Being Pressured into Abortion? What Next?
being pressured into abortion

At Willow Womens Center, we frequently meet women who share that they are facing pressure to have an abortion. This pressure can make an already complex decision much more confusing during such a difficult time. In this blog post, we will review different types of pressure, your rights as a woman who is expecting (regardless of age), and what you can do in this situation.

Different Types of Pressure

While some women know for sure that their partner or parents are applying pressure, other women feel confused about the behavior they are seeing and experiencing. That pressure comes in many forms.

Direct pressure occurs when your partner (or in some cases, your parent or parents) tells you to get an abortion. They may tell you that they do not want a child, will not stay with you if you have the child, will not claim the child, or they will not support the child. In some cases, a woman may even be subject to verbal or physical abuse if she resists this pressure to terminate her pregnancy.

Indirect pressure occurs when your partner plants seeds of doubt in your mind without directly demanding that you terminate the pregnancy. For example, he might say things like, “I just don’t know if your mental health can really handle this right now,” to a woman who has a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, or, “How are you going to afford this on your own?” to a woman who does not work outside the home. He might insinuate that your relationship will not survive, your body won’t bounce back, your finances won’t suffice, or other aspects of your life will suffer if you move forward with the pregnancy. After these comments, you might believe it was your own decision to have an abortion.

Situational pressure is more difficult to identify and occurs when a situation is not conducive to pregnancy or parenthood. Perhaps none of your friends have children and having a baby will leave you feeling ostracized or left out, or perhaps your parents are absent in your life so you do not believe you have the role models or support you need to provide a loving home for a child. Maybe you feel that having a child out of wedlock or born of an affair will lead to being shunned or judged by your peers at work or in school. These are all examples of situational pressure.

Legalities When Being Pressured into Abortion

There are several things you need to know about your legal rights if you are being pressured to have an abortion.

Nobody can force you to terminate a pregnancy. Even if you are under 18 years old, you cannot be forced to have an abortion against your will. Depending on the jurisdiction, the person attempting to force you to have an abortion can potentially be charged with coercion, a form of abuse. If you feel like you are not safe because you are refusing to have an abortion, contact the police and request a protection order.

You can always withdraw your consent even after you have already scheduled an appointment to have an abortion. Many women change their minds after scheduling an appointment they were pressured to schedule, but do not know that they can change their minds after signing consent. Until the abortion has been performed, you have a right to change your mind – even if you are already at the clinic or you have already taken one of the abortion pills. Abortion pill reversals may be available.

What to Do Next

First, schedule an appointment at Willow Womens Center to learn about all your options. We are located in Beloit, Wisconsin and offer pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, STI testing, community resources, and more to help you make the most informed decision possible during this difficult and often confusing time.

It is also important to give whoever is pressuring you some time and space to work through their feelings. Remember that an unplanned pregnancy causes emotions for you and other people that are close to you, such as your partner or a parent. Invite them to come with you to your appointment at our clinic, where they can see the ultrasound images and can find out some of the important information together with you.

Share your pregnancy with others who will support you. If you are not getting the support you need from your partner, it is important to share your news with friends or family members who will support you and can help you with your decision. These days can be less stressful when you have the right people alongside you, and often you also need somebody to talk to as you experience the ups and downs of pregnancy.

Finally, take time to get to explore what you want. Ask yourself what your plans for your future and your values are and how these will be impacted by your decision. Explore your fears and worries about this unexpected pregnancy in depth and get support to work through them with a friend, mentor, or counselor. Ask yourself what is important to you, how this pregnancy fits into that, and what kind of decisions you need to make now to align with your plans and values and who you are as a person.

Getting Help From Willow Womens Center

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is complicated in any situation, but it becomes infinitely more challenging if you feel pressured to make a decision that you may not want. Take the first step toward making an informed decision that you can stand behind and schedule a consultation with Willow Womens Center in Beloit, Wisconsin today. During your appointment, we can provide pregnancy testing, perform an ultrasound examination, and share all the options available to you, including abortion, so you can make the most informed decision about your future.


How to Take Care of Yourself After an Abortion

Having an abortion may have turned out to be more challenging than you expected it to be, and self-care is critically important afterward.

