For a woman to carry her child happily to term she has to be supported, not only by her partner but also by her parents. Many people who were mistreated or neglected as children continue to look to their parents for the kind of upbringing they should have had. Their parents’ disapproval is a very damaging factor. [...] Under good conditions there should not be disapproval or abandonment, but a hierarchy of holding. The mother holds the baby. She is supported by her partner and both families. They are held by the support of family, community, friends… Unfortunately that chain of people caring for each other is easily broken. The baby is the one who most feels the dire consequences.
Dr Philip Ney
The importance of support
One of the primary factors in a woman’s decision of whether or not to continue with a pregnancy in difficult circumstances is the reaction of the father and/or of her family. The idea that woman “choose” alone in some kind of vacuum is far removed from what actually happens in real life for many women. If a circle of support manifests to welcome a woman in her pregnancy, she will be far less likely to choose abortion. Rejection and abandonment by those around her will make her think she “has no other choice”, particularly if she comes from a background of childhood mistreatment and neglect.
If you are pregnant, you need support – no matter what anyone says on the basis of an ideology. If you want to keep your baby but do not have support, you need to seek it out for yourself. We know that this can be hard. Organisations exist that give help and care to women seeking alternatives to abortion and we encourage you to contact them if you need. People’s furious and hostile opposition to a pregnancy so often changes over time, particularly when that pregnancy becomes a visible baby. Your strength and certainty, increasing over time as your pregnancy progresses, will carry people to you and many of those who might now be making threats of abandonment and surrounding you with a feeling of despair and hopelessness will change when presented with the reality of events.
Healing a fractured past
If your relationship with your parents or family is difficult and fractured, having a child will be the best way to heal those past and present wounds and to restore your relationship. This can be difficult to see at the time. Having an abortion will only increase your rage and bitterness towards the parents who mistreated you and increase the gulf that exists between you. Through the child they will have an opportunity to replay things, and so will you. People around you might not be telling you this but the child is good news. It is your chance to heal, and to heal with joy and love in your life, however difficult the circumstances. People offering abortion say they are offering you a solution. They are not. Abortion will not solve your problems but only add to them.
Death involves grief
You have the possibility to choose. But, if you choose something, you must know what it is you are choosing. Death must always involve grief and grief after abortion is a complicated and lonely one, with few to walk the path with you. Please think very carefully before this life-changing decision.
I believe that abortion is a choice which occurs within a dearth of love. If all of us, especially us men, do a better job of loving women, then women will choose life.