If you find yourself in an unexpected pregnancy, do you realize that you are the only one who can make a decision regarding if you’ll carry or abort?
Even if you’re underage, your parents cannot make this choice for you. While it is wise to get advice from people who are more mature and who love you, the choice is yours and yours alone.
It is unlawful for your parents, relatives, boyfriend, or husband to unduly pressure, force, or coerce you into having an abortion. Some examples of statements of coercion or force include the following:
- “If you have this baby, I am kicking you out of my house.”
- “You are grounded (or any other punishment) if you don’t have this abortion.”
Any threat or infliction of violence is unlawful.
If you are a minor, your parents don’t have to support your child, but they are legally required to continue supporting you until you have reached legal adulthood.
Concerning your partner, even if he is the father of your baby, your boyfriend or your husband, he does not have the right to make this choice. He doesn’t have any choice in the pregnancy decision at all, except what weight you choose to allow his desires to influence you.
If you choose to carry, your partner’s parental rights don’t begin until the baby is born. If you choose to parent the baby, you have the right to receive child support from the father of your child, and you may be eligible for financial or material assistance from the State and other groups.
If you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, we at Clarity stand ready to help you navigate your way as you make decisions regarding your future.
If you need additional help in understanding or asserting your legal rights, please contact Clarity or The Justice Foundation at 210-614-7157.