How to Support: Someone Having an Abortion

on 30 Jun 2021 6:58 AM
Photograph of five people with their arms around each others' backs

 

Just as you might do for anyone having a medical procedure, there are many ways you can support someone you care about who is having an abortion. Here are some ideas about how you can provide emotional and practical support either before, during or after an abortion. Be sure to always ask them first though about what type of support, if any, they would like. 

Emotional support 

Many people can feel anxious about having a medical procedure and abortion is no different. It can help to let the person know they can talk to you if they are worried or feeling anxious.  Reassure them that you respect their privacy and that your conversations will remain confidential. Let them talk if they want to. Your job is to listen, without any judgement. Avoid asking intrusive questions or telling them how they should think or feel. Some people may prefer minimal or no conversation at all. Everyone is different.

How they will be feeling emotionally after the abortion can often depend on their individual situation.  Whilst some people can experience mixed emotions, research shows that where people are able to make their own decision and are given support to do this, they will most likely feel relieved and that they have made the right decision. Only a very small number of people feel the need to access professional counselling. 

Practical support

In terms of practical support there are many things you can do.  Again, always ask first!