More than likely you know someone who has had an abortion, but there is little out there on how to support someone going through an abortion. Regardless of where they stand on getting an abortion, the reasons they are getting one, or the type of abortion they are having they more than likely will need your support. Here are some ways you can emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually support a loved one during an abortion.
Offer to help with researching options
It can be extremely overwhelming to try and understand all the steps of getting an abortion. Offer to help your loved one research the clinic or doctor’s office they will go to, the payment/insurance options available, or if needed abortion funds that can help assist. We all know that the US healthcare system is quite confusing so having an extra set of eyes and another brain to try and understand the information is very helpful.
Give them a ride to the doctor’s office or clinic
It may not seem like much, but not having to worry about how you are going to get to and from the doctor’s office or clinic is a great burden taken off of your shoulders. If the person is having a medical abortion it is even more helpful, because depending on the procedure they may have anesthesia and more than likely won’t be able to drive once the procedure is done.
Check in on them
If you don’t have the ability to be with them for an entire day or multiple days then checking in daily via text or facetime is the next best thing. A simple text a day can let them know that you are holding space for them and thinking of them and there for them if they need or want it. Just knowing someone is thinking of you does a lot for people emotionally.
Prepare them food or get them their favorite take out
Food not only feeds our bodies, but also our souls. Enjoying some delicious Taco Bell or pad thai from the bomb Thai restaurant down the street can help relax anyone. Ask your loved one what they are in the mood for and get that for them (if you have the financial ability to do so) and if you can't afford to that try whipping them up their favorite dish at home. A grilled cheese with some tomato soup goes a long way to comforting someone.
Stay with them
If your loved one took the abortion pill it may be really nice for them to have someone there with them as they go through the physical part of the abortion. If they are a lover of cuddles climb onto the couch/in the bed with them and cuddle them while watching trashy tv or their favorite day time tv show. Be there to get them what they need — heating pad (if they do not have a heating pad get one for them), glass of water, glass of wine, a foot massage, whatever.
Listen to them
Maybe they need to process their feelings verbally. Be a listening ear for them. Your role at this point in time is not to fix a problem or offer advice, you are there to listen. If they ask for your advice then you can offer it, but unsolicited advice is not listening, it’s actually quite the opposite.
Ask them what they need
It is very easy for us to assume what people are wanting or needing, but the only way to truly know is to ask. We are all very different and we work through stress and hard moments differently. Even if your loved one wanted this abortion more than anything it is still going to take a toll on them physically and what they need to get through that is up to them and you should respect that.
Give them love
So many people hold so many opinions about what people should and shouldn’t do around pregnancies and abortions. At the end of the day regardless of your opinions your loved one should be your main focus and that means that you should be focused on showering them in love in ways you know they like to receive it.
Regardless of the type of abortion a loved one gets having someone to help them emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally is extremely important. Remember that words hold a lot of power, hugs are soothing, and someone showing up with their favorite things can have a major impact. If you are looking for more information on types of abortions or just general abortion information I have some great videos available.