Abortion is a polarising, highly emotional issue for a couple; however, you must know that you shouldn’t feel ashamed or scared to speak to your partner about wanting an abortion. In this article, we’ll provide you with five ways to help discuss abortion with your significant other.
Your body, your choice
All South African women have a legal human right to a safe abortion performed at a high-quality healthcare facility. While you must listen to your partner’s perspective and acknowledge their feelings, the final choice is yours.
Last year, we launched the Blue Ribbon campaign, which is aimed at spreading awareness about this topic. We want to reach the day when all women in South Africa can proudly say, ‘I am in control of my body!’
Mentally prepare your partner
Saying, ‘I want to have an abortion’ is more than likely going to rattle your partner, stirring up emotions very quickly whether they know about the pregnancy or not. Instead, tell them that you’ve been really struggling/worried and/or sad lately. Then, gently lead into the subject by saying ‘I would like to consider abortion’ or ‘I feel like the best option for us is abortion’. Never make them feel as if it’s an ultimatum.
Acknowledge their feelings
Whichever way you phrase the issue, your partner will be shocked and be filled with many emotions such as surprise, anger, sadness, or confusion;
The best way to deal with it is to let them express what they’re feeling and empathize with them. Whether their reaction is positive or negative, remember that there is no defined way that someone should feel when discussing the termination of a pregnancy.
Choose the right moment
The majority of us have to deal with a fast-paced, stressful life in general and a subject as emotional as abortion can’t be ‘scheduled’. It’s best to wait until you know you both have time to discuss this properly. However, don’t wait too long because it’s a time-sensitive situation as well. A medication abortion needs to take place five weeks up to nine weeks (63 days) of the pregnancy. After nine weeks, a surgical abortion procedure will need to be performed.
Continue the communication
If you do decide to have an abortion, communication shouldn’t stop after the procedure. Both of you are going to experience a plethora of emotions and continuing the dialogue is vital for you, as a couple, to work through post-abortion feelings.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Marie Stopes is dedicated to helping women make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. If you decide to terminate a pregnancy, we offer a pregnancy care service. We’ll perform an ultrasound test to determine the duration of pregnancy; this will establish the type of safe abortion method that needs to be used.
We know this is an emotionally charged issue and if you need someone to talk to before you speak to your partner, we’re here for you. Please schedule an appointment at your nearest centre.