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abortion clinics in New Mexico

Alternatives to Abortion Clinics in New Mexico

Finding out you’re pregnant can be scary, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned. Abortion clinics in New Mexico are among the first places some women go when faced with this kind of situation. The most recent figures for New Mexico reveal that 4,620 abortions were performed in a year in the state. Pregnant women who choose abortion clinics in New Mexico may be feeling scared and alone and think they have no other options. There are alternatives to abortion clinics in New Mexico to help you sort through your pregnancy options. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is one of the places you can turn when you need extra support.

What is Care Net?

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing, free limited pregnancy ultrasounds, and free STD testing. These are all important things to consider if you think you might be pregnant. Our caring and supportive staff helps you figure out whether you are pregnant, if you may have any STDs that could affect a healthy pregnancy, and reviews options for handling your pregnancy if it was unplanned.

Our free resources are designed to help you navigate an unexpected pregnancy. We make sure you are educated about all options, including abortion, adoption, and parenting. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque doesn’t perform or refer for abortions, but we do arm women with accurate information to help them feel confident in their choice.

Care Net has four locations, plus a medical mobile unit, to make receiving care convenient. Contact any of our offices to schedule an appointment or walk right in to get the help you need.

Adoption and parenting are alternatives to abortion clinics in New Mexico.

Pregnancy options to avoid abortion clinics in New Mexico

Abortion may be a consideration for some pregnant women, which is why our staff provides accurate information about this pregnancy option. However, we also encourage women to explore alternatives that abortion clinics in New Mexico may not discuss.

Adoption agencies vs. abortion clinics in New Mexico

Adoption can be a viable alternative to visiting an abortion clinic in New Mexico. Even if you decide you are not ready to become a parent, you may be uncomfortable having an abortion. That is just one of many reasons to consider meeting with adoption agencies to place your baby with a loving family.

Most adoption agencies provide birth mothers with the financial and medical resources they need to have a healthy pregnancy. Birth mothers can choose which kind of adoption they prefer:

  • Open adoptions allow the birth mother and adoptive family to meet and have an ongoing relationship.
  • Semi-open adoptions allow for the birth mother and adoptive family to meet but not maintain ongoing contact.
  • Semi-closed adoptions give birth mothers the ability to choose their baby’s adoptive parents. There is no contact between the birth mother and adoptive family.
  • Closed adoptions protect the privacy of the birth mother and adoptive family and there is no contact between them.

Parenting as a choice

Some women who previously thought they weren’t prepared to become parents change their minds after meeting with our staff. If you are on the fence about whether to keep your baby, we can help connect you with community resources to support you in your journey toward parenthood. This includes material assistance, financial support, job assistance, medical assistance, and other essential living needs to ensure you and your baby are healthy. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque also provides pregnancy and parenting education resources and support groups.

If you get a positive home pregnancy test, having the pregnancy confirmed with free pregnancy testing at Care Net is the next step.

Free services for pregnant women

If you decide to explore alternatives to abortion clinics in New Mexico, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can get you started on the path toward a healthy pregnancy. Making sure you are disease-free is one of the first steps you should take if you plan to place your baby with a loving family through adoption or raise them yourself.

Free testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a must if you plan to carry your pregnancy to term. STDs and STIs can cause serious health complications for you and your baby if left undetected and untreated.

Women are more likely than men to experience long-term health consequences after contracting an STD or an STI. Some STDs can damage the reproductive system and cause birth defects. Some of the most common STDs/STIs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Syphilis

STD/STI prevention and treatment during pregnancy

If you discover you have an STD or STI while pregnancy, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help. It is important to remember that most STDs/STIs are treatable, especially when detected early. Some STDs and STIs do not cause symptoms, so you should be tested even if you feel fine. You can get peace of mind about your health by requesting free STD/STI testing at one of our convenient locations. While we provide limited treatment options for some STDs or STIs, we can also refer you to a healthcare professional who can determine the most effective course of action.

Some women and their partners struggle with the decision to have an abortion and require after-abortion care.

After-abortion care for women and their partners

Women who choose to visit an abortion clinic in New Mexico to have an abortion may struggle with their decision later. They also may have complications that require medical intervention. Understanding your physical and emotional reactions to abortion is a critical part of the recovery process.

Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers of Albuquerque offer after-abortion care services to women and their partners. We offer a confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can talk one-on-one with someone about your abortion experience. Call 505-880-8373 to discuss your needs with a caring member of our staff.

Alternatives to abortion clinics in New Mexico

If you are unsure of your options to an abortion clinic in New Mexico, contact Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers of Albuquerque today to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable and supportive staff members. We provide education and facts about all your options and never judge you for your choice. Everyone has different life circumstances that guide their decisions about an unexpected pregnancy. We’re here for you, no matter what you choose.

abortion clinic Albuquerque pregnancy

Abortion Clinics in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Abortion clinics in Albuquerque provide services to women faced with unplanned pregnancies and other pregnancy complications. Choosing to have an abortion is not an easy decision to make. Abortion clinics in Albuquerque that specialize in abortion services can help women choose which method works best for their situation.

