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“How Do I Tell My Partner I’m Considering Abortion?”

Abortion is a difficult topic to engage in.  We often tiptoe around this subject in social settings and private conversations, even when the context doesn’t involve our personal experiences.  But what if abortion is a real possibility that you’re exploring for your own pregnancy?  If that’s your situation, it may feel important to discuss this option with your partner.  Perhaps you’re feeling nervous about this talk because you believe your significant other will disagree with your leanings.  Even if you think the two of you will be on the same page, this may be a delicate conversation to navigate.

Your feelings of apprehension are normal and natural.  It can be hard to have a dialogue with a partner about the possibility of terminating a pregnancy.  However, it’s healthy and even vital to process your upcoming pregnancy decision with someone you trust.  Avenue Women’s Center is here to be a part of your support system while helping you strengthen your ties with other supporters. We’re a first-step pregnancy clinic that offers free and confidential early pregnancy services.

Learn more about Avenue!  We’ve been serving individuals facing circumstances similar to yours for over forty years, and we’d love to walk by your side in the days and weeks ahead.

Why Might This Be a Difficult Conversation to Have?

An abortion discussion can be challenging for various reasons.  Before we examine how to approach this topic with your partner, let’s touch on some of the reasons why you may be concerned about this conversation in the first place.

  • An abortion is bound to impact your partner. This may seem obvious.  But it’s important to consider that any pregnancy decision you make could have significant effects on your partner’s life.  He may have a hard time grappling with the fact that this important choice lies in your hands only, especially if he disagrees with your leanings.
  • People often have very strong feelings about abortion. Abortion is a highly controversial topic in this day and age.  People tend to have strong, complex, and extremely diverse feelings about it.  You may be worried that your partner will have an emotionally intense reaction to the news that you’re considering termination.  Both of you may be worried that your family members will.
  • Abortion comes with unique risks. Abortion carries unique medical risks and possible implications for your health (mental and emotional, as well as physical).  When your partner hears that you’re considering abortion, he may have questions and concerns about your wellness.  Talking through these can be beneficial, but it can also be uncomfortable at times.

Pregnancy decision-making is an emotionally heavy topic.  The circumstances surrounding an unexpected pregnancy tend to feel very heavy as well.  Don’t let this discourage you from having an authentic conversation.  It’s possible to communicate your views and hear your partner’s with mutual kindness and respect.  A positive outcome to this entire situation is definitely possible too!

Tips to Navigate an Abortion Conversation

Preparing yourself for a good dialogue about this difficult subject could make all the difference in the world.  There are practical steps you can take to approach this topic in a healthy way, increasing the chances that clear and respectful communication will follow.  Consider using some of these tips from Psychology Today to navigate conversations about abortion and other difficult topics.

  • “Have a goal in mind.” Identify what you’d like to accomplish before going into a discussion. Keep your goal realistic and achievable.  For example, your aim for an abortion conversation may be to explain the reasons and emotions behind your leanings toward abortion.
  • “Recognize that complex, interpersonal problems have complex, interpersonal causes.” Find balance between taking responsibility and holding your partner accountable. Avoid fault-finding.  Recognize that the circumstances you’re facing are complicated, and your unique processes of navigating them will probably be complicated too- which is okay.
  • “Don’t feel the need for total victory.” It’s natural to approach a hard conversation with hopes or expectations that your partner will react a certain way.  But getting him to agree with you doesn’t have to be your objective.  Often, it’s healthy and productive just for two people to express their views clearly and feel heard by each other.
  • “Don’t forget to listen.” Hard conversations often take unexpected turns.  No matter where your discussion with your partner goes, listen to what he’s saying for the sake of understanding and empathizing.  Ask him to please show you the same courtesy.

Every pregnancy option comes with risks and challenges.  Abortion can be a uniquely tough outcome to consider and an especially sensitive matter to discuss.  If you’re concerned that your partner will respond to your views about abortion from a place of anger or emotional hurt, that’s understandable.  Know that you’re capable of navigating this conversation courageously!  Avenue Women’s Center would love to partner with you as you cope with this pregnancy and other peoples’ responses to it.  We’re a safe space to go for help.

Contact us to schedule an appointment!  We’re here to equip you with the information and support you need to make a confident and knowledgeable decision.

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.