We’re here to help

We realize that you’re probably feeling a lot of different things right now. You may be confused, angry, sad, or happy. Or, you may not know what to feel! That’s OK, too.

Here are some things that might help… Click on the questions below to reveal additional information.

What is a pregnancy center, and how can it help me?

A pregnancy center is a local, non-profit organization designed to help those facing an unplanned pregnancy. All services are free, professional, and confidential.

The services offered by a center vary, but generally, pregnancy centers offer free pregnancy tests, counseling services, ultrasounds, adoption assistance, family assistance referrals, and much more.

Many financial and material resources are available to those facing unplanned pregnancies, and pregnancy centers are eager to connect you with those resources.

If you are pregnant and in need of help, we strongly encourage you to find a center near you. To get started, you can enter your zip code or city in the search box.

What financial and material resources are available to me?

We understand caring for a baby can be expensive and that you might not feel equipped to handle the financial responsibilities. Fortunately, there are a number of assistance programs that will help for free. For summaries of a few programs, read below.

Please contact your local pregnancy center or call 1.800.251.2229 to learn more.

The LaMOMS program is a free health care coverage program that pregnant women can access regardless of whether they are single or married. LaMOMS can cover the cost of doctor appointments, hospital visits, and other related medical expenses associated with prenatal care, childbirth delivery, and care for your newborn baby. Please contact your nearest pregnancy center to learn how to obtain these free services.

Click here to visit LaMOMS online.

LOUISIANA WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
The Louisiana WIC program can help you with basic food needs for you and your baby. Contact your local pregnancy center to learn more.

You also can visit Louisiana WIC online by clicking here.

The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program can help you pay for child care for your baby. Please contact your nearest pregnancy center to learn how to sign up for The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program.

Click here to visit The Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program online.

Where can I get a free pregnancy test or ultrasound?

Many local pregnancy centers across the state provide free pregnancy tests and/or ultrasounds to women. Please contact your nearest pregnancy center for more information. Just enter your zip code in the search box above and the closest pregnancy center’s information will come up.

What are my legal rights?

You can’t be forced.
It is unlawful for anyone to make you have an abortion against your will, even if you are a minor. In fact, forcing a minor to have an abortion is considered child abuse. If you are a minor being forced into making a particular decision, you can report it by calling the Child Protection Hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437). The call is free, and the hotline operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Click here to visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s Woman’s Right to Know website for more information on this topic.

You and the father.
The father of your child must provide support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for an abortion. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can help you locate your child’s father and determine whether he is the father. DCFS can also help establish and enforce child support orders and collection as well as distribution of child support payments. To learn more about Child Enforcement Services, click here or call the customer service center at 888.524.3578.

You and adoption.
The law allows adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth and newborn care.

Click here to visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s Woman’s Right to Know website for more information on this topic.

You are not alone.
Many agencies are willing to help you carry your child to term and to assist after your child’s birth. This includes access to health care services for mother and baby, supplies, healthy food items, nutrition education and in-home support.

Click here to visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s Woman’s Right to Know website for more information on this topic.

Contact your local pregnancy center for more information and direction if you have questions or concerns about your legal rights.

Are there maternity homes in Louisiana?

Yes, there are three.

  • Baton Rouge Area:
    Sellers Maternity Ministries
    13758 Denham Road
    Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    225.261.8886 or 800.859.0046
    Sellers Maternity Ministries is for teenage unwed mothers.
  • Lafayette Area:
    St. Marguerite d’Youville Maternity Home
    1331 Jefferson St.
    Lafayette, LA 70501
    St. Marguerite d’Youville Maternity Home is for homeless pregnant women.
  • Shreveport Area:
    Heart of Hope – A Sanctuary for Women
    10420 Heart of Hope Way
    Keithville, LA 71047
    Heart of Home – A Sanctuary for Women houses pregnant teens and women ages 11-23.

What about adoption?

