Women facing unplanned pregnancy can get help
About half of all pregnancies in Minnesota are unintended, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In recent months, news about the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of newborns in Minnesota offer a sad reminder of the work sti...
About half of all pregnancies in Minnesota are unintended, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. In recent months, news about the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of newborns in Minnesota offer a sad reminder of the work still to be done to create more awareness among women who need resources, education, information and support during an unplanned pregnancy.
"Being surprised to learn that you have a baby on the way can be very scary for women of all ages who may be wondering what in the world they are going to do now," explained Valerie Romanoski, pregnancy counselor for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. "It's so important for women to know that they have options and supportive people out there who are ready to help."
At Lutheran Social Service, Romanoski said that professionally-trained pregnancy counselors have been around for decades providing information and support to help women make informed and healthy decisions for themselves and their babies. She added that pregnancy counseling is a free and confidential service that is available around the clock, and that counselors can meet with women wherever they feel safe to talk about their circumstances, as well as with significant others, friends and family members they wish to have join them. Foster care is also available to women who are in a crisis and are unsure of where to turn for assistance in deciding whether to parent their child, or place their child for adoption.
Romanoski encourages women who are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy to talk with someone they can trust, which may include parents, their doctor or a nurse, a school counselor, pastor, friend or pregnancy counselor.
"There are all kinds of resources out there," she said. She added that it's important for parents to keep the lines of communication open with their teens, and be actively engaged in their lives.
Finally, Minnesota offers a Safe Haven Act, allowing women to bring their newborn child up to 72 hours old to a hospital emergency room and walk away with no questions asked.
For more information, a trained pregnancy counselor is available at any time through Lutheran Social Service by calling 1-888-205-3769. Answers to Frequently asked questions about pregnancy counseling are also available by visiting www.lssmn.org/pregnancy .