Options Counseling for the Pregnant Adolescent Patient

Pediatrics. 2017 Sep;140(3):e20172274. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-2274. Epub 2017 Aug 21.


Each year, more than 500 000 girls and young women younger than 20 years become pregnant. It is important for pediatricians to have the ability and the resources in their offices to make a timely pregnancy diagnosis in their adolescent patients and provide them with nonjudgmental pregnancy options counseling. Counseling includes an unbiased discussion of the adolescent's legal options to either continue or terminate her pregnancy, supporting the adolescent in the decision-making process, and referring the adolescent to appropriate resources and services. Pediatricians who choose not to provide such discussions should promptly refer pregnant adolescent patients to a health care professional who will offer developmentally appropriate pregnancy options counseling. This approach to pregnancy options counseling has not changed since the original 1989 American Academy of Pediatrics statement on this issue.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced
  • Adolescent
  • Adoption
  • Conscience
  • Counseling*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pediatricians / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • United States