I think it’s safe to say that most folks don’t see abortion as this wonderful experience they’re going to go and enjoy. For many of us, it’s an incredibly difficult and complex issue, and a choice that is never made lightly. And the reasons behind wanting or needing an abortion are as varied as the people getting them: financial hardship, a fetus with a serious or fatal disorder, the pregnancy was the result of a rape, (physical or mental) health issues for the pregnant person, not feeling ready to commit themselves entirely to the potential baby, etc. If you have a friend that is considering abortion or has just had one, you might be wondering what the best way is to support them. Here are a few ideas that could help:
Bring Them Comfort Food And Many Hugs
Having an abortion is different for everyone, but for many, there will be some physical discomfort (akin to a heavy period) as well as potential for some emotional distress (because your hormones are going from pregnant to not fairly quickly). What is it you want when you’re having a bad period, or when you’re sick, or even experiencing grief (because yes, not everyone having an abortion feels tremendous relief afterwards, although many do)? Well, for one, you probably don’t want to think about your next meal, so it helps when a friend brings over some of your favorites that you can enjoy in your PJs in front of the Netflix. And two, you’ll probably appreciate a few hugs. Abortion can be so isolating, and simply being present for your friend can mean so much.
Have A Movie Night And Watch ‘Obvious Child’
One thing that helps me whenever I’m going through something difficult is watching a TV show or movie where another character is going through a similar thing. That’s why prior to my own procedure, I watched ‘Obvious Child’ and it helped me out so much to see it portrayed in such a genuine way. If your friend opted for termination mainly for the reason that they were not seeking to become a parent (or extend their family) at the time, they’ll definitely appreciate this film. And if Jenny Slate is somehow not their cup of tea, you can always just watch Sisters or some other comedy to keep spirits high.
Take Them Somewhere To Get Pampered (When They’re Ready)
They might not feel up to it right away, but in life, there’s never a reason not to get pampered if you have the opportunity. Abortions can take a lot out of someone emotionally, so if you’re willing and able to, invite your friend to go get your nails done, get a facial, or a massage. It’ll help them feel like themselves again.
Make A Donation To An Abortion Fund In Their Name
My procedure was paid in part by the wonderful folks at FundAbortionNow. I am forever greatful that they exist, especially to help women (and other pregnant persons) like myself who live in states where abortion is not covered by insurance. You can make a one-time or even a recurring donation, and it can be made in honor of or in memory of whoever you want.
Buy Them Some Thoughtful Pro-Choice Swag So They Understand It’s Totally Okay To Own The Decisions You Make For Your Body
And finally, let them know they don’t need to feel shame or stigma because of their abortion. A great way of doing that is by getting them some awesome pro-choice swag, like the items listed in this piece by Buzzfeed. Etsy also has a ton of pro-choice feminist goodies to choose from, and you’ll be supporting a small business owner at the same time. Total win.
Have you had an abortion before? What did you find most helpful? What do you wish your friends would have done for you? Let me know in the comments below.
Images via Giphy and worldcantwait/Flickr