Wednesday, August 19, 2009

He Wants Me to Have an Abortion

This question recently came to me from a pregnant teen, considering her pregnancy choices:

Dear Mardie,
My boyfriend wants me to have an abortion and I don't want to. But I don’t want to lose my boyfriend either. Do you have any advice?
-Tasha

Dear Tasha,
Life can be very interesting for a teenager. Compound that with a little personal insecurity, a longing for more independence from parents, and for some, an unplanned pregnancy, and life goes from interesting to downright confusing. It's only natural for girls that find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy situation to look to their boyfriends for help or support. But it sounds like you are in a situation where things don't go as you think they should with your partner.

You need to do what will work best for you. While it is true that you and your boyfriend had to be together for you to become pregnant, the reality is that what you ultimately decide to do is your decision and does not have to be a collaboration between you and him. It is your body, and if he is not willing to be there for you, it is fairly natural for you to feel like it is YOUR baby. Therefore, you have a right to be the one to make the decision that will work best for you.
Whether you are religious or simply do not believe in abortion is really your business. You don't have to justify or substantiate the extent of your beliefs. That's a personal thing. However, when it comes to determining the best course of action for you, you should never feel that you have compromise what you believe for your boyfriend or anyone. Also, you know your boyfriend, so, you may need to just explain to him why you feel like you do and that even though he wants you to have an abortion, you don't want to because it doesn't seem right for you.

Another option is for you and your boyfriend to consider the other choices that you have. If you find that he is not very cooperative, then you may need to get a third party involved, maybe a professional adoption counselor, a counselor at your local clinic, a parent, or a friend. Even if you decide to try to help him to understand the options including adoption or, potentially, keeping and raising the baby, always remember that you need to keep your own ideals and life priorities in the forefront, as you are one most affected.

If you do pursue adoption, there are people who can help you through the process and there are support groups of birth mothers and adoptive parents that can give you the encouragement that you need before, during, and after the process. These people will educate you as to your choice, what they mean for you, and the benefits for your child. They will also be there if no one else is to listen to you and to make you understand that you are not alone. If you would like to look into adoption, visit LifetimeAdoption.com or call 1-800-923-6784.

Ultimately, it is your choice as to whether you keep the baby, whether you place the baby for adoption, or whether you choose to have an abortion. Before you decide, however, make sure that it's your decision and that no one is forcing you, pressuring you, or threatening you either way. So, even if you find yourself saying, "My boyfriend wants me to have an abortion and I don't want to", the reality is that you don't have to. The final decision is always yours.