Speaking with a caring and knowledgeable support person before you have an abortion can help you cope with your decision. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to help you work through all your pregnancy options. You can access free pregnancy testing and confidential consultation with our staff members before you decide how to handle your pregnancy. This is a no-judgment zone, so we support whatever option you determine is best for your individual situation.

Services abortion clinics in Albuquerque offer

Abortion clinics in Albuquerque offer patients two options for abortion services: chemical and surgical. The kind of abortion you can receive depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy when you seek the services.

Chemical abortions

A chemical abortion is used in women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. Two separate medications are administered during a multiple-step process. During phase one, women receive a dose of Mifeprex that blocks progesterone production. Developing fetuses require this hormone to survive pregnancy. Within 48 hours of receiving Mifeprex, women get a second medication called Mifepristone. The second dose causes women to bleed heavily, which forces the fertilized egg or developing fetus out of the uterus.

Surgical abortions

Women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant must have a surgical abortion. During the procedure, the woman’s cervix is opened, and a suction device is used to remove the fetus. There are various levels of surgical abortion, including aspiration, dilation and evacuation (D&E), and D&E after viability. The type of surgical abortion you have depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy and any complications you may already be experiencing from the pregnancy.

How much does an abortion cost in New Mexico?

One of the questions most of our clients ask is how much abortions cost in New Mexico. The answer depends on whether you have a chemical or surgical abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, most chemical abortions cost around $600 in New Mexico. Surgical abortions can cost $3,000 or more depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy and the type of surgical method used.

Most insurance companies do not pay for abortion services with a few exceptions. The New Mexico Supreme Court requires Medicaid to cover any medically necessary abortion procedure under NARAL v. Johnson, No. 23239 (November 25, 1998). Falling under the category of medically necessary are any pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Their ruling excludes elective abortions. Private insurance companies also do not cover elective abortions. Abortion clinics in Albuquerque should explain this to anyone seeking an abortion.

Abortion clinics are still legal in Albuquerque but must operate under specific guidelines to ensure patient wellbeing.

Yes, abortion clinics are legal in Albuquerque and all of New Mexico. There is a caveat. Only physicians licensed by the state of New Mexico using medically approved abortion methods can legally perform abortions in the state. Abortion clinics in Albuquerque know the guidelines and should explain them to any woman seeking their services. Women seeking an abortion may want to consult with the caring staff at Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque to receive answers to all their questions before having an abortion. While Care Net doesn’t perform abortions, our staff can make sure you have the information you need to make an informed decision.

Risks of using an abortion clinic in Albuquerque

Whether you receive a chemical or surgical abortion, the risks are similar. When you seek assistance from the knowledgeable staff at Care Net Albuquerque, we ensure that you have access to all relevant information about the abortion process, including potential complications.

Problems from using an abortion clinic in Albuquerque usually are the lowest if an abortion is performed during the first trimester. As a pregnancy advances and the fetus becomes more developed, complications can become more numerous for the mother. Some of the most common issues associated with chemical and surgical abortions include:

  • Blood clots that form inside the uterus and can travel to other parts of the body.
  • Cervical tears and abrasions that can become infected.
  • Complications from anesthesia that can cause serious injury or death.
  • Heavy bleeding that requires medical intervention.
  • Pelvic infection that can cause serious illness or death if left untreated.

While rare, if an abortion clinic in Albuquerque fails to remove all of the fetus from the uterus during an abortion, it can cause septic shock.

If you choose to use an abortion clinic in Albuquerque, make sure the medical provider or clinic staff review all complications and risks before you agree to have the procedure. New Mexico law requires healthcare practitioners to receive informed consent that includes:

  • Assessing the risks and side effects of chemical or surgical abortion procedures.
  • Learning about other pregnancy options.
  • Receiving an explanation about all abortion procedures available.
Women who use abortion clinics in Albuquerque may need after-abortion care and support.

After abortion care and support

Some women struggle with their decision after having an abortion. They may feel guilty or have regrets that require ongoing care and support from a community of others who share their trauma. Abortion clinics in Albuquerque generally do not provide after-abortion care and support. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers after-abortion care designed to deal with emotional and physical pain from abortions. Whether you are having medical complications following an abortion, or are fighting depression years after your decision, you’re not alone. You can make a choice to heal and become strong in our confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can discuss your concerns one-on-one or in a group setting. Call 505-880-8373 to find an after-abortion care program near you.

Alternatives to abortion clinics in Albuquerque

It’s never too late to change your mind about having an abortion. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to discuss all your alternatives to visiting an abortion clinic in Albuquerque. From adoption to parenting, we have the resources you need to make a different choice. Contact us today to explore your options.

proof of pregnancy

How to Get Proof of Pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant when it wasn’t in your plans can be a shock to women and their partners. Sometimes they receive the news with joy and begin planning their future as parents. Other times, they may decide they are not prepared to take on the responsibilities of parenthood and explore adoption. Regardless of which path you choose you may require proof of pregnancy for several reasons. A pregnancy verification form can be provided by a healthcare professional or pregnancy verification testing site as evidence of pregnancy. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds that can be used as part of the pregnancy verification process.

