I'm a pro-lifer - always have been, always will be - I guess.

By anonymous on 19/03/2008
I'm a pro-lifer - always have been, always will be - I guess. You know it was easy for me to sit on my "high horse" and advise people of what they should do and how they should do it with regard to their impending child births, until now.

I just divorced my husband less than a year ago and started a long distance sexual relationship with the best "sex-ist" that I'd ever been with in my life (mind you, he's only one of three). He and I spent a weekend together a few months ago during vacation. The vacation was nice other than the fact that I became physically ill during that weekend and had to go home early. Well, long story short, eleven weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant with his child. He called - after a long time away with work - just to see how I was doing and I gave him the "news". I told him that I wasn't asking him for anything else really. I have my own financial stability and my own things. I don't need anything from him. I just don't believe in abortion.

He asked me to have an abortion because we are not in a "relationship" together and a baby was not something that we were "trying for" or expecting. I had to agree - doctors told me for years that I couldn't conceive. When we slept together without protection, it was with the understanding that babies were not a possibility - or even a factor, for that matter. He's very 'southern' and wants to be there for the baby. Among his list of concerns was the possibility of another man being in the baby's life, his visitation rights, and basically he asked that if I had the baby - would I give her to him? Now I'm torn - I don't really know what to do... I've scheduled the abortion as he asked... I have about two weeks to mentally prepare myself for the termination. However, I'm torn. I've seen the ultrasounds. I've been through the first three months of drama - basically by myself.

I don't know if I should just keep the baby and never mention anything to him (he wanted her dead) or if I should honour his request (after all, he was necessary for conception). As far as circumstances, I'm financially stable and very well educated. I have my own property and my own life. As I stated earlier, I don't really need or expect anything of him. Any advice?

Editor’s note: Thank you for writing in with your story…There are really two things that I notice about your situation. The first is that you are considering a termination against your long-held belief that abortion is wrong. I think you are considering it simply to get out of a very difficult set of circumstances. However, with such strong beliefs, I think you already know it will only do you harm emotionally. You're aware that you would be going against something you hold deep in your heart about the value of life.

Coupled with that is the fact that you have lived for a long time thinking you could not have children – and now you can. What cherished hopes are being reawakened in your heart about motherhood? Have you allowed yourself to even go there? Yes, you have a life with a home and a job and all you need, but it may be that the desire for a child has been so submerged over the years that you’re having trouble feeling it. I have no sense of your own desires in what you’ve written – only his. What do YOU want?

YOU have a choice to have this baby or not have this baby. It seems clear from what you've said about your beliefs that the healthiest option for you is to pursue this pregnancy. Then, after making that decision, you can work out how you negotiate your relationship with the father, and how you make an arrangement so that the child grows up relating to both of you. It might be difficult but it’s not impossible. You certainly don’t have to fall in with what is being asked of you without due regard for your own desires. Put your principles first; work out practicalities later.

You would benefit from talking this through more deeply and I recommend that you call a preganncy support helpline such as Optionline (as I believe you are in the States) on 800-395-HELP to make an appointment to see someone. You may also need some legal advice regarding the rights of fathers in a situation like this, so that you know what constraints there are.

We’ll be thinking of you.

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