a Statistic
Leaning into the pregnancy outcome that’s best for you may be difficult, especially if you’re concerned about “becoming a statistic.” It may feel like swimming against the current. Remember that statistics are useful for understanding large-scale trends. They don’t (and can’t) consider a person’s unique experiences, values, beliefs, goals, and dreams. It’s normal to identify with statistics, and sometimes it can feel like they’re “putting you in a box” or “slapping a negative label on you.” That’s a terrible feeling. But the numbers don’t begin to reflect on the one-of-a-kind person you are, so don’t let them hold that power over you! Make a mental or physical list of all the positive qualities and sources of support that can help you feel empowered in your decision-making process. Allow your choices to flow from a confident understanding of all your strengths and resources. Chances are, this approach with equip you to move forward with greater clarity and fewer regrets.
How Avenue Women’s Center Can Help
Our early pregnancy services at Avenue Women’s Center are designed to offer reliable information about a person’s pregnancy and all her options and resources. We believe in the value of an informed, empowered decision. Every person going through an unexpected pregnancy deserves a safe space to process her circumstances and explore her next steps, and that’s what we’re here to provide! Our team members are as warm and compassionate as they are knowledgeable.
At Avenue, we understand how frustrating and discouraging it can feel when life takes a totally different direction than planned. Maybe you’re considering abortion because you’re afraid parenting would disrupt your vision for your life, change the way others view you, or harm your self-image. If parenting is an option you feel drawn to, know that the challenges you’ll meet along this road won’t define you. Now is the perfect time to look to your strengths and let go of society’s labels and standards. That’s much easier said than done. But processing all this alongside a supportive, non-judgmental ally can make a huge difference.
Call, text, chat, or email to speak with an expert staff member and schedule a free, confidential appointment! Your story is your own, and it’s possible to find your best path no matter what “society” thinks or says. You’ve got this!
Pew Research Center. (2018, April). The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents. Retrieved from: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2018/04/25/the-changing-profile-of-unmarried-parents/
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.