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Pregnancy options counseling is a type of psychological counseling that occurs when a client comes in due to her stress and fears of pregnancy[clarification needed]. This type of counseling provides information and support for a pregnant woman who is considering choices regarding the continuation of her pregnancy. The medical professional gives the patient the option plans non-judgmentally or without bias.[vague] The options can included continuing the pregnancy, either in self parenting or adopting, and termination (abortion). These counselors are confidential and professional so it does not affect the decision of the patient. Counselors require up-to-date knowledge of local and national laws governing woman's pregnancy choices, especially concerning adolescents and their rights to make such decisions.
Another reason patients seek pregnancy options counseling is it provides resources and confidentiality of the event that is occurring. The counselor will provide you with medically accurate and factual information on prenatal care, adoption and abortion. The counselor will also provide the patient with names of hospitals and clinics that are near them as well as contact numbers that will help when the patient is feeling depressed or scared.
Policy and position statements regarding pregnancy options counseling and reproductive health exist for the following professional organizations (among others):
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP): Reproductive Decisions
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Counseling the Adolescent about Pregnancy Options
- Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN): Health Care Decision Making for Reproductive Care
- American Medical Women's Association (AMWA): Abortion & Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Services