What are some reasons to have proof of pregnancy?

There are several reasons why you might need proof of pregnancy. One of the most important is to receive Medicaid healthcare insurance under the Centennial Care program. Like most states, New Mexico’s Medicaid program provides healthcare coverage to low-income pregnant women who meet the earnings threshold requirements.

Medicaid requires specific documentation at the time of application for services. Verification of pregnancy form is among them. Specific guidance on how the information must be presented accompanies the application instructions. Applicants must present their proof of pregnancy results on official letterhead from any doctor, midwife, nurse, or other approved pregnancy testing location.

Other government assistance programs may require proof of pregnancy beyond Medicaid. They include:

Another reason you might need proof of pregnancy is when working with an adoption agency. Birth mothers must submit to a series of screenings before an adoption agency agrees to help them find adoptive parents for their children. Along with medical history and drug testing, birth mothers may be asked to provide verification of their pregnancy. Sadly, there are scammers who try to take advantage of people who want to become adoptive parents. Most reputable adoption agencies require proof of pregnancy before agreeing to represent birth mothers in their search for adoptive parents.

Making an appointment with your doctor or a testing facility once you receive a positive home pregnancy test is the next step in getting proof of your pregnancy.

Steps to take to confirm pregnancy

Most pregnancy verification forms require three separate steps to confirm pregnancy. From employers to health insurance providers, this multi-layer process protects birth mothers by providing ample evidence of their pregnancies. Here is each step and how to perform it.

Step 1: Take a home pregnancy test

As soon as you miss your period and suspect you are pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. While a personal test alone is not sufficient evidence of your condition, it is the first step most doctors and other pregnancy testing facilities require before conducting more thorough exams and tests to confirm or refute pregnancy.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment

If you already have a trusted healthcare provider, they should be your first call after receiving a positive home pregnancy test. Making an appointment and receiving confirmation of the visit serves as further documentation of your pregnancy. If you don’t have an established relationship with a medical practitioner, you can visit any one of our Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque sites or our medical mobile unit to receive free pregnancy testing.

Step 3: Get verified

Following your visit to a healthcare provider or another pregnancy testing center to confirm your pregnancy, ask for the pregnancy verification letter on official letterhead. Alternatively, you also can download a pregnancy verification form and ask the medical professional to sign it and include evidence of their credentials. Either is accepted by most places that require proof of pregnancy.

Scheduling an appointment with Care Net

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque makes it super easy to schedule your free pregnancy testing or free limited pregnancy ultrasound. You can call any of our five physical locations or our medical mobile unit to arrange to test. Contact information for each of our sites is available on our website. Our caring staff conducts confidential testing and provides the documentation you need to get the help necessary for supporting your pregnancy.

drugs while pregnant

The Risks of Drug Use During Pregnancy

Drug use during pregnancy comes with many risks, including the potential for birth defects among the most serious. Illicit drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and other hallucinogens can do damage to both the mother and the developing fetus. However, they are not the only drugs that pose a hazard. Alcohol and some over-the-counter medications can contribute to birth defects and other developmental issues. Women who are abusing drugs or alcohol when they become pregnant must seek immediate care to protect their health and well-being, and that of the baby.

How do drugs cause birth defects?

More than half of all pregnant women take prescription medication or nonprescription medications during pregnancy. Another 5 percent admit to using social drugs (like alcohol) and taking illicit drugs at some time during their pregnancies. Almost all drugs eventually cross the placenta, which makes taking any medications during pregnancy risky.

Drugs that can do the most damage to the fetus are those that cross the placenta. Scientists have determined the most likely drugs – prescription and illicit – to cross the placental barrier include the following characteristics:

  • They have a low molecular weight.
  • They are fat soluble.
  • They lack binding properties.

Anesthetics, narcotics, and steroids are among the prescription drugs which fit into this risk category. Alcohol and all illicit drugs easily pass the placental barrier.

What kind of drugs carries the most risk?

One of the most dangerous drugs for pregnant women is isotretinoin, sold under the brand name Accutane. A powerful drug used to treat acne, Accutane increases the chances of your baby being born with serious birth defects by 35 percent. The drug is closely monitored by the FDA and prescribing doctors to ensure women prescribed the medication do not continue use if they become pregnant.

Other prescription drugs that pose the highest threat to a developing baby include:

  • Anticonvulsants for controlling seizures (Depakote, Dilantin, Lamictal, Tegretol, Topamax).
  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Anti-nausea medications (Zofran).
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The safety of some over-the-counter medications is unknown, making them risky to use during pregnancy. Clinical recommendations from the American Association of Family Physicians provide insight into which non-prescription drugs pose the most threat to a developing fetus.

All illegal drugs can cause serious harm to your baby. You must avoid them during pregnancy, or seek help if you have an addiction, to protect your health and that of the developing fetus.

Graphic courtesy Merck Manual for Gynecologic Professionals.

How drugs affect child development

Nonprescription, prescription, and illegal drugs can cause visible birth defects. They also can cause behavioral, emotional, and social disorders. Children born to mothers addicted to alcohol and other substances have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and oppositional behavior. Certain drugs, especially illicit substances, can impact the brain’s development in the womb, which can lead to later deficits in short-term and long-term cognitive functioning.

