men abortion

What Men Need to Know About Abortion

Women facing an unplanned pregnancy – or who aren’t yet ready for the responsibility of raising a child – may consider abortion as one of their pregnancy options. Sometimes left out of the decision-making process are the men who fathered the babies.

Even when they are involved, some men find it difficult to provide the support their partners need to get through the process. Here is what men need to know about abortion if they want to support a friend or partner or are going through it themselves.

How are you feeling about abortion?

If your partner has told you she’s pregnant and is considering her pregnancy options, how are you feeling about abortion? Men often default to a “tough guy” persona instead of allowing themselves to experience the emotions that may come with this kind of life-changing news.

Being honest about how the possibility of abortion makes you feel – while allowing your partner to openly share her feelings – can be an important part of decision-making. Knowing you need to do it is easy. Navigating your way through the process can be more challenging.

Putting your feelings into words

There is no right or wrong way to feel when your partner tells you they’re considering an abortion. Some men feel guilty about causing an unwanted pregnancy. Playing the blame game doesn’t help either of you. It’s more important to talk about your feelings and discuss ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies in the future.

Men who wanted to become fathers may struggle significantly with putting their feelings into words with their partner. It’s important that they share their desire to keep the baby with their significant other. Expressing their commitment to raising a child might change their partner’s mind about having an abortion.

Seeking out the help of a counselor who can guide you through talking about your feelings can help in these situations.

Men can support their partners through abortion by letting them know they care about them.

How can men show their partners they care?

Showing their partner that they care can be as simple as letting them know they’re important and that they are there for them. Commit to exploring pregnancy options together and seeking out whatever help is needed to make the best choice. Offer to go with her to all her appointments, including a free limited pregnancy ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy.

Preserving their partner’s dignity and privacy throughout the entire process also demonstrates caring. Encourage her to seek out counseling to help with her choice, and to consider all her pregnancy options before settling on abortion. Never pressure her to do what you want or make her feel guilty about her choice.

Men who are having difficulty coping with their partner’s decision may benefit from counseling.

How do men heal from trauma after abortion?

Men can experience the same kind of emotional trauma as women before, during, and after an abortion. Those feelings can be intensified if they do not have the opportunity to discuss the best way to handle pregnancy with their partner before a decision is made.

Some of the possible emotions that men can undergo after an abortion include pain, regret, and shame. Even men who supported their partner’s choice to seek abortion can struggle with that decision afterward.

After abortion care can help both men and women heal emotionally and physically.

Abortion trauma in men can be difficult to spot, but may include an inability to control their anger.

Signs of abortion trauma in men

Abortion trauma can present itself in unsuspecting ways in men. They might find themselves struggling with newfound anger issues, substance abuse, and difficulties concentrating at work. Some of the other emotional and psychological symptoms of abortion trauma in men include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Abortion trauma doesn’t just reveal itself through emotional symptoms. Men also might exhibit some uncharacteristic behaviors as well. They include:

  • Alcohol or drug addiction.
  • Frequent job changes.
  • Impotency.
  • Lacking trust.
  • Social isolation.
  • Withdrawal from normal activities.
  • Violence.

Men who experience any of these signs of abortion trauma can seek help.

Getting help with after-abortion trauma

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers after-abortion care resources to both men and women. Contact us to discuss your needs confidentially. We can help you find a support group location near you.

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.

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.

abusive relationship

How to Escape an Abusive Relationship

Not all relationships are happy and healthy. Every minute in the U.S., nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner. Relationships do not have to get physical to be abusive or harmful. Emotional and verbal manipulation counts and can be more difficult to quantify because many people do not realize it is a form of maltreatment. Individuals in an abusive relationship may think their situation is normal or acceptable, but there never is a reason to tolerate cruelty and mistreatment to maintain a relationship.

Abusive relationship signs

Bruises and physical injuries can be obvious warning signs of an abusive relationship. Some signs are more subtle. If you notice any of these things happening in your own relationship, or that of one of your friends or family members, seek help immediately.

  • Your partner accompanies you everywhere. While it is normal to enjoy doing things together with your partner, it is not OK to never have time alone or out by yourself. Abusive people can be controlling. They try to isolate their victims from others who might spot the signs of their malintent.
  • Your partner frequently gaslights you. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse. It can include humiliation and taunting and claims that you are overly sensitive if you react to the behavior. If you find yourself questioning your reality, then you probably are being gaslit.
  • Your partner delivers “love bombs.” Emotional abuse – emotional attacks, judgment, criticism – often is followed by displays of affection such as apologizing, complimenting, and grandiose gifts.
  • Your partner makes you afraid to leave. Making up and breaking up repeatedly with someone can be a fear tactic common to abuse victims. They may lack the resources to leave their abusers or feel their life or the lives of someone they love is in danger if they do not stay.

Other signs can indicate an abusive relationship, such as a normally social person becoming withdrawn or sudden changes in physical appearance (which may be done to please the manipulative partner).

Abusive relationship cycle

There are four stages of the abusive relationship cycle. The first phase involves a buildup of tension between the two people in the relationship. Abusers lash out at their partners in response to external stressors in their lives, such as trouble at work or fatigue. They shift blame for these problems to their partner and take out their frustration on them either verbally or physically.

The remaining three stages include:

  • Acting out. Once the tension builds up, the next stage involves the act of emotional or physical abuse. Abusive partners may hurl insults, attempt to control your behavior, or engage in sexual violence.
  • Reconciliation. Abusers can be charming. It is why so many people in abusive relationships stay. They believe their partners will change or make more of an effort to control their behaviors. Abusers may even have long periods where they are kind and loving with their partners. The devoted behavior never lasts.
  • Calm. This stage requires one or both partners to come up with an explanation for the abuse. Abusive partners might apologize while shifting the blame to others or point to outside influences to explain their behavior. Sometimes they deny the abuse happened or accuse their victims of provoking them. Even if they show remorse and promise it will never happen again, it will. The abusive cycle will start all over again.

Getting out of an abusive relationship

Hoping and praying an abusive partner will change is not the best solution. Victims can encourage their companions to seek help for their behaviors but should not expect that the person will do so. Many abusers refuse to admit they are the problem and can even be triggered by the very suggestion.

Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard but not impossible. Just remember:

  • You are not to blame for your abuser’s behavior (no matter what they say).
  • You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • You deserve to feel safe and happy.
  • Your children (if you have any) deserve to be safe and happy.
  • You are not alone.

Comfort and guidance for abuse victims

Abuse victims can struggle with the decision to stay or leave their relationships. Care Net can help. We do more than offering help for unplanned pregnancies and STD/STI testing. Our caring staff provides the comfort and guidance abuse victims need to make the choice that is right for them. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss your needs.

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