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You Asked: Supporting My Girlfriend While She Waits for an Abortion

DearSugar --

I figure this is probably a girl's site, but I just needed to ask someone some questions. I'm 22, about to turn 23, and my girlfriend is 21. We found out that she is pregnant. She is pregnant by only about 3 weeks and she has decided that she wants an abortion. I told her that it was up to her because it is her body and that I would support her in any way I could, that I would be there for her whether she wanted to have an abortion or not.

But I am stricken for words; I really don't know what to say or how to comfort her, except for telling her that I will always be there and that I love her and that I wont leave her side. I am afraid for her. I love her too much to see her tear herself apart and feel bad or guilty.

I've told her that my mother had an abortion before I was born. Her mother told me once that she had had an abortion, too, but made me promise to never tell her daughter. I don't want to betray that trust, but I wonder if that would maybe make things easier for my girlfriend?

This might sound very selfish, but I need to say this. I don't want to lose my girlfriend. I love her with all of my mind, body and soul, and I am so afraid of losing her to this. I have come to realize that this is the girl I want to marry. I'm just so confused. I just want to be loving and helpful to her, and be there for everything. Hopefully you will give me some advice. Until that time comes I shall continue being her rock. Thank you very much. -- Heartsick Henry

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Dear Heartsick Henry --

You sound like a good man, a loving boyfriend, and a true friend. I'm so sad for you both; this is a painful moment in your young lives, and I'm relieved your girlfriend has you in her life and that you show her such care.

I'm going to encourage you both to sit down immediately with your mothers, together. Tell them what's happened and seek their help, counsel and comfort. From what you've written, I get the feeling you both will find much relief if you turn to them. I hope you'll also tell your girlfriend exactly what you told me in your note. You might feel at a loss for words, but you expressed yourself very well and with much tenderness. It might help to remind her, again, that you support any decision she makes around this matter and that nothing, nothing, will change your good and strong feelings about her and the relationship.

I've pulled together a few resources for you both, and I hope our community here can be of help, too. For basic information about pregnancy, birth control, and abortions, I would go to planned parenthood's website. They also provide general counseling and support services over the phone.

If either of you want to discuss your fears, worries or doubts with professionals, you can call 1-800-376-4636. This Planned Parenthood program is called ACCESS, and someone there will listen and answer questions as you make your decision. Should your girlfriend decide an abortion is best for her right now, but finds she has questions or needs some additional support afterward, she can call 1-800-376-4636. That program is called EXHALE, and their help is also available to either of you after an abortion.

I might also visit the online website and community afterabortion.com; it provides a wide range of information, resources and chat rooms. It's politically neutral and respectful, and I've linked here to the "Do's" and "Don'ts" page for support people. Perhaps that will be of some use to you now, Heartsick Henry.

Be gentle with each other, and kind. Please do discuss birth control before you become intimate again, and promise each other you'll show your love and respect by being safe every time. Courage and comfort to you both.



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