You can’t be forced
It is unlawful for anyone to make you have an abortion against your will, even if you are a minor. In fact, forcing a minor to have an abortion is considered child abuse. If you are a minor being forced into making a particular decision, you can report it by clicking here or calling the Child Protection Hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437). The call is free and the hotline operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
In some cases, pregnant women find that there are people in their lives who would prefer that they end their pregnancy by having an abortion. You might find that your parents or other family members, your child's father, your employer or your teacher want you to have an abortion, but this is your choice. You may find it helpful to talk to someone you trust before making this important decision, but regardless of your age, no one can make you have an abortion against your will. Regardless of your age, if you tell the doctor that someone else is forcing you into this decision, he or she will not perform the abortion.
There are a number of different ways that someone may try to force you into making a decision.
- Someone may try to intimidate you by threatening to hurt you or a loved one. If at any point, you feel that your safety or the safety of someone else is in danger, you should call 911 immediately.
- Someone might tell you that if you go through with your abortion, they will spread information about you, true of false, to embarrass you or hurt your reputation.
- Someone may tell you that you will lose your job or face consequences from your employer if you continue your pregnancy. The Louisiana Pregnancy Discrimination Law makes it illegal for your employer to fire you or punish you in any way because you are pregnant. If you feel that you have been or are being treated unfairly at your job because you are pregnant, you can file a complaint with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights. You can learn more at the Commission's website or by calling (225) 342-6969.
- Someone may tell you that you will lose social assistance if you continue your pregnancy, but that is not true. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will not be denied because you are pregnant. You can learn more about social services available through the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services by visiting www.dcfs.state.la.us or calling 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578). These are also great resources to use should someone threaten that you will not be able to have this assistance.
- Someone may tell you that your educational scholarships will be in jeopardy if you continue your pregnancy, but this is not the case. If you have questions about financial aid/scholarships you are receiving or plan to receive, contact the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance at 225-219-1012 or visit www.osfa.state.la.us. You can also contact your school's financial aid office.
- Someone may try to tell you will lose financial support or housing if you continue your pregnancy, but some of this assistance is legally protected. There are public housing offices across the state than can help you learn more about the help that is available to you. To find one in your area, click here.