If you are recovering from a medical or surgical abortion, you are not alone. Research reveals that in the United States, 24% of women aged 15 to 44 years will have an abortion by age 45.

What can you do to improve your healing process after an abortion? Read on to learn more about how to care for yourself physically and emotionally while you are recovering from an abortion.

How to Take Care of Yourself After an Abortion 

Whether you had a medical or surgical abortion, self-care is essential so you can recover and thrive. Self-care during this time includes resting, drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy foods, and incorporating anything healthy and comforting to you. 

If you were prescribed antibiotics, take all the pills until they are gone to prevent infection. And take antinausea and pain medication as directed. 

Remember that you can get pregnant very quickly after an abortion, so take precautions to prevent another unexpected pregnancy. 

You are valuable and deserve to care for yourself physically and emotionally.

1. How to Care for Yourself Physically After Abortion 

After an abortion, you need to know which physical side effects are expected and which symptoms indicate a complication requiring immediate medical attention. First, we will discuss common side effects after abortion and how to take care of yourself if you experience them. 

  • Bleeding

Some women have minimal bleeding after a surgical abortion because surgical instruments are used on the uterine lining. But on average, post-abortion bleeding lasts 14 days and can last as long as six weeks. Passing small blood clots is normal, and you may notice that bleeding increases if you are more active.

Try to physically get as much rest as you can for the first day or two after an abortion. Also, avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for about one week.

Use pads for the bleeding since most healthcare professionals recommend not putting anything into your vagina for two weeks, including tampons. This is to prevent infection while waiting for your cervix to close after having an abortion.

  • Cramping

Your uterus needs to return to its pre-pregnancy size, so uncomfortable cramping is normal after an abortion.

For cramping relief, you can take Ibuprofen or Tylenol as directed. Do not take aspirin because it can increase bleeding. A heating pad on your abdomen can also relieve cramping pain. 

Uterine massage is another effective way to alleviate cramping. To do uterine massage, press the palm of your hand into your abdomen and rub in a circular motion.

Post-abortion cramping can come and go for about 7 to 10 days. As with post-abortion bleeding, cramps may increase with activity so listen to your body and pace yourself.

  • Nausea/Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting for the first 24 hours after abortion is common and may also be accompanied by diarrhea.  

To help with these symptoms, you can eat small, bland, starchy meals such as dry toast or crackers. It may also help to have beverages on hand with extra electrolytes.

The following symptoms are NOT normal after an abortion. If you experience them, seek out medical care immediately.

  • Heavy bleeding: soaking two or more maxi pads an hour for two hours or passing clots larger than a golf ball for two hours or more
  • Severe abdominal or back pain: pain not relieved with pain medication
  • Fever over 100.4°: may indicate a serious infection that has spread to your bloodstream or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Odorous vaginal discharge: a sign of infection
  • Nausea and vomiting for more than 24 hours after the abortion:
  • You still have pregnancy symptoms two weeks after the abortion: could indicate a failed abortion if you are still experiencing signs of pregnancy two weeks after your abortion

2. How to Care for Yourself Emotionally After Abortion

There is not a correct way to feel after an abortion. Feelings of relief, sadness, or a combination of many conflicting emotions are normal. You have not only just made one of the most difficult decisions you have ever faced, but your body is experiencing physical symptoms as your hormone levels shift suddenly, which can cause you to feel extra emotional.

Research indicates that abortion is associated with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders compared to women without a history of abortion. If you notice that you are having difficulty coping after an abortion, help is available for you. If a supportive family member or friend is not available, there are other resources to get the help you need.

Push yourself to reach out for help – even if you may not feel like seeking support at the moment. The sooner you can address post-abortion emotional difficulties, the quicker you can get on your path to recovery.

You can reach confidential hotlines for mental health support at SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or via text message: 435748 (HELP4U). It is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year information service in English and Spanish.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself, take it seriously and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. What you are feeling is temporary, and with compassionate support and over time things will improve!

Need Support After Abortion?

If you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant or need support after abortion, Willow Womens Center is here for you. From the moment you walk into our center, you will recognize an atmosphere of care that will never include judgment for any decision you make – or have already made. Instead, our role is to compassionately come alongside you and provide you with the answers you need so you can take informed next steps for yourself.

