If it’s too late for an abortion, what then?
Each state’s laws regarding abortion are different. Many do not allow abortion after you are 20 weeks pregnant. On the other hand, some allow abortion up until you are 24 weeks pregnant. In rare cases, some states, such as New York, will allow abortion in the third trimester. Check with your local reproductive health provider, such as Planned Parenthood or your gynecologist. It’s important to understand your options and the risks of abortion to your sexual health.
If you’ve recently discovered it’s too late for an abortion, you still have at least two options. These are parenting and adoption. This article provides resources if you’re thinking about parenting. It also outlines things to think about and the next steps if you are considering adoption. Here are at least two options if it’s too late for an abortion.
Choosing to parent
Is parenting your child an option? Some women consider abortion when their circumstances can’t support parenting a child. Kids are expensive. For many people who can barely cover expenses on their own, adding a child to the mix is overwhelming. If you’re figuring out how parenting would look, there are several public resources that can help. But be forewarned. They may have long waiting lists, up to several years in some cases. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore and exhaust every possibility. Here are some places to start:
Resources to cover basic needs and expenses
- Benefits.gov has a listing of more than 1,000 government-funded benefit and assistance programs. Complete the on-line questionnaire. Then find out what benefit programs you are eligible for based on your needs and situation. The site also gives information on how to apply for these programs.
- When you need cash to cover basic needs, consider TANF. This is more commonly known as welfare. This temporary financial assistance comes with a maximum benefit in your lifetime. Some states will require that you find a job within a certain period after receiving this aid. To apply, contact your local health and human services office.
- The high cost for food can be a big surprise to new parents, especially if you’re a single income household. You may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is commonly known as food stamps. You can apply through your local health and human services office.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women may also be eligible for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Click here for a listing of state and local agencies to apply for WIC.
- There are hundreds of food banks which help needy families. Check out Feedingamerica.org to find a food bank near you.
Health insurance for you and your children
Medical costs for prenatal and pediatric care can be high. This is especially true if your child is born with medical issues. It’s critical that you get prenatal care to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and child. Research Medicaid in your state. It’s a program funded by both state and federal government that covers medical costs for the needy. You can also research low cost insurance policies offered through the Affordable Care Act.
You should also check out Children’s Health Insurance Program to find out if you and your family qualifies for this coverage.
Affordable housing and shelters
Housing is generally the largest living expense for most people. Finding affordable housing can be challenging. Start with your local public housing authority. Again, remember that waiting lists can be several years long, especially if you live in a large city. If you’re willing to move to a smaller city, you might find that their waiting lists aren’t as long. If you are homeless, research local homeless shelters on this directory. For women who are homeless due to domestic violence, you should visit thehotline.org for a listing of resources.
Too late for an abortion and considering adoption?
Many women who aren’t prepared to parent choose adoption. This is true regardless of their financial situation. If you’ve discovered you’re pregnant and it’s too late for an abortion in your state, adoption may be the right choice for you. Here are some important considerations as you think about adoption:
- Are you ready to financially provide for a child?
- Are you ready to emotionally provide for a child?
- Do you have support at home so you can work or go to school?
I am a birth mother and an adoption attorney. I’m an expert in adoption education and planning. If you want more information about adoption as you consider your options. I’m here to help.
Images Courtesy of Help With Adoption: Client photos printed with permission.