We understand if you are not ready to take on the full responsibilities of parenthood. We encourage you to consider the option of adoption. Placing a child for adoption is rarely an easy decision. Counseling and support services are a key part of adoption and are available from a variety of adoption agencies and parent support groups across the state. There are many ways to adopt, including through a public or private agency or through a private attorney. One type of adoption, known as an open adoption, permits the woman to choose the adoptive parents. Fully anonymous adoption is also available.

To find out more, please call the state’s Pregnancy Hotline at 1.800.251.2229 or contact the pregnancy center closest to you for a adoption agency recommendation.

What about the father?

The father of a child has a legal responsibility to provide for the support, educational, medical and other needs of a child. That duty can include child support payments to the child’s mother. Paternity can be established in either of two ways:

  1. The father can acknowledge the child by signing the birth certificate and a written declaration before a notary public and two witnesses; or
  2. An action can be brought in court

For more information on child support and paternity testing, please contact either the state’s Health Pregnancy Hotline at 1.800.251.2229 or contact the National Paternity Hotline at 1.800.798.0580.

How are abortions done?

When you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there is so much happening in your life that you may find it difficult to think clearly. However, if you are considering abortion, it is important you understand all that the various procedures entail.

Emergency Contraception

All forms of emergency contraception, i.e. “Plan B,” “Ella,”, etc., act in three ways: they stop ovulation, block sperm from joining with an egg, or prevent a newly fertilized egg from implanting — which can be considered an early abortion. If you just found out you are pregnant and are considering one of these, we encourage you to contact the pregnancy center closest to you for advice.

For more information on Ella, click here.

For more information on Plan B or the “morning after pill, click here.

Medication Abortion (RU-486 / Mifepristone) “Abortion Pill”

RU 486 abortions are a two-step procedure, generally requiring three trips to an abortion facility. RU 486 is authorized by the FDA to be administered up to the 49th day LMP (six- or seven-week-old fetus). In the first trip to the abortion facility, a woman takes the first pill (RU-486 or mifepristone) to block the hormone progesterone that maintains the uterus’ nutrient lining during pregnancy. Once the uterus is compromised, the embryo starves and dies. Two days later, the woman returns to the abortion facility for a second drug, misoprostol, to initiate uterine contractions. Most women will expel the dead embryo within four hours of taking the second drug. The final visit must take place one to two weeks later to ensure that the abortion has taken place. If it hasn’t, a surgical abortion will then be required.

Surgical Abortion Procedures

Suction Aspiration Abortion (between 4-13 weeks after last menstrual period
A suction aspiration abortion is done throughout the first trimester. Depending upon the provider, varying degrees of pain control are offered, ranging from local anesthetic to full general anesthesia. In a suction aspiration abortion, the cervix needs to be opened wider to complete the procedure. This may require a two-day process where medications are placed in the vagina, or a thin rod is inserted into the cervix to gradually soften and open the cervix overnight. The day of the procedure, the doctor may need to further stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Next, the doctor inserts a plastic tube into the uterus and turns on the suction (vacuum) machine. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped tool called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus.

To view a medical diagram of a suction aspiration abortion, click here.

Dilation and Extraction Abortion (D&E) (14-24 weeks after last menstral period
An abortion using the D&E method is done in two steps: dilation (opening the cervix) and evacuation (emptying) the uterus. To dilate the cervix, sponge-like material is inserted into the cervix a one-three days prior to the procedure. As the sponge gets wet, it swells and opens the mouth of the cervix. Sometimes, other oral or vaginal medications are used to further soften the cervix. On the day of the procedure, after anesthesia is given (local or general), the cervix is further stretched open using metal rods. Once dilated, forceps (used for grasping and pulling) or a curette (sharp tool used for cutting) are used to removed the child from the uterus.

To view a medical diagram of a D&E abortion at 14 weeks, click here.

To view a medical diagram of a D&E abortion at 23 weeks, click here.

Not finding a center or resource on this site?

  • Louisiana Department of Health’s Abortion Alternatives Hotline, call 866.729.1788.
  • Louisiana Department of Health’s Abortion Making a Decision Pamphlet: (Click here to view the PDF)
  • Louisiana’s Pregnancy Hotline, call 1.800.251.2229
  • To find centers outside Louisiana, visit www.OptionLine.org