You will never be charged for any services we offer at Willow Womens Center. Pregnancy testing, education, ultrasounds, and STI testing are all at no cost to you and designed to empower you.

Get the caring support you deserve and make your confidential appointment today.


Pregnancy Symptoms: Early Signs You Are Pregnant

Could I be pregnant? Until you know for sure, wondering if you are pregnant or not can cause quite a bit of anxiousness — especially when a pregnancy is unexpected.

The confusing part is that premenstrual signs mimic early pregnancy, so it can really leave you wondering what to attribute your symptoms to.

The only way to have a definitive answer to the “Am I pregnant?” question is by a positive pregnancy test followed up with an ultrasound to confirm a viable pregnancy. Since you may experience early pregnancy symptoms before you have that confirmation, we will discuss them here, so you know what to look for.

What Happens in Your Body When You Become Pregnant?

Specific things need to happen in your body for a pregnancy to occur. Steps to pregnancy include:  

  • Ovulation: Ovulation is the point in your menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from your ovary and into the fallopian tube.
  • Presence of sperm: Sperm must be present to become pregnant. After unprotected sex, sperm, which is chemically designed to locate the egg, travels up to the fallopian tube.  
  • Conception: Conception is when a single sperm penetrates the egg (fertilization). It is the moment that pregnancy begins. The fertilized egg continues to travel through the fallopian tube for five to six days to the uterus.
  • Implantation: Implantation is the process of the fertilized egg burrowing into the uterine lining and becoming an embryo. The instant implantation occurs, your body is triggered to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone.

Pregnancy Symptoms

As soon as implantation occurs, you may begin to experience early pregnancy symptoms because your body starts producing the hCG pregnancy hormone right away.

Listed below are common pregnancy symptoms. You may experience all of them, some of them, or none of them. Every pregnancy is different, so keep in mind that what is normal for you may not be typical for another woman. And try not to become overwhelmed as you read the list. Most women tolerate early pregnancy symptoms quite well, and they usually only last through the first trimester of pregnancy.

Classic signs and symptoms of pregnancy may include:

  • Missed period

The most common symptom of pregnancy is missing your period. This is often the first clue that you might be pregnant.

  • Spotting

Light bleeding in early pregnancy may be alarming to you, but this is more common than you might expect. Implantation bleeding is spotting that happens in approximately 25-30% of pregnant women when the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining.

Sometimes, women mistakenly count implantation bleeding as a period, delaying them from realizing they are pregnant. If your period is different than usual in duration, different in color, and has a lighter flow than a regular period, consider taking a pregnancy test. This could be implantation bleeding.

  • Light cramping

You may feel like your period is about to start because you experience cramping. It can accompany implantation or be caused by your uterus growing. However, seek medical care immediately if you also have severe pain on one side to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes) which would require immediate medical care.

  • Vaginal discharge

Your vaginal walls thicken when you become pregnant, causing a white, thin discharge. It is normal unless it has an odor or changes color. In that case, contact your healthcare provider.

  • Breast changes

Breast tenderness is another pregnancy symptom that might have you feeling like your period is about to start. You may also notice that your breasts feel swollen or tingly in early pregnancy. The areola may also become darker and larger.

  • Nausea

The term morning sickness is very familiar. But the reality is that nausea and/or vomiting can strike any time during the day or night when you are pregnant. Many women find it helpful to stay hydrated, keep crackers on hand, and eat small frequent meals, so their stomachs do not get empty, causing nausea to increase.

  • Food aversion

In addition to nausea, you may notice that you can’t tolerate certain odors or foods.

  • Fatigue

Your body is working hard to support another person, and it is very normal to feel fatigued in early pregnancy. Rest assured that it tends to subside when the second trimester starts. Practice good self-care by eating nourishing foods rich in iron and protein and rest when your body needs it.

  • Constipation and bloating 

Pregnancy hormones can slow your digestion system and make it difficult to have a bowel movement causing you to feel bloated. Maintain a healthy diet that includes fiber, fruits, vegetables, and drinking plenty of water every day.

  • Urinating More Frequently

In early pregnancy, your body needs to process more fluid than usual, causing the need to urinate more often. As your pregnancy grows, it also presses against your bladder and results in feeling like you need to make more trips to the bathroom than usual.