In addition to birth defects, the greatest risk of using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy is the chance of stillbirth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the likelihood of stillbirth increases with the following:

  • Marijuana use – 1.8 to 2.8 percent increase.
  • Prescription pain medications – 2.2 percent increase.
  • Stimulant use – 2.2 percent increase.
  • Tobacco use – 2.3 percent increase.

Symptoms of drug withdrawal in newborns

Newborns subjected to drug or alcohol use while in utero can display signs and symptoms of withdrawal up to 14 days after birth. Some of the most common indicators include:

  • Abnormal sucking reflex.
  • Blotchy skin tone.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Excessive crying.
  • Fever.
  • Hyperactive reflexes.
  • Poor feeding.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Seizures.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling.
  • Vomiting.

These effects can be long-lasting, even when treated by medical professionals immediately after birth. Doctors can test babies to determine if they suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Testing can reveal the severity of withdrawal symptoms, which are used to determine the best course of treatment. Babies may require medication to treat severe withdrawal symptoms, plus fluids to keep them from becoming dehydrated.

Risks with using drugs during breastfeeding

The risk for developmental delays and other harm does not end once the baby is born. Mothers who plan to breastfeed can pass along drugs and alcohol in their breastmilk. Some substances pass through your milk at higher levels than others. Premature babies, newborns, and babies born with poorly functioning kidneys are most at risk for complications of drugs or alcohol in their mother’s breastmilk. Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs are safe to take while breastfeeding. Your medical provider can offer guidance.

Help for pregnant mothers using drugs or alcohol

Care net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds to pregnant women struggling with addiction. All appointments and testing are confidential. Our staff can refer pregnant women to community resources to help them overcome addiction during pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your free and private consultation at one of our convenient locations.

sexual abuse pregnancy

Sexually Abused and Pregnant? We Can Help.

Sexual abuse victims who become pregnant have some tough choices ahead of them. For some women, the thought of giving birth after being raped causes further emotional trauma. Others may struggle with personal convictions about life that convince them they should carry the pregnancy to term. Whether they then choose to parent or place their baby for adoption after birth also is part of the decision-making process.

No matter which scenario applies to your personal situation, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to help. Our team does more than guide sexual abuse victims through the process of handling a pregnancy. They also can test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) to ensure the baby and mother are healthy. Care Net connects pregnant abuse victims with the resources they need to recover emotionally and physically.

How many women are sexually abused?

Sexual abuse and violence affect one out of every six American women in their lifetime. Pregnancy resulting from sexual abuse happens in 6 percent of rapes of women of reproductive age (12 to 45). Women can be sexually abused by a stranger or someone who is known to them. In some cases, they are raped or sexually coerced by an intimate partner.

Rape-related pregnancy is similar across racial and ethnic groups, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Choices for sexual abuse victims who become pregnant

Sometimes sexual assault victims who become pregnant from the abuse feel victimized twice. These feelings are normal and never should be ignored or minimized by healthcare professionals or others providing care to the victim. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is a no-judgment zone. Our primary concern is your health and safety. Whether you choose abortion, adoption, or parenting, our caring staff is here to help you through every step of the process. We also connect you with the resources you need to help you heal from sexual abuse trauma. If you choose abortion or adoption, we have support services in place to help you through the normal feelings and struggles you may have afterward. Whatever you choose, we are here for you.

Sometimes sexual abuse victims who become pregnant are forced by their abusers to have an abortion to hide the abuse. Victims who have been forced to terminate their pregnancies can suffer long-term emotional and physical trauma. Our team can connect victims in this situation with the resources they need to heal emotionally and physically from sexual abuse and trauma.

Spotting the warning signs of sexual abuse

Many sexual abuse victims suffer in silence because the people around them have no idea they are victims of something so horrific. There are behavioral, emotional, and physical signs of sexual abuse. Learning to spot them can mean the difference between a victim getting the help they need and continued suffering.

Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Emotional outbursts.
  • Extreme objection to odors, sounds, or specific people and situations.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Inability to establish healthy boundaries.
  • Memory loss.
  • Restlessness or sleeplessness.

If you suspect someone is the victim of sexual abuse, reach out to the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline toll-free at 800-656-4673. The trained staff members can connect you with services in your area that can investigate and provide support to the victim of sexual abuse if it is confirmed.

How sexual abuse sabotages a healthy pregnancy

Beyond a woman becoming pregnant because of sexual abuse or other sexual violence, being sexually abused also can affect future pregnancies. Women who later choose to become pregnant with their partners can suffer the unwanted emotional side effects of their earlier trauma. All victims have triggers that can remind them of the crime to which they were subjected. For sexual abuse sufferers, one of those triggers can be their bodies. While they chose to become pregnant and are happy about their decision, that does not mean their pregnancy won’t generate unwanted feelings.

Pregnancy and childbirth can generate unwanted feelings during:

  • Routine prenatal care and exams.
  • Invasive delivery interventions.
  • Power struggles between the patient and her doctor.

