- Withold all assumptions about how they are feeling.
- Reinforce that they know what is best for their life & body.
- Listen and respond to their needs.
- Make specific offers to help or care.
- Assure them that however they’re feeling is perfectly valid.
- Show them that they’re not alone.
- Keep checking in (unless they tell you otherwise.)
- When in doubt, ask.
Remember: Everyone is different, every body is different, and every abortion is different. You may think that you know your loved one well enough to understand how they want to be treated in these moments. However, you might have never supported them through an abortion or health care issue before; you may not actually know what to do—and that’s okay. The good news is that if they are telling you about the abortion, you’re likely close enough with them to simply ask what they need from you during this time.
If you are a romantic partner, it is still healthy and important for you to talk about how you feel regarding the pregnancy and abortion, as long as it is not in a way that makes things more difficult for them. Being willing to talk about it can make a tremendous difference in both of your experiences and strengthen your relationship. If you are having a lot of difficult feelings, it may be better for you to talk to a friend or counselor before you talk to them.
YOU can call the All-Options Talkline at 1-888-493-0092 to get non-judgemental support if you want to talk about your own feelings and/or how you can be supportive to your loved one when you’re feeling unsure.
Also, if you are not doing so already, consider ways in which you can take your share of responsibility for birth control. By doing so, you are showing in a concrete way that you care and that you do not want to take chances with their body or well-being.
For extra credit: Instructions for an Easy DIY Heat Pad