  • Heartburn

Heartburn starts earlier in pregnancy than women anticipate. It’s caused by progesterone, which not only slows your digestive system down but also causes your esophagus muscles to relax, leading to a burning feeling in your chest.

  • Mood changes

Like premenstrual hormones, pregnancy hormones can cause you to feel different emotionally. Some women feel more sentimental and loving, and some experience mood swings, including weepiness. Be gracious with yourself, and remember that pregnancy brings emotional adjustments in addition to physical changes.

No-Cost Pregnancy Testing Is Available at Willow Womens Center

If you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant, you will need a listening ear and compassionate care more than ever before. You are looking for accurate answers to your questions.

Willow Womens Center is passionate about empowering you with unbiased facts from licensed healthcare professionals so you can make a confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy.

Our services are always at no cost to you. We offer medical-grade pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound if your pregnancy test is positive, and testing for sexually transmitted infection (STI)  in addition to other services.

Contact Willow Womens Center today to schedule your confidential appointment and receive the support you deserve.


Is it Safe to Buy Abortion Pills Online?
is it safe to buy abortion pills online

Scared. It is a feeling women facing an unexpected pregnancy share. Know that you are not alone if you have discovered you are pregnant and are fearful and confused about what to do next.

Since you are reading this, it means you are educating yourself, and we applaud you for that. You have pregnancy options that you may not have considered, and you are here seeking answers.

During your internet research, you may have come across the possibility of purchasing the abortion pill online. And perhaps you thought to yourself, “This sounds easy!” 

American women have been purchasing abortion pills online from other countries for several years because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed it illegal to obtain them over the internet. But, in April 2021, the FDA stated that they would use discretion to enforce their safeguards during the pandemic by allowing telehealth visits and mail-order abortion pills.

The FDA’s ruling opened doors for women in many states to receive the abortion pill online without seeing a healthcare provider in person.

But is it safe? Accurate information is power, so read on to learn more.

What Is the Abortion Pill?

Medical abortion (or medication abortion) and surgical abortion are two ways to end an unwanted pregnancy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the abortion pill for medical abortions up to seventy days since the first day of your last period (LMP). 

The term “abortion pill” sounds like you are only taking one pill. But in reality, a medical abortion requires taking multiple pills of two different abortion medications; mifepristone and misoprostol.

The first abortion medication, mifepristone, is taken to block progesterone. When progesterone is blocked, the uterine lining breaks down, and the embryo’s heart stops beating.

The second medication, misoprostol, is taken approximately 24 hours later. Misoprostol causes the embryo to detach from the uterus and be expelled by producing heavy uterine cramping.

Risks of Medical Abortion

Online purchase of abortion pills is marketed to women in crisis as an easy solution. Some providers attempt to lure you in by claiming that a medical abortion is nice to have in the comfort of your own home or that it is safer than taking Tylenol. But these claims can be misleading. You deserve a complete picture to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.

At first glance, just taking some medication seems so much easier than a surgical procedure, but there are known side effects and risks to consider.

When you take abortion pills, your medical abortion happens at home, which can feel scary if you are not prepared for the possible side effects, including:

  • Visualizing the gestational sac/pregnancy pass
  • Painful uterine and abdominal cramps
  • Back pain
  • Heavy bleeding and passing blood clots
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever (under 100.4°)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore breasts
  • Fatigue

In addition to unpleasant side effects, there are also serious risks needing medical attention to consider, and they could include:

  • Incomplete abortion requiring a follow-up surgical abortion
  • Heavy bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • High fever
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • An undetected ectopic pregnancy (a medical emergency)
  • Future infertility
  • Death

Now that you understand the risks of taking abortion pills, we will discuss the added risks of purchasing abortion pills online.

Risks of Purchasing Abortion Pills Online

Purchasing abortion pills online means you do not have an opportunity to be examined by a licensed healthcare provider. As a result, you are put at greater risk for complications by prescribing abortion medications without having all the necessary information obtained by ultrasound.

Here are four risks of purchasing abortion pills online.

  1. You could be further along in your pregnancy than you think.

The FDA has approved abortion pills for up to ten weeks of pregnancy because the need for medical care from complications increases the further along you are. However, the only accurate way to know how many weeks pregnant you are is by ultrasound.

