Sasha Answers: My little sister is pregnant
My 14-year-old sister’s pregnant. She wants to get an abortion, and need me to help her come up with the money. She doesn’t want to tell our parents, and her boyfriend doesn’t want to tell his either. I’m in college and work on campus, so I can help with the money, but I’m really uncomfortable with the not telling our parents. Especially because I know that no matter how disappointed they’d be, they’d still respect her choice and support her all the way. My sister doesn’t know, but our mom had an abortion when she was 21, so in addition to supporting her, she’d be better suited to help her through everything, especially emotionally.
My sister and I are close, and I don’t want to break her trust, so I really need some help on how to talk her into telling our parents. Thanks, S.
All of your concerns are totally right-on, but S, I think the focus right now needs to be on getting your little sister through this first stage. This is some heavy sh-t and depending on how far along she is, I think we need to concentrate on getting the money and booking the appointment. (Let me know if you need any help with finding a clinic in your area.)
Once that’s been taken care of, the next step is to have her talk to your parents, and S, what you told me is exactly what you need to tell her. There's no doubt she's scared sh-tless, but to know that your own mom went through something similar will be the key to unlocking this secret.
If she’s still refusing to spill the beans, then I don’t think you have any other choice but to tell her you will do it for her. I know you don’t want to break her trust, but what matters more right now is making sure she has all the support and help she can get.
Your sister might be dealing with some serious adult decisions, but she's still only 14 and doesn’t have the mental faculties to deal with this on her own. She’s going to suffer through a range of emotions - grief, anxiety, shame, sadness, loss - at literally every stage of this, so it’s really important that everyone rally around her through this. Sure, she might be pissed at you initially, but you’ve got to pull older sister rank on this one. Trust me, she’ll thank you and love you more for it later.
Thanks for writing in and keep me posted, okay? xx