Any of these scenarios can trigger a fight, flight, or freeze response in a pregnant woman who previously suffered from sexual abuse. Pregnancy – even one that is planned and perceived as a joyous occasion – can trigger higher levels of anxiety and fear in sexual abuse survivors.

Turn to Care Net for help

Victims of sexual abuse can seek help at any of our locations directly, no questions asked. We protect your confidentiality and will connect you with the resources you need to heal from the trauma. If you are pregnant, we can ensure you have the guidance needed to make the best decision about your pregnancy. Contact us at any time to learn more.

warning signs trafficking

How to Spot the Signs Human Trafficking

Human trafficking in New Mexico is a growing concern. The state is part of a known route that includes Denver, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, and Compton. In its most recent Federal Human Trafficking Report, the Human Trafficking Institute ranked New Mexico 23rd in the nation for active human trafficking cases with eight cases and two prosecutions. One of the reasons prosecutions are not higher in these types of cases is because victims who are fortunate enough to escape their captors are too terrified to testify against them. Human traffickers and their victims can hide in plain sight. New Mexicans can help fight against human trafficking in their state by knowing how to spot the warning signs and which agencies to involve if they suspect trafficking.

What is human trafficking?

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking involves using physical force, fraud, or other forms of coercion to get free labor from victims or make them engage in commercial sex acts. Traffickers are manipulators. They might make false promises – such as helping undocumented immigrants become citizens – or use physical force and intimidation to get their victims to do what they want. No community is immune from this horrendous crime. Victims can be any age, gender, nationality, or race. Fear of law enforcement and language barriers can keep some human trafficking victims from seeking help on their own.

Recognizing the key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and removing them from a dangerous situation. All the following warning signs may be present, or only a few. If you suspect human trafficking, never approach the potential victim or their captor. Doing so can put the victim in further jeopardy. Information on how to report suspected human trafficking is included later in this blog. Here are some of the warning signs you should look for to help combat trafficking in your community.

Warning signs of human trafficking

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides several warning signs to help spot human trafficking.

  • Appearing malnourished. Withholding adequate food and water is one of the methods traffickers use to maintain control of their victims. Not only does it make them physically weak and less likely to try to escape, but it also makes them more beholden to their captors since they determine how much – or how little – nourishment they receive.  
  • Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures. These three things may not always signal someone is a victim of trafficking, but they can be strong indicators in those who fall into this category. Victims often are forced to isolate themselves and limit interactions with others for fear someone may catch on to what is happening to them.
  • Showing signs of physical abuse. Bruises, broken bones, and other visible injuries can be signs that someone is being forced into a situation. Physical threats and intimidation are common tactics used by traffickers to keep their victims from seeking help.
  • Lacking official identification documents. While this also can be a sign that someone is an undocumented immigrant, the inability to produce a driver’s license or other form of identification can be a red flag that the person is a trafficking victim. Traffickers try to keep their victims from getting access to any personal identification to keep them trapped in their situation.
  • Using scripted responses during social interactions. Traffickers hide their victims in plain sight. They might force them to work in their public-facing businesses as a form of free labor. To pull this off, they must find ways to strongarm them into not saying the wrong thing when interacting with customers. If you patronize a business and have an interaction with an employee that feels a bit too scripted, it might be a sign of trouble.
warning signs trafficking
Signs of human trafficking can be subtle and easy to miss.

Who is most vulnerable to trafficking?

Human traffickers target certain populations because they are easier to control. Data collected by the Polaris Project indicates people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to be trafficked than any other demographic. The group attributes the increased risk to the general trauma, historic oppression, and other societal factors and inequities that these two groups experience. Traffickers are highly skilled at recognizing and exploiting weaknesses in their victims.

Sex traffickers are experts at grooming their victims. They work hard to gain their trust and then create a dependent relationship. They convince their victims that selling sexual services is normal and even necessary. Some victims may even believe they have made the choice to participate in sexual exploitation of their own free will.

How to report suspected trafficking

Never directly approach a suspect victim of human trafficking about their situation. Doing so can further jeopardize their safety. Their abusers often are nearby and may later punish them for your attempts to help.

The U.S. Department of State recommends alerting the nearest law enforcement agency if you become aware of a situation that feels off. Calling 911 is the quickest way to get connected with the appropriate department. You also can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 888-373-7888. This national tip hotline operates 24/7 and offers multilingual operators to callers.

Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque is a safe space for victims of human trafficking. If you need immediate assistance, stop by any of our locations and ask to speak to one of our caring staff members. No one needs to know the real reason for your visit. As providers of free pregnancy testing, free STD/STI testing, and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds, we see people for many reasons. We can help connect you with the resources needed to free you from your current situation and to ensure those responsible face consequences for their actions.

low-cost free prenatal care

How to Find Low-Cost or Free Prenatal Care

Finding low-cost or free prenatal care is a priority for women who choose to become parents. It can be a deciding factor in the choice a woman makes about how to handle her pregnancy. Sometimes pregnancy happens when you least expect it. Missing out on the ability to obtain reasonable healthcare and wellness checks throughout their pregnancy can have devastating results. A lack of prenatal care in the U.S. continues to impact how healthcare is delivered to women, including pregnant women. Gaining access to prenatal care and affordability of prenatal care are two aspects most pregnant women say need improvement in the U.S. If the only thing influencing whether a woman continues with her pregnancy is accessibility and cost, Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque can help.