Whether you speak to a healthcare provider through telehealth or not at all, you are left relying on the dates of your menstrual period to determine how far along you are. This information can be inaccurate for several reasons:

  • You may have counted implantation bleeding as a period, causing you to be several weeks further into your pregnancy than you realized.
  • You ovulated earlier in your cycle than expected. If your periods are irregular, it is more difficult to predict when you conceived, and your pregnancy could be further along.

2. You could have a non-viable pregnancy.

A viable pregnancy has a reasonable chance of ending in a live birth. A non-viable pregnancy has zero chance of survival, and it is more common than you might think. Up to 20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage, so do not risk putting yourself through a medical abortion if it is not necessary.

Only an ultrasound can tell you if your pregnancy is viable or not.

3. You will not know if you have an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy happens outside of the uterus, most often in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed by ultrasound, but if it isn’t detected, the fallopian tube can burst, and this is a life-threatening emergency.

Taking abortion pills can mask the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy because you are told to expect pain during a medical abortion. This may cause you not to realize that you need immediate medical care because you think the pain is abortion-related rather than a medical emergency.

4. You cannot know what you are purchasing.

You have no way of knowing for sure where abortion pills are coming from when you purchase them online. Therefore, it is impossible to know if they are safe, effective, or made from quality ingredients.

You Are Valuable

You are too valuable to be put at risk. At Willow Womens Center, we offer the no-cost pregnancy services you deserve, so you can be confident that you have made your decision with accurate information regardless of what you decide.

Contact us today for your confidential appointment. Willow Womens Center is judgment-free, and you can trust that you will be treated with dignity and compassion.


Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?
Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?

You think your girlfriend might be pregnant, but you are not sure. The thought of facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary, but it is best to know the answer sooner rather than later.

To find out if your girlfriend is pregnant, you can ask her, look for obvious signs, and encourage her to take a pregnancy test.

Ask Your Girlfriend If She Thinks She Is Pregnant

Although you usually would not ask a woman if she is pregnant, it is ok to ask your girlfriend. Remember that she is just as fearful as you are. Assure her that she has your support whether she is pregnant or not, and you will work through this together.  

Signs Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant

You may not get the definite answer you need, but you can also look for early signs of a possible pregnancy. When women become pregnant, their bodies go through tremendous changes and produce pregnancy hormones that trigger common symptoms of pregnancy, which include:

  • Missed period

A missed period is the most common sign your girlfriend is pregnant. Understanding how her cycle works can help you know how likely she is to be pregnant.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

It is called “morning sickness,” but nausea with or without vomiting can occur any time of the day or night. In addition, foods and odors can trigger nausea in early pregnancy.

  • Tender or swollen breasts

Tender and swollen breasts can start one to two weeks into pregnancy. It can also be a sign that your girlfriend’s period is about to begin. But if they are combined with other symptoms, it could indicate that she is pregnant.

  • Fatigue

Thanks to high progesterone hormone levels in early pregnancy, your girlfriend may feel exhausted if she is pregnant.

  • Bloating

Bloating is another early pregnancy symptom that mimics signs your girlfriend’s period is about to start. Sometimes, bloating occurs before she misses her period as progesterone hormone levels rise and cause the digestive system to slow down and gas to be trapped.

If you see any of these signs of pregnancy in your girlfriend, encourage her to take a pregnancy test so you can determine your next steps and take them together.  

Encourage a Pregnancy Test

The best way to know if your girlfriend is pregnant is by a urine pregnancy test – no-cost pregnancy clinics can offer free testing with highly accurate pregnancy test results.

Medical pregnancy clinics are skilled at determining if a pregnancy is viable and will answer all your questions about each of your options for an unexpected pregnancy.

Willow Womens Center Has Answers

At Willow Womens Center, we understand that taking a pregnancy test is scary for anyone thinking they might be unexpectedly pregnant because it means acknowledging reality and facing tough decisions.

Our licensed healthcare professionals offer no-cost limited medical services and compassionately empower you with the information you need to make the best decision about an unplanned pregnancy. Contact us online today or call 1-608-312-2025 to schedule your confidential appointment and get the answers you deserve.