It’s National Women’s Health Week, so it’s time to refocus on relevant women’s issues: equal pay, equal rights, and the right of a woman to choose what she wants to do with her body. Whether you agree with it or not, chances are that you will come in contact with someone who has had an abortion in your lifetime – if you haven’t already.
So, if your vina has turned to you in a time of need and asked for your support through a really (emotionally, physically, mentally) difficult decision to have an abortion, how do you give it to them?
KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF
Abortion is tough. It’s not easy or clear-cut on either side of the debate. So if you really want to support your fellow vina through this experience, now is not the time to debate or bring your own social and political opinions into it. This can be SUPER HARD to do but you can still love and support your vina no matter if you agree on the issue or not. Your vina is making a tough enough decision without having to take your feelings into account, and your opinions may come off as unsupportive to them.
This includes the language you use when talking to your vina! According to Everyday Feminism, it’s best to “use the words that your friend is using to describe their pregnancy; that way, instead of correcting them, you’re reflecting their own perspective.” So, if you friend is using the word “baby” use the word baby. The same rule applies if they use “fetus.”
BETTER YET, TRY NOT TO ASSUME YOU KNOW HOW SHE THINKS OR FEELS ABOUT IT
Don’t expect to predict or assume you know how your vina feels about this. She might be throwing herself down on her bed crying, or she might feel casual. Undoubtedly, she’s feeling a ton of things at once, so try and tread carefully before you make any presumptuous statements, or even assume that she’s told her partner about the situation. Your support may mean utmost confidence and silence. Be okay with that and be a rock for your vina. Just be supportive no matter how your vina is taking this. She may just want you in her corner, and that’s why you’re here!
BE THERE BOTH EMOTIONALLY AND PRACTICALLY
Abortion has the potential to be a truly emotional experience, but there are some practical things you should cover with your vina. How can you help them with transportation and logistics such as prescriptions and after-care? Do they need a ride to and from the clinic or doctor’s office? Have they even found where they can get the procedure done safely? Do they need help accessing the funds for the procedure?
Volunteer your time to truly support your vina. Drive them to and from their appointment, make sure they have all the meds they need, and give them some great aftercare – this may mean setting your vina up with some great Netflix shows in bed, a bomb-ass pint of Ben & Jerry’s or tea or soup. Comfort is key, as your vina may feel groggy and crampy. But make sure that whatever you bring her is what your vina wants – some vinas may want to take a nap and chill in bed all day, whereas others might like going to dinner or returning to their sense of “normal.”
Also, your vina may feel grief after her abortion, or she may not – it’s all up to her. Please be open to how she feels by being a good listener. If she needs it, refer your vina to some great counseling centers or resources for further emotional aftercare. Don’t assume she’s traumatized, but simply let her know that you’re happy to help her find further emotional support if she needs it.
Communicate with her, be open to her needs and listen to what she’s saying. If you find yourself being triggered by the situation, be sure to take some you-time afterward to recenter and reground yourself. You’re an amazing friend and vina to her!
How have you been a supportive friend to your vina through tough times such as these? Comment below!
(Featured Image via We Heart It)