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Abortion support is found through websites, phone books, or individual referrals to gynecologists, therapists, clergy, social workers, and agencies offering abortion services. It helps to define what is meant by support. This could include services that help a woman decide if abortion is the right choice for her, obtain or pay for an abortion, and provide support during and in the aftermath of an abortion. There are many different individuals and organizations available for all of these objectives. Sometimes a person or group can help in all aspects and other times individuals or agencies specialize in one area.
When determining how to find abortion support, women need to have some sense of their personal and political perspective. For some women, the choice to have an abortion conflicts with their religious beliefs. There are religious post-abortion groups that offer a path to forgiveness or renewal for women who feel their act was a sin. These groups are suitable for some women, but not for those women who feel their actions were not sinful.
Similarly pre-abortion counseling groups may have very strong political/religious beliefs about abortion. Some of these may attempt to talk women out of having abortions, while others may push women to have them. A woman may or may not be looking for alternatives, but in any case, she should seek a counseling group that gives her an unprejudiced discussion about choices when an unplanned pregnancy occurs. These discussions are better attempted with gynecologists, private therapists and social workers. If at any time a woman feels like a counselor is forcing her in one direction or another, she should seek other means of support.
With a strong understanding of personal views, women have a better means of evaluating the various individual practitioners or support groups available and determining those that best fit. Finding out the mission statement of a group or the personal beliefs of someone in private practice helps determine how likely it is that the right abortion support will be offered. Many suggest that therapists or social workers are the best place to start for pre and post counseling, especially if they are trained in this area, but counselors associated with abortion services may also give impartial advice. Doctors are a good beginning for pre-abortion counseling, though they don’t always have time afterwards to give lengthy post-abortion support.
One choice women make when looking for abortion support is whether they want individual or group assistance. Initially, issues like postpartum depression should be handled individually, with a doctor to help. Women who experience strong post-abortion trauma may avail themselves of individual counselors or they may be more comfortable in group support settings, which exist locally and online, where the sharing of stories and personal pain can be cathartic. Some people prefer to think this through alone and there are books and online readings that may prove helpful.
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