Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Friday, 14 May 2010

Many Modern Day 'Alfie's' Continue to Use and Abuse Women and Children

The old 60's flick, 'Alfie' (re-made in 2004 with Jude Law in Michael Caine's old role) has a storyline that is still played out many times every day in contemporary life. Alfie, a young Cockney bloke revels in the sexual revolution’s mores of ‘freedom’ and promiscuity. He has an affair with an older married woman, when her husband, ill with TB, is in a sanatorium. The married woman’s pregnancy is conspicuous; she decides to have an abortion because if her pregnancy is discovered, it will be known that she has been unfaithful to her husband. Alfie will arrange an abortion for her - and then forsake her.

Organising a friend to mind her children, and without telling anyone, she trudges to London, find Alfie’s flatand meets an eccentric man in a trench coat who warns that an abortion cannot be undone. Alfie starts to snarl that the abortion must go ahead; otherwise he will have to face the husband’s anger.

I have met ordinary people who are in the very same predicament that the fictional characters in the film faced. Emily was one such lady who had been having an affair with a Catholic man for seven years. Over seven years, she had had two abortions to ‘cover up’ for their affair. On each occasion, her ‘boyfriend’ Matthew, said the baby was ok with him, but if she didn’t abort, well his wife would beat her up! He would stand by, and let it happen. Emily took the abortion pill the first time and found it harrowing, she said,

‘You were just waiting for the baby to come out, and when he did come out, he was so trampled that he looked like a baby who had died in a mouse trap. The second time round, I insisted on having surgery. I didn’t see anything.’

She described how, after each abortion, she became more dependent on Matthew. She would cry for weeks on end, and needed his comfort and him telling her that she had done the right thing when she aborted his babies. She believed him when he said ‘when the time’s right, I’ll leave my wife for you.’

The third time that she became pregnant; she told Matthew firmly that she would not have a third abortion. His response was to leave her completely alone; he stopped taking her calls and did a disappearing act. Oh but just like before, it was OK for her to have the baby, but he wouldn’t help with finances, and his wife might get a bit rough... She remained set on having the baby, until the lead-up to Christmas when everyone seemed to be having such a good time, except her. Her friends pushed her towards having the abortion,

‘Why don’t you get it over with before Christmas? And anyway, do you want the child of a married man? You’re having an affair, you need an abortion.’

Rushing for her appointment at the abortuary, she bumped into an Irish gentleman who was praying the Rosary – a Catholic prayer. She stopped to talk to him, and told him that her boyfriend was a Catholic but had practically speaking, motivated her towards an abortion, because of his refusal to help her in any way. The man told her of the support she could receive at The Good Counsel Network, and that she could get an appointment very quickly. Thankfully she chose to get in touch and seek support to continue her pregnancy.

Mary O'Regan

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