Is abortion the best option for young parents-to-be?
My girlfriend and I are 17. She is 2 months pregnant. Neither her or I am ready to be a parent. We are both Christians and go to the same church. She says she wants to have an abortion. She says she knows it is wrong but that she cannot stand the idea of having this baby. I want her to have the baby and give it up for adoption. I know that it will be hard for her but it is the right thing to do. She is not sure and she is very upset. What can I say to convince her that abortion is the wrong choice. I am willing to go to her parents if I have to but this will end our relationship I am sure and I love her and do not want this to happen. I am very torn and not sure what I am supposed to do.
Penny Bell Says ...
This is indeed a difficult situation that you have found yourselves in. I can understand your girlfriend's desire to abort this baby - it can seem to be a quick and easy solution, enabling her to pick up her life again and move on. I can also understand your concern about her decision, given your Christian beliefs about the sanctity of life. The trouble is, the baby is in your girlfriend's body, and eventually she will be the one to carry the baby, give birth, then go through the emotional agony of giving her or him up for adoption, if adoption is what she chooses. If she finds she cannot give the baby up, it is she that will have her life completely changed by the fact that she is now a parent and has a small person relying on her continuously. If she is still at school, she will have to juggle school life with looking after her baby, and this will not just be for the short term - a child is yours for life. On the other hand, as the father of the child, you will be able to continue your schooling and tertiary education and be free to pursue your career. As well, if your girlfriend continues with the pregnancy there is the chance that her parents won't allow you to have contact with your girlfriend or your baby. So it looks as if the cards are stacked toward the idea of abortion, from the point of view of what would be the easiest way out of this situation. Nevertheless there are problems with this solution too, and not just moral or spiritual problems. More than 26 million abortions are legally carried out worldwide each year (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999), Many studies have been carried out to gauge the degrees of distress experienced by women who obtain abortions. Post-abortion symptