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Teenage Pregnancy

I am pregnant and really scared.How do I tell my parents?I also need advice on what happens with school and how to cope?

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Hi Diamond,

Things may seem scary right now but there are a whole team of people out there to help you. They can do this confidentially with you and support whatever you decide to do . Do you have a school nurse ? this can be the first port of call. If you live in a city , your local sexual health clinic may have a service for under 18s . You can go with a friend if you like. They would do another test to confirm if you are pregnant and then they can talk about the choices you may have. Its best to do this early , as later on you may have fewer choices . Going to a clinic might seem a bit scary but often you will see a nurse or doctor who deals with young people only. And your friend can be there too.

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What are the choices.I know about keeping the baby or adoption but I don’t understand how I have less choices later on.Also I am 15 so scared my boyfriend is going to get into trouble

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By choices I mean either to keep the pregnancy or seek a termination of pregnancy. There are different options for termination, which depend on how far along a pregnancy is. Beyond 24 weeks a person must continue the pregnancy. Early medical termination is like having an artificial miscarriage. No one is going to get you into trouble if you approach a sexual or reproductive health clinic. As I mentioned, they often have services for under 18s. Please get in touch with someone as soon as possible , to get support in your difficult situation and to help you make some choices.

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I don’t think I qualify for abortion as I have not been raped,no incest,no mental or physical health problems.I couldn’t pay to travel to England and in Northern Ireland,where I live the law is only if it would be a risk to live.

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I think you should ring the FPA northern Ireland . Recent law changes mean that you can be entitled to free travel as well as accommodation ( if required ) to seek a termination in mainland UK - Scotland is a short distance away ( depending on where you live in NI ) . Obviously if you are 15 this would be tricky without your parents knowing. I would call the FPA first on 0345 122 8687 , speak to someone , they may invite you to a local clinic to discuss how they can help you. Once you take that first step of speaking to someone , it may not seem so difficult after all. And they will discuss all of the options with you , confidentially.

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I am aware of the law changes in the Republic of Ireland but Northern Ireland is a completely separate country and I am unaware of any law changes here.

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From the FPA website "If you live in Northern Ireland, you can travel to England for an abortion where you can get free care. If you’re on a low income, or receive certain benefits, you’ll be supported with travel and accommodation costs. You can call 0333 234 2184 to book an appointment with an abortion care provider in England and get information about travel and accommodation funding. You can contact FPA in Northern Ireland (0345 122 8687) for confidential counselling, information, and support."

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Thank you.Does this depend on parental income as under 18?

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I think if you are a schoolgoer you would be classified as "low/no income"

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Thanks.My parents don’t believe in hormonal contraception like the injection,pill or implant so scared they won’t let me get an abortion.

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I talked to my mum tonight and she said I was not getting an abortion because it is murder and it is my fault I am pregnant.

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Hi Diamond,

its a very difficult position you are in I understand. Your parents are your guardians and you are under 16 , but also you have rights as it is your body. Did you call the number I gave you ? Did you speak to anyone outside your family ?

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I rang the number and spoke to my GP but I can’t fly alone because of my age.

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Ok Diamond , do you have any relation who might be willing to travel with you ? An aunty , cousin , anyone that's an adult that you trust and can discuss with ? What did the helpline people say ? and did you see the GP on your own ?

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Yes but even if I travel with another relative does my mum not need to consent?

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Hi Diamond , what age are you ? In one post you have said you are 15, in another forum 16 ?

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15 was a mistake

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Hi Diamond,

You still have choices although it is a difficult situation you are in. You really should go and speak to someone in a reproductive ( family planning ) clinic. The number I listed before should be able to tell you where your nearest one is . Please do that. They will talk to you about choices and support you in every way

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Yes spoke to my grandmother and aunt and they both said they wouldn’t take me

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Hi Diamond,

I don't have an easy answer for you im afraid. There must have been other women in your age group in the same situation. This is why you must go and speak to some clinic staff to see what they can offer locally for you.

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under 15 you will have an assessment by the member of staff you see , and if they think you are "competent " - meaning you understand all the information laid out before you and you are able to make informed choices, then technically no she doesn't have to consent. This is based on a legal case from 1985 where a judge ruled that someone under 16 didn't have to get consent for contraception for themselves . This includes termination of pregnancy.

