15-year-old asks: 'Should I have the abortion to keep' my abusive boyfriend?
A letter from a teenage girl to a newspaper advice columnist reveals the anguished choice many pregnant women face at the nexus of abuse, abandonment, and abortion.
The 15-year-old girl wrote to the UK Sheffield Star advice columnists Jo Davison and Nik Brear that her boyfriend punched her after she refused to have an abortion.
Her parents, after recovering from the understandable shock, “were great. They have supported me to make the decision that’s best for me. Which is, keeping the baby.”
“As soon as I knew I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t have an abortion,” she wrote.
"But my boyfriend has insisted that I have an abortion and told me that if I keep the baby he doesn’t want anything to do with it or me. A week ago, he got so angry about it that he slapped me,” she wrote.
The boyfriend later apologized “and cried,” saying having a baby would prevent them from excelling in school and their intended career as lawyers.
“Should I have the abortion to keep him, or should I listen to my what my heart and my parents are saying and be a single mum?" the teen asked.
Inexplicably, the first respondent, Jo Davison, insinuated the girl was refusing to have an abortion in order to keep her boyfriend.
Davison wrote that, although “violence is inexcusable,” it “is also a sign that he is being honest with himself. Which is something I feel you are not being.”
“You should not be thinking about keeping the baby as a means of holding on to him. Equally, though, you shouldn’t have a termination to keep him,” she wrote.
Davison then applied some pressure of her own.
“You need to get your head out of happily-ever-after fantasy-land and be brutally honest with yourself,” she wrote. “You are still a child; can you really cope with motherhood? If it puts an end to your career dreams, how will that feel? And will you be able to give a child the bottomless pit of love, support and self-sacrifice that it deserves?”
Nik Brear emphasized that “there is absolutely no excuse for him hitting you.”
“Don’t fool yourself that that makes him different to other abusive men,” he warned.
Brear mentioned that sex naturally leads to reproduction. “Unfortunately this is one of the possibilities that comes along with having sex - no matter your age - and you have some very adult decisions to make that will affect the rest of your life.”
A third respondent – Dr. Jacqueline Lynch, consultant clinical psychologist and director of Chrysalis Associates – gave some sign of affirmation for the parents', and the girl's, decision.
“While you may be ready to be a mum, you boyfriend isn’t ready to be a dad,” Dr. Lynch wrote. “It’s understandable he’s scared, but it’s not acceptable for him to blackmail you into an abortion.”
“Ask yourself if he is worth giving up your unborn child for. Do you want to be with a man who is prepared to resort to violence to get you to do what he wants?” she asked.
“You have decided to keep your baby and you have support from home,” she said. “You may be wise to listen to your parents.”
Although pro-abortion writers and “progressives” say coerced abortions are a myth, this teenager is part of a larger trend of coerced abortions. While not often physically compelled to go to the abortion facility at gunpoint say they are physically abused, emotionally manipulated, or compelled to abort byparents, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands, abusers, even policemen.
But a growing network of pro-life activists around the world, centered in crisis pregnancy centers, help young mothers find the support and resources they need to follow through with the pregnancy.
Some women say the choice to keep their baby was the best decision they ever made.