How prenatal care works

Most women do not need their first prenatal checkup until 10 to 12 weeks into their pregnancy. This first appointment follows a pregnancy confirmation visit between 5 and 8 weeks when most women first realize they may be pregnant. Women can expect a comprehensive examination during the first prenatal care appointment. Most obstetricians conduct an exam, listen for a heartbeat, and order routine physical and prenatal labs.

Pregnant women can expect other prenatal visits on this recommended schedule:

  • Weeks 12-27 – one prenatal visit per month.
  • Weeks 28 to 36 – one prenatal visit every two weeks.
  • Weeks 26 to 4 – one prenatal visit every week.

Weekly prenatal checkups continue until labor begins. Women who are pregnant with twins or who have any complications may need more frequent visits.

Risk factors that influence the frequency of prenatal care

Recommended prenatal care is not set in stone. Some risk factors can increase the number of times a pregnant woman must be seen. Additional fetal monitoring may be part of the process under certain conditions. Here are a few of the times when pregnant women may need more frequent prenatal care.

  • Age. Women older than 35 have an increased chance of having a baby with a birth defect. There also is a higher risk of complications during delivery.
  • Multiples. Women who are pregnant with twins have a higher risk of complications and must be observed carefully by medical providers throughout their pregnancies and deliveries.  
  • Pre-existing health conditions. Women with a history of diabetes or high blood pressure are among those at higher risk during pregnancy. Close monitoring of these and other pre-existing health conditions can ensure the health of the mother and the baby.
  • Pregnancy-induced complications. Some risk factors only happen after a woman becomes pregnant. They include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. Women who develop any complications require additional monitoring.
  • Preterm labor. Pregnant women showing signs of going into early labor must be monitored more closely during pregnancy, which can mean more frequent visits and additional testing.
Ultrasounds may be part of a pregnant woman’s prenatal checkup.

How to find affordable or free prenatal care

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds to pregnant women. Confirming a pregnancy is the first step in the decision-making process. Women who decide to continue with their pregnancies have two options: adoption or parenting. Choosing to work with an adoption agency means an expectant mother receives prenatal care and any other medical attention needed throughout her pregnancy and delivery. Ensuring a healthy baby for adoptive parents is a priority for most adoption agencies. While Care Net does not handle adoptions, our staff can make community referrals for programs that can assist if a woman chooses to go this route.

Women who want to become parents but need help finding low-cost or free prenatal care have options as well. Among their choices:

  • Medicaid. Most (but not all) states provide low- or no-cost medical coverage through their Medicaid insurance programs for pregnant women. Eligibility factors can include household size, income, and residency. New Mexico is one of the states that provides comprehensive medical coverage to pregnant women. Our team at Care Net can help connect pregnant women with their local assistance office to get started with this process.
  • Affordable Care Act. Pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid because of income levels or other criteria that makes them ineligible can shop for insurance plans on the New Mexico state-run exchange. Women at certain income thresholds qualify for government subsidies that can significantly reduce the cost of healthcare through the exchange.
  • Prenatal care clinics. New Mexico offers several free prenatal care clinics for women who are uninsured or underinsured. They charge based on income levels and need. Care Net can help connect pregnant women with these resources.

Care Net for affordable pregnancy care

The caring staff at Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque wants to support women in their pregnancy decisions. Helping pregnant women gain access to low-cost or free prenatal care is part of the services we provide. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our knowledgeable staff.

date rape

Date Rape Facts You Need to Know

Date rape affects 35 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 in the U.S., according to data from the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN). Being forced to have sexual relations – even by someone you know – is never OK. Even when out on a date, you are not obligated to have intercourse, oral sex, or any other sexual contact with another person. Yet at least one-third of all female rape victims say they know their attacker. They may be casual dates, friends, or even boyfriends. Regardless of how you know them, it does not give them the right to force themselves on you sexually.

What is date rape?

Date rape is a form of sexual assault. It is the common name for describing what happens when you are forced into a sex act with someone you know. Rape is not a legally recognized term. If someone is arrested for date rape, they can be charged with anything from first-degree sexual assault to deviant sexual intercourse. It is possible for someone to face more than one criminal charge for committing date rape.

The reason date rape differs from other kinds of sexual assault is the victim always knows their attacker. Whether it is a classmate, a coworker, or your neighbor, if the person is known to you, the term date rape applies. Sometimes date rape is interchangeable with acquaintance rape. Regardless of which term you use, the meaning remains the same.

Date rape drugs and their role in sexual assault

Unfortunately, some women become victims of date rape because someone they know puts drugs in their food or drink that cause them to pass out or become non-responsive. It can be easy for your date to slip drugs into your drink when you are not looking that later make you confused or unable to fight back. Sometimes date rape drugs cause memory loss, so a woman may not even realize she was attacked or wonder if she consented to sex but does not remember doing so. This can make a woman hesitant to come forward to report the assault.

