How to Support a Friend: Unplanned Pregnancy

>>Download PDF-Friendly Version.

Respect your friend's decisions

Every individual has the fundamental right to make choices about their pregnancy. Anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy will need to make some of the most important decisions of their life. Your friend has the right to choose an option they feel is best for them at this time in their life. They may decide to carry the pregnancy to term, to keep the baby or place the child for adoption, or they may choose to have an abortion. As a friend, it is important that you respect your friend’s decisions, regardless of your own personal values or beliefs. After your friend has made a choice, you can continue to be supportive in the way you feel the most comfortable.


How can I help?

Remember, when it comes to your friend’s health and well-being, they have the right to make choices based on their own medical, emotional, financial, moral and other considerations. Here are some ways you can be supportive of your friend throughout this entire process:

LISTEN. Let your friend talk; don’t be judgmental, interrupt, or give advice. Just sitting and listening to your friend can reassure them that you care and are there for them.

OFFER TO HELP FIND APPROPRIATE RESOURCES FOR YOUR FRIEND. Ask your friend how you can help. For example, they need help locating safe, supportive resources. Be clear about setting your limits about what you can and can’t do. Setting limits to support your friend will empower both of you.

FIND SOME OUTSIDE SUPPORT FOR YOURSELF WHILE YOU HELP YOUR FRIEND. Helping a friend in crisis can be difficult. It’s possible for you to have a strong emotional reaction to the situation as well. The resources on the following page are good places to start for more information and help for your friend and yourself.



Backline - pregnancy, parenting, abortion, adoption(888) 493-0092 |

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 752-0871 |

Exhale - after-abortion counseling hotline for you, your partner, family or friends (866) 439-4253 |

The House Peer Counseling (530) 752-2790 |

Student Health Services Advice Nurse (530) 752-2349 |

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual Resource Center (530) 752-2452 |

Academic and Staff Assistance Program (530) 752-2727 |

Women’s Health Specialists (916) 451-0621 |

Women’s Resources and Research Center (530) 752-3372 for referrals. |


Books from the Women's Resources and Research Center Library

• The A word : real women, tough choices, personal freedom (Sorrentino, Mary Ann) 2006

• The abortion myth: feminism, morality, and the hard choices women make (Cannold, Leslie)

• Baby love: choosing motherhood after a lifetime of ambivalence (Walker, Rebecca) 2007

• Before Their Time; Four Generations Of Teenage Mothers (Sander, Joelle) 1992

• Birth By Design: Pregnancy, Maternity Care, And Midwifery In North America And Europe Dubious conceptions: the politics of teenage pregnancy (Luker, Kristin) 1996

• Bitter Fruit; Women’s Experiences Of Unplanned Pregnancy, Abortion And Adoption (Townsend, Rita; Perkins, Ann) 1992

• From here to maternity (Marshall, Connie C) 1994

• Heart And Hands; A Midwife’s Guide To Pregnancy And Birth (Davis, Elizabeth) 1987

• Unplanned Choices: Pregnancy Resolution Decisions Among Chicana And Caucasian U.C. Davis Students, Senior Thesis (Carlson, Christine N) 1999

If you’d like to read more about pregnancy, visit the WRRC Library, where these books, and others, are available. You can also browse the library catalog online at

>>Download PDF-Friendly Version.