An unexpected pregnancy can quickly bring things to a halt. Life will never be the same, and you’re now facing one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. However, if you’re an Arkansas woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you aren’t alone. You aren’t the first woman to find herself with an unintended pregnancy in Arkansas, and you won’t be the last.
Like all other pregnant women, you have three unplanned pregnancy options. But before we explain what those are, let’s be clear: This article is not an attempt at convincing you to choose adoption. No one should ever tell you what choice to make about an unplanned pregnancy. You and you alone have the right to decide what you do.
With that being said, then, let’s talk about your three possible routes after discovering an unexpected pregnancy in Arkansas:
Whether or not you’re ready to parent is, naturally, the first question you need to ask yourself. Raising a child is no easy feat, especially when you weren’t preparing to do so — or at least not right now. If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re ready to take this step, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions:
Am I financially stable enough to raise a child? It takes an estimated $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015 until the age of 18, and that’s a number that’s only going to rise as time progresses.
Will the child’s father be involved? Some women prefer to raise a child in a two-parent home.
Will I still be able to achieve my goals and professional aspirations with a child? If you’re in the middle of pursuing your education or building a career, doing so with a child can be difficult.
Can I provide the kind of life I want for my baby right now?
Do I want to be a mom? Some women don’t, and there’s no shame in that.
If you want to parent your child, then you should absolutely parent your child. However, if you’re still unsure that parenting is the best choice for you, there are two other Arkansas unplanned pregnancy options.
If you choose not to parent your child, one of your options is abortion. Since the laws differ from state to state, it’s helpful to know Arkansas’s laws on the procedure:
A woman must receive state-directed counseling and then wait 48 hours before getting an abortion in Arkansas. This requires two trips to the doctor.
The only way a health plan will cover an abortion is if the woman’s life is endangered, or in the case of rape or incest.
If a woman is under 18, parental permission must be obtained.
An abortion may be performed up until 22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual cycle unless her life is endangered, she was the victim or rape or incest, or her physical health is compromised.
In 2014, 97 percent of Arkansas counties had no abortion providers; there were only four in the state. If you do consider getting an abortion in Arkansas, make sure to be educated about the topic. There are a lot of sensationalized resources about adoption, so stick to reliable sources like Planned Parenthood.
The third unplanned pregnancy option is frequently overlooked, but adoption can be a great choice for both you and your baby.
Adoption Benefits for Birth Moms:
Can eliminate the financial burden of raising a child
Gives peace of mind knowing that a child is being raised in a safe, loving home
Can allow birth moms to remain in a child’s life with open adoption, should they choose to do so
Adoption Benefits for Children:
Receive all the benefits of being raised in a family that was prepared for them both financially and emotionally
Grow up in a safe, stable environment
More likely to have access to opportunities like college
Raised knowing they have two sets of parents who love them deeply
Regardless of which option you’re leaning toward, American Adoptions has social workers that can help. Deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy in Arkansas can be stressful, and it’s helpful to have an unbiased professional in your corner. To speak with a social worker with no strings attached, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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