Pregnancy options and rights!

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If you, your partner, or your friend just found out you are pregnant, you might be very overwhelmed and not sure what to do. No matter what you choose, you have rights to protect your choice! You, or your partner or friend, have the right to choose abortion, adoption, or parenting.

Remember: These options are for someone who is already pregnancy. If you had unprotected sex or had your birth control method fail in the last five days, you can still use emergency contraception to prevent a pregnancy from happening.

How do you know if you are pregnant?

Early signs of pregnancy include a missed period, sore breasts, cramps, nausea, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms or think you might be pregnant, it might be a good idea to take a pregnancy test or find a clinic near you. Someone may also experience some of these symptoms during puberty or as a teen so the best way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. And if you are pregnant, you have options!

Know Your Options

Abortion. If you or someone you know is pregnant, and does not want to be, it’s important to know that teens in California have the right to have an abortion. Abortions are safe and legal in California and can be accessed for FREE, confidentially, and without anyone else’s permission.

Adoption. If you or someone you know is pregnant, and want to continue the pregnancy but don’t feel ready or able to parent, adoption is an option to consider. There are adoption agencies to help. Be sure to find an adoption agency that listens to you and treats you with dignity and respect. There are two types of adoption, open and closed. An open adoption allows the birth parents to visit and have a relationship with the child. Closed adoption means that the birth parent does not visit the child and is kept confidential. If you are choosing to continue the pregnancy, it is important to get pre-natal care. You can get pre-natal care for free!

Parenting. If you or someone you know is pregnant and would like to continue the pregnancy and become a parent, there are laws, programs, and services to support that decision. Teen parents have the right to stay in school, have a safe and private space to pump and store breast milk at school, and take maternity leave. Learn more. There are also a wide range of programs and resources available to both teen moms and teen dads that can help, regardless of someone’s immigration status. The programs help with things like medical coverage, child support, food resources and educational support for children from birth to age five. Also, the CA Department of Public Health provides support through the Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP) which focuses on helping expectant and parenting teens overcome many of the challenges they may face. If you are choosing to continue the pregnancy, it is important to get pre-natal care. You can get pre-natal care for free!

In California there is also the safely surrender baby law that allows anyone who is unable to care for their baby to surrender it within three days of giving birth. It is a confidential option and there isn’t any information required.

If you or someone you know are pregnant but not sure what to do, visit a clinic near you to talk about the options available and what might be best for you moving forward.

Remember, there are many forms of birth control that help prevent against pregnancy but only abstinence is 100% effective. Learn more about your birth control options here.