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Thank you but it’s the airline won’t let me fly alone

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there are other ways of getting to mainland UK rather than flying . But its more about being accompanied. Please talk to your local clinic staff

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The only options available for adoption and keeping the baby.But don’t want my friends finding out and will affect my GCSEs.

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Diamond you need to go into a local service to see if there are other routes locally available to you. There will have been other women of your age in similar situations and local services may have pathways to help you. Please call and find out their location and opening hours , a face to face discussion will be so much more helpful to you

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I will try.But our government is stupid so I doubt I can end the pregnancy legally.

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Hi Diamond, it looks like you've had some good advice here. Another place you could turn to for help is the Abortion Support Network who are very experienced at helping people in your situation. They can provide assistance to anyone who needs to travel asn.org.uk/

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Thanks BP that's a really useful link

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Please try to go locally - things will be less scary when you talk to someone face to face - and people in sexual health and friendly and non judgmental - that's why we work in it .

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I spoke to the doctor and he said abortion is illegal except if risk to life so he can’t help unless I can travel

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Hi Diamond yes that's the current situation in Northern Ireland alas, so you would have to find a way to travel. That's why I asked about another responsible adult who is sympathetic and could travel with you. Did you speak to a doctor in a reproductive health clinic ? or just your GP ? Did you check the webpage that BodyPositive posted ?

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It was a sexual health clinic and yes checked the website

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Ok thank you was it a face to face discussion ? The ASN page asn.org.uk/get-help-ni/ has the useful numbers, but it comes down to finding someone that could travel with you , if that was your choice.

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Yes the doctor said I would need someone to travel with me and stay as I need the surgical abortion. Unfortunately my aunt and grandmother are not willing to go against my parents so will need to try other family members.

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Im sorry to hear that . The clinic probably has a young persons worker that could give you some support through this difficult time

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Why do you need a surgical termination ? do they know how many weeks you are ?

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I am 11 weeks.Being only 15 I did not know the pregnancy symptoms.Could the young persons support worker possibly travel with me?

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I think that's unlikely Diamond. Unless they know of a charity service that might be able to help you ...

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Thank you.What are my choices if I can’t travel?

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Im afraid Diamond you would have to carry the pregnancy to term .

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Do you know what would happen about school?

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I think you will be able to attend school as normal up until the time of delivery or until you feel its difficult for you. Again the school nurse can help. After you deliver , then obviously things will change and you may have to take some time out to care for the newborn. You can always go back to school at a later point, but its possible you might have to skip a year. You can get advice from your school also.

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How to hide this from friends?

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Diamond there isn't going to be a way to hide this forever. You need to see some people locally for support. An internet forum will never replace a face to face with someone that can help you or give you a hug if youre upset.

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I am worried I will be bullied and my mum is not sympathetic so won’t take me

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I understand Diamond. But I am sure you have friends who will support you. And although your mum or grandmother might be angry at first , that will pass. They love you after all and will help you. Bullying for any reason is wrong and the school will act on that if it happens

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It’s my mum but my other relatives won’t go against my mums decision.I don’t think I will be able to return to school so will have no qualifications.My mum has said it’s my responsibility and she will not help me and my dad wants to kick me out.

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All my friends found out and they abandoned me.

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Hi Diamond, a true friend would not leave you. And you said you have some relatives that would be sympathetic . And there are charities that can support you also. And I don't think legally you could be made homeless as you're under 16 and this would be considered neglect .

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They don’t want to get in the middle of it and how will I get a job with no qualifications?

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Diamond you can go back to school at a later stage. You need to be talking to people in real life who can support you rather than the internet. There will be social workers and counsellors who can help. You need to speak to your GP who will arrange a booking visit and also there will be an antenatal team that can support you. Many women have had pregnancies at a young age and had successful careers.

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I can’t back until the child is at 18 by which stage I will be 33.

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That's not strictly true Diamond. Once the child is school age you can go back to college etc. That's only four years away.

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My mum won’t babysit and college in Northern Ireland have courses that run until 5/6 and some even are in the evening.

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So there is state sponsored childcare . You need to focus now on your situation and get some real life support. Please attend your GP and they can refer you to an antenatal service, or the reproductive health clinic .

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I have been to GP and he referred me for support but still scared.

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Its ok to be scared but when you speak to some people in real life it will hopefully seem less so .

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I hope so.

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