If you think you are pregnant…

Is your period late or missing?

Even though it can be really scary, you need to know for sure. It’s time to take a pregnancy test.

Over the counter test
You can purchase a test kit at your local pharmacy or you can take one at a clinic. The process involves a simple urine (pee) test. Most over the counter kits will come with directions and a testing stick. You place the stick into the stream of urine while you are peeing, and then wait a set amount of time (usually a few minutes) for the results.

Test at a clinic
You can request a pregnancy test at your local clinic or doctor’s office. Depending on the clinic, and whether or not you have insurance, the test may be offered for free or low cost.

Pregnancy testing locations in Chicago:
http://resources.healthychicagobabies.org/binders/4873/pregnancy-testing

Be aware of crisis pregnancy centers- these might have names that make them sound like a regular clinic, or they may advertise free ultrasounds or free pregnancy tests. If someone is pregnant, there are 3 options: becoming a parent, adoption, or abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers don’t offer the full range of health care options. Make sure you’re going to a real health clinic. Learn more about crisis pregnancy centers here.

If you are pregnant…

Take a deep breath. You have 3 main options: become a parent, give the baby up for adoption or terminate the pregnancy (have an abortion). There are many resources available to you if you are pregnant. Talk with a friend or trusted adult. Every person’s situation is different, and only you can decide what is right for you.

Continue the pregnancy and become a parent.

Health care during the pregnancy is important.

  • Prenatal care: health care for someone who is pregnant
    Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. Healthcare providers can spot health problems early when they see someone who is pregnant regularly. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others.  Find prenatal care in Chicago here.
  • Thinking about Parenting
    Considering becoming a parent? Read more here.
  • Your Rights
    As a teen parent, you have rights when it comes to your education, your medical care, and much more. Learn about them here.
  • STI Testing and Treatment
    It’s DEFINITELY possible to get an STI during pregnancy. Take steps to reduce your risk. http://www.chataboutit.org/sti/
  • Illinois Safe Haven Law
    If you are the parent of a baby who is 30 days old or younger and you don’t think you can care for it anymore, you can anonymously place the unharmed baby in the care of a staff member at any Safe Haven location and walk away with no questions asked.
    Safe Haven locations include: Hospitals, Emergency care facilities, Fire stations, and Police stations – including those on college campuses. Babies must be handed to a person at a Safe Haven location, but you will not be asked your name or other identifying information. No one will try to stop you or follow you.
    24/7 hotline – 888-510-BABY (2229)
    All calls to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation are completely confidential.
    http://saveabandonedbabies.org/

Continue the pregnancy and create an adoption plan.

Understand care, your rights and options when it comes to adoption.

  • Prenatal care: health care for someone who is pregnantPrenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. Healthcare providers can spot health problems early when they see someone who is pregnant regularly. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others.  Find prenatal care in Chicago here.
  • STI Testing and Treatment
    It’s DEFINITELY possible to get an STI during pregnancy. Take steps to reduce your risk. http://www.chataboutit.org/sti/
  • Thinking About Adoption
    Considering adoption? You can learn more about it here.
  • Your Rights
    You have rights when it comes to your adoption plan. Learn about them here.
  • Illinois Safe Haven Law
    If you are the parent of a baby who is 30 days old or younger and you don’t think you can care for it anymore, you can anonymously place the unharmed baby in the care of a staff member at any Safe Haven location and walk away with no questions asked.  Safe Haven locations include: Hospitals, Emergency care facilities, Fire stations, and Police stations – including those on college campuses. Babies must be handed to a person at a Safe Haven location, but you will not be asked your name or other identifying information. No one will try to stop you or follow you.
    24/7 hotline – 888-510-BABY (2229)
    All calls to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation are completely confidential.
    http://saveabandonedbabies.org/

Terminate the pregnancy.

Abortion is safe and legal up to about 24 weeks of pregnancy in Illinois.
We say ‘about’ because it is sometimes difficult to measure how many weeks pregnant someone is.

If you’re a parent…

Being a teen parent and going to school has its own set of challenges. There are many resources available to you.

Help for Pregnant or Parenting Teens

Information on homebound services within CPS – here, here and here.

If you’re a pregnant or parenting teen in a public school, the school is required to follow certain guidelines under a federal law called Title IX (title 9). A school cannot discriminate against a teen because they are pregnant or parenting.

Legally, a school CANNOT:

  • Force a pregnant or parenting student to participate in a separate program for pregnant or parenting students;
  • Require a pregnant student to obtain a doctor’s permission to allow them to attend school late in their pregnancy if the school is worried about their health/safety
  • Harass a pregnant student.

A school also:

  • Might be required to make adjustments to the regular program to accommodate a pregnant student’s physical or educational needs;
  • Must allow a pregnant student to continue to participate in school clubs, class activities, sports, or other school-sponsored organizations;
  • Must excuse a student’s absences due to pregnancy or childbirth;
  • Is required to provide the same special services to a pregnant student that they would provide to any other student with a temporary medical condition;
  • Must ensure that any policies or practices in place at the school or by individual level do not discriminate against a student due to pregnancy.

If a student feels they have been discriminated against due to their pregnancy, they have a right to file a grievance against the school. The form can be found here.

Starting in January 2018, all public and charter schools in Illinois will be required to provide a private room with an outlet for moms who are breastfeeding to allow them to pump milk. It also requires schools to provide a place to store the milk.  You can learn more here.

Learn more about your rights under Title IX at:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/pregnancy.pdf

CPS has a school for pregnant and parenting teens: http://www.simpsonacademy.org/