Be careful - Don't be manipulated
Not all agencies are reliable. Some have a hidden agenda.
Certain crisis pregnancy counselling and/ or information services want to influence your decision.
We strongly recommend that women seeking counselling should always visit a recognised and reputable crisis pregnancy counselling service.
Reputable crisis pregnancy services are staffed by counsellors who have the training and skills to help you to explore your feelings about the pregnancy. The counsellor will facilitate and support you to reach your own best decision. The counsellor does not judge or decide for you or try to influence your decision.
Some organisations have a hidden agenda. The service they provide is designed to influence the choice a woman makes and to pressure a woman into doing something she doesn’t want to. Once these agencies have been contacted by a client, they can seek to delay the counselling process and, in certain cases, show clients inappropriate images or use other tactics in an effort to influence their decision.
What you need to look out for:
- an agency that requires you to wait a long time before giving you an appointment or between appointments. The reputable services listed on this website will try to give you an appointment within two to five days and some have a drop-in service available. Trustworthy services will refer you to another agency if they can’t see you quickly so that you can get the support and any medical services you need as soon as possible
- organisations insisting on meeting you in public places such as hotels or car parks. Reputable services will arrange an appointment at their premises.
- a delay in giving you pregnancy test results – these should be given immediately
- distributing leaflets or handouts with only negative health messages
- showing inappropriate images, videos or DVDs as part of a counselling session, which are designed to influence a woman’s decision
An organisation seeking to influence a woman’s decision may use some or all of these tactics; however, they may also try to influence your decision in other ways.
Find out as much information as possible about a pregnancy service before you visit. Check their websites or call to ask them what services they provide.
Questions to ask when making an appointment
Is it OK if I bring a friend or family member with me?
Agencies seeking to influence a woman’s decision usually encourage clients to attend alone. Reputable counselling agencies will be happy for you to bring a friend, partner or family member for support; however, the counsellor may ask to speak to you on your own for part of the counselling session.
Will I be shown a video as part of the counselling?
To try to influence your decision, some agencies show inappropriate videos containing negative health messages to clients. Trustworthy agencies do not show videos/ DVDs during counselling sessions.
How long will it take to get the results of my pregnancy test?
Results will be available immediately in a reputable agency that provides pregnancy testing.
What to do if you feel a counselling service has tried to influence your decision.
- If you suspect the service you have attended has a hidden agenda, leave the session immediately.
- Book a counselling session with a reputable counselling agency, which will provide you with the help, support and information you need. Contact one of the services listed on this website, other reputable services or your GP.
- Report the service to your new crisis pregnancy counsellor or the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.
All the organisations listed on this website offer free, trustworthy and non-judgemental pregnancy counselling.
Each of the services listed on this website has a dedicated staff member to impartially investigate any complaints. If you are not happy with the service you receive from one of the counselling services listed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.