Some of the most common date rape drugs include:

  • Alcohol
  • Antidepressants
  • Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
  • Ketamine
  • Rohypnol (sometimes called Roofies)
  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranquilizers
Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.

What can you do to protect yourself from date rape?

There are several things that women can do to protect against becoming a victim of acquaintance rape. One of the most important measures you can take is to check out anyone you plan to date. If they are a stranger, meet in a public place of your choosing and make sure a friend or family member knows the location. Do not agree to “alone time” with someone you have just met or barely know. Agree to meet dates at a location, rather than having them pick you up. That way, if things do not go well or your instincts are throwing up red flags, you easily can leave. Other things you can do include:

  • Never accept drinks from someone you do not know.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Install a personal safety app like Virtual Halo on your smartphone.
  • Trust your instincts and leave if something does not feel right.

What to do if you are a victim of date rape

If you know or suspect you are the victim of sexual assault by an acquaintance, the first thing you must do is call the police. Preserving any evidence of the crime is critical for prosecution. The police will take you to a hospital or other medical facility that can conduct a sexual assault forensic exam – sometimes called a rape kit – to collect any evidence from your body, clothes, and other personal belongings.

We understand that coming forward as a rape victim can be difficult. Women often are judged, and then victim-blaming happens. Sexual assault is a crime and should be treated as such. In addition to collecting evidence, medical professionals can examine you for injury and prescribe medications that can help prevent you from contracting certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) if the person who assaulted you did not use protection.

Hospitals and other medical examiners also can provide you with an emergency contraceptive designed to prevent pregnancy, called Plan B. Women who use it within 72 hours of being assaulted increase their chances of it working.

What happens if I become pregnant from date rape?

Sometimes women do not report when they are sexually assaulted, especially if their attacker is known to them. They may feel embarrassed or do not want to get the person in trouble. Another issue can be the woman does not realize she was raped because her attacker used a date rape drug. She may have memory loss or be confused about whether she consented.

Failing to report the date rape means the woman also probably did not seek medical treatment. This can have dire consequences if she later finds herself pregnant or infected with an STD or STI. Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers free STD/STI testing. Women who suspect they have been raped and are worried about STDs and STIs can call to make an appointment or stop by any of our locations to get tested.

Women who suspect they may be pregnant can come in for free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds. If you are pregnant, our staff can walk you through your pregnancy options. We never judge, only help. Reach out to us today to get the help you need.

homeless and pregnant

Homeless and Pregnant? How to Get Help.

Finding out you are pregnant can be scary enough without the added complication of homelessness. Maybe you already were displaced when you became pregnant. Or maybe you were thrown out of your home once you revealed you were pregnant to family members or your landlord. Regardless of the reason, homelessness poses a health and safety risk for both the mother and her unborn child. Pregnant homeless women are more likely to face complications than their sheltered counterparts, according to a study published by Health Affairs. Among the most common health issues for homeless pregnant women were anemia, early labor, hemorrhaging, and hypertension.

Homeless women who are pregnant have options beyond homeless shelters, which also can pose certain risks to them and their babies. A pregnancy help center can offer alternatives.

Exploring your unplanned pregnancy options

Before you make any decisions about your pregnancy, it is a good idea to confirm you are pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Care Net Pregnancy Center offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds. Our results are quick and accurate, so pregnant women have the facts they need to move forward.

Homeless women who did not intend to become mothers have unplanned pregnancy options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. Whichever options you choose, Care Net Pregnancy Center is here to help you through it.

Abortion

It is never an easy decision to terminate a pregnancy. Women who wish to pursue this pregnancy option can find help and support at Care Net Pregnancy Center. From pre-abortion care to post-abortion trauma therapy, our team is here to help you through every step of the process. Our center does not perform or refer for abortions. Women who opt for abortion must find their own abortion provider.

Adoption

Adoption is a good alternative for women who are not yet ready to be parents, but who also cannot make the decision to have an abortion. There are four different types of adoption: open, semi-open, semi-closed, and closed. The one you choose depends on whether you wish to remain in contact with your child and their adoptive family. Care Net Pregnancy Center offers pre-adoption and post-adoption education services.

Parenting

Women who decide to raise their babies have all help and encouragement they need with free parenting education classes and support groups through Care Net Pregnancy Center. Our Earn While You Learn program provides resources like maternity and baby items and other necessities.

Find homeless shelters for pregnant women

Until you decide what you want to do about your pregnancy, you will need shelter. Even after you decide that you want to adopt or parent, accessing housing is a priority for your health and that of your baby. Pregnant women are considered a priority need for housing. Agencies will work diligently to find you a suitable shelter. National programs like the Homeless Prenatal Program can assist with finding women’s shelters designed to accommodate pregnant women. If you decide to work with an adoption agency, your liaison with the agency can assist in finding you a suitable shelter. Some adoption agencies have housing options for pregnant homeless women who are their clients to ensure their health and well-being until delivery.

