Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday, 10 May 2010

Not So Subtle Pressure to Abort

We met Naomi just after Christmas, she was 17, had finished school early, and worked in a café. Her boyfriend was ten years older than her, and had had two children with another woman. When Naomi found out that she had got pregnant during Christmas, she confided in her boyfriend’s mother, Liz who told her,

‘Oh what a pity…it’s not the right time. You don’t want to put Tom under too much pressure? I know what he’s like, he might not stay with you if things…get too much. Look, let me make some arrangements for you.’

I’m always suspicious when the boyfriend’s mother makes all the arrangements for his girlfriend…to have an abortion. I’m doubly suspicious when the boyfriend’s mother won’t give the pregnant mother any details of what the abortion will be like, but says flippantly, like Liz did,

‘Everything will be fine. It’ll all work out for the best. You just come with me for an appointment at this clinic, at this time.'

Something nagged at Naomi. The fact that her own parents would be against her having an abortion…in secret…worried her. And Liz was just ‘a bit too smooth’, wanting to pay for any expenses, and saying to Naomi,

‘Just make sure you go through with the whole thing…you’re doing the right thing. There’s nothing to worry about. There’s no risks with legal abortion.’

That was without Naomi having ever said that she wanted the abortion. When I spoke with Naomi, I asked her if anyone had discussed the baby - her baby - with her.

‘No. I’m the only one who calls it a baby. I don’t think my boyfriend likes this. He’s had two kids already, and says that since I've got none, that I don’t know a thing about babies.’

She explained that she was terrified of having her first child, but that she wished her boyfriend supported her - if he did she wouldn’t even think about the abortion. Naomi had heard that there was a link between infertility and abortion, but wasn’t sure because her boyfriend’s mother kept assuring her that, ‘There's no risks whatsoever. But be sure to go back on the Pill when you have it done.’

I told her yes, research did demonstrate that there was a link between abortion and future difficulties with having children. I also mentioned that some women we have met are unable to have a child after an abortion, but instead have several miscarriages.
‘Well if this is the only kid that I may have, then I don’t want to get an abortion’ she said.

Her boyfriend’s mother was not so collected when Naomi broached the subject of her new decision to keep her baby with her.

‘What’s all this talk about a baby? An abortion is what you need!’
‘Whatever!' Naomi replied. 'But a baby is what I have.’
Mary O' Regan

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