Relax, that headline does not refer to me. I have never been pregnant, never had an abortion.
It refers to the many women I have interviewed or read about who aborted their only pregnancies because the men in their lives insisted they weren’t ready for children. This makes me so angry. The question isn’t whether or not one believes abortion is wrong. The question is whether somebody else has the right to tell you what to do with the fetus in your own body. What man is worth letting them make such a huge decision for you? It’s the worst form of abuse. In most of these cases, the women were not teenagers. They were grown women who in other circumstances would have welcomed a baby. But because Mr. I Don’t Want to Be a Dad said no–or not yet, which eventually became no–they aborted.
They thought they would keep the man by aborting the baby, but in almost every case, the man dumped them anyway. And the women never got over it, especially when they lost their only chance to be mothers.
Laura always thought she’d have children, but she didn’t marry until she was 29. Her stepchildren were nearly as old as she was. Her husband seemed to want more children, but when she conceived, he changed his mind. “It’s either the baby or me,” he told her. Remembering this ten years later, she begins to cry. Her husband assured her they could try again later, when it was a better time, so she had an abortion. But every time she tried to talk about having a baby, he refused to discuss it. “That attitude went on for seven more years.” She pauses to blow her nose. “I just turned to him one day and said, ‘Bob, are we or are we not going to have kids.?’ And he said no.”
Sarah did it more than once. Shortly after she left her home country to be with Clay, she discovered she was pregnant. Clay said it was too soon. They needed time to get a house, to become more settled in together. She agreed to have an abortion, thinking there would be another chance. But the day she came home from the hospital, he told her, “No, we’re not going to have kids.”
Sarah was 33 then and still hoping, but he didn’t change his mind. In fact, the same scenario happened again. This time she had deliberately stopped taking her birth control pills. He was furious and insisted she have another abortion. She did. “He talks so reasonably,” she said, her voice trialing off.
I have interviewed other women who were comfortable with their decision to have an abortion. They had not planned to have children and believe they did the right thing. For example, Joyce and her husband Tom got pregnant when her IUD failed. They agreed to abort and believe they made the right choice.
I’m not here to debate whether abortion is right or wrong or whether or not it should be legal. It’s a personal choice. What I’m saying is that if you are the one who is pregnant, you have to be the one to make the decision. Don’t let anybody force you into it, especially if you know you want children. If the man in your life is insisting you have an abortion that you don’t want, dump him, not the baby.
What do you think about all this?