If you were evicted from your home after revealing you were pregnant to your landlord, you may have legal recourse. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for a landlord to evict you based solely on the fact you are pregnant. If you have been evicted for no other reason than pregnancy, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Financial help for pregnant homeless women

Medicaid offers certain benefits for homeless pregnant women. Several government organizations assist pregnant women, including those who are without adequate shelter. Here are some resources that can help:

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program offers nutritional food and education. Some screening services also are provided for women during pregnancy and through six weeks after birth. Breastfeeding mothers qualify for assistance that can last from six months to a year after birth.
  • Pregnancy Medicaid is a state-administered program. The federal government established general guidelines for medical assistance, but each state determines specific requirements.
  • Section 8 Housing, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, helps with rental expenses.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also provides several grant programs to assist the homeless, including pregnant women.

Secure housing for all pregnant women

Care Net Pregnancy Center is committed to helping all pregnant women find secure housing. Our community referrals program connects homeless pregnant women with resources designed to find the best housing solution. Walk into any of our clinic locations or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

one-night stand

The Dangers of One Night Stands

Casual sex. Those two words sound so harmless until you realize they are not. There is nothing casual about sex with a person you have just met. Whether you are out for a night on the town with friends or using a dating app to find potential partners, hooking up can have devastating consequences. When alcohol is involved with the decision, it increases the likelihood both parties will make poor choices, like engaging in unprotected sex. Bad decisions lead to serious outcomes, like contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Yet, nearly 60 percent of men and women in the U.S. admit to having a one night stand at least once in their lifetimes.

Before you make the decision to be intimate with someone you have just met or barely know, take a few moments to read up on the lifetime of consequences you may face from that one choice.

Why do people have one-night stands?

There are several reasons why you may feel compelled to have a one-night stand. Some people like the anonymity of it, feeling freer to engage in sexual acts with a stranger they likely will never see again. Others may have just left a long-term relationship and do not want to jump right back into anything serious, so casual hook-ups seem like a better alternative to them. Still, others may have done it before, enjoyed it, and sought out that same feeling again. Research shows 35 percent of women and 20 percent of men regret the decision to have a one-night stand, even if they do not suffer serious consequences from their actions.

One-night stands and STDs

One of the biggest risks of having a one-night stand is the increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). According to the STD Center, the risk of acquiring specific STDs from one instance of unprotected sex depends on the type of STD. Here is the breakdown:

TYPE OF STDVAGINAL SEXANAL SEX
HIV0.05-0.1%Receptive Sex: 1.4% Insertive sex: 0.06-0.16 %
Herpes0.3-0.7 percentNo exact data available
Gonorrhea20 percentReceptive Sex: 84% Insertive sex: 30-60%
Chlamydia4.5%32%
Syphilis51-64%30-60%
HPV4%Receptive Sex: 33.7-85.7% Insertive sex: 0.8-14.2%
Chart showing the risk for contracting an STD after a one-night stand.

Syphilis carries the highest risk for both vaginal and anal sex, with Gonorrhea the second most common type of STD contracted during one-night stands where safe sex practices were not used.  Even when partners use condoms, they can still spread certain sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts, herpes, and syphilis because those diseases are contracted through skin-to-skin contact.

If you had unprotected sex or have concerns about your health following a one-night stand, you can talk with one of our staff members. Care Net offers free STD/STI testing at select locations throughout Albuquerque.  Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations. When you receive free STD testing with us, you must make a follow-up appointment within 2 to 7 days to discuss your test results. If you test positive for any of the STDs/STIs we test for, our staff will refer you to the appropriate treatment center.

One-night stands and pregnancy

STDs and STIs are not the only unfortunate consequence of having casual sex. Unplanned pregnancies also can occur after hook-ups. Statistical evidence backs up the claim that women can be more reckless about their sexual choices when they are ovulating. Because women can feel more driven to have sex around the time they ovulate, it increases their chances of having an unintended pregnancy if they satisfy their hormonal urges with a casual hook-up that forgoes protection.

Becoming pregnant after a one-night stand can leave you with some difficult choices. If alcohol or drugs were part of the hook-up, your baby could be born with birth defects or other abnormalities. If your partner had an STD or an STI, that could pass to you and the baby. Certain STDs and STIs come with a higher risk for birth defects.

If you are concerned about the possibility of pregnancy after casual sex, Care Net can help. We offer free pregnancy testing. Appointments last between 30 and 60 minutes, and you know before you leave our offices if you might be pregnant. If your pregnancy test comes back positive, our staff will refer you for additional services.

Recovering from one-night stands

One poor choice does not have to define the rest of your life. Having a one-night stand does not mean you are a bad person. Care Net is a judgment-free zone. Our caring staff will never try to make you feel bad for your situation or any choices you make. Call any of our four locations or contact us online to schedule your confidential appointment today.

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DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL or LEGAL ADVICE
The information and graphics contained on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. This site is designed to promote broad knowledge of various pregnancy or sexual health topics and general understanding concerning pregnancy. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, or professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Pregnancy and other health issues need to be diagnosed by your physician or other qualified health care provider in person. Home tests and online discussions do not qualify as diagnosis or advise for treatment. Make an appointment with one of our center medical team or with your physician to discuss any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Follow your medical provider’s instructions and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on a website or social media.