If your partner is going through an abortion, there are many things you can do to help. Even if you don’t know what to do, just being there can make all the difference.
Your partner is the only one who can decide whether or not to end the pregnancy. But having someone close by to talk to and share their thoughts and feelings with can help them get through the experience.
In this article, we will give you some insight to help you and your partner get through this and let you know how you can give proper assistance and emotional support to your loved one.
Provide useful assistance
Attending medical appointments and getting adequate rest time are necessary after having an abortion. Providing material assistance is also a great way to help your partner get through this time.
Tips to usefully assist during an abortion
Don’t force them to accept your help but do let them know that you can provide it by doing any of the following:
- Taking them to and from the clinic (this is especially important if they need someone to pick them up after a surgical abortion);
- Waiting with them at the clinic (as you won’t be allowed into the consultation room);
- Taking extra care of them while they heal (for example, by cooking meals, providing childcare or just being there for company);
- Remembering that abortion is a very personal matter, so not trying to tell the person what to think, do, feel, or how to act because of what they’ve been through is important;
- Knowing that abortion is not something to be ashamed of, but it is important to respect people’s privacy and keep the information they tell you to yourself. It’s up to them if, when, and how they talk about what happened; and
- Understanding that sharing one’s abortion experience may be tense. If your partner feels comfortable enough to discuss their experience with you, encourage them to speak openly about their ideas and emotions.
As crucial as it is to be there for your partner undergoing the abortion, remember to take care of yourself as well. Remember that you need to deal with your personal thoughts regarding the abortion, too.
The pregnancy and the abortion may have left you with negative emotions. It takes a lot of energy to be someone else’s emotional rock. If you feel like you may need some extra assistance, it is always wise to talk to a therapist.
Be an active listener
Many people face difficult choices when considering having an abortion. Being there for your partner as they weigh up their alternatives and talking to someone who cares may be very helpful. If they need to talk about how they’re feeling after the abortion, be there for them.
Keep in mind that not every person will feel comfortable sharing their story. Recognize that what they have to say is more valuable than anything you can add to the conversation. You don’t need to solve the problem or have the best advice in the world to be helpful – just listen to them.
Emotional support through listening
Abortion, like other medical procedures, can cause fear and apprehension. It might be beneficial to let your partner know they can come to you if they are feeling scared or concerned.
Listen and avoid asking them invasive questions or suggesting what they should think or feel. Your partner may prefer to engage in little or no conversation.
Despite the fact that some people experience conflicting feelings, research indicates that when individuals are empowered to make their own decisions and are supported in doing so, they will typically feel relieved and confident that they have made the appropriate choice.
Support them after the abortion
The most important thing you can do for your partner after they have had an abortion is to listen to what they need and be there for them. Perhaps they just want to be with someone after the abortion.
On the other hand, if your partner wants to be alone, give them the space they need. You should offer to be there if they change their minds.
Depending on their situation, your partner may feel relieved and eager to move forward with their life.
Try to assist them in letting go of any expectations that they should feel a specific way by pointing out that this experience is unique to them. Remember that there is no single way to experience abortion.
Similarly, there is no one method to help someone through the experience, so what your loved one most likely needs is for you to focus on their particular needs.
- “How to support someone who is having an abortion.” 132 Healthwise, www.132healthwise.com/how-to-support-someone-who-is-having-an-abortion.php. Accessed February 2023.
- “How to support someone considering an abortion.” MSI United Kingdom, www.msichoices.org.uk/news/blog-how-to-support-someone-considering-an-abortion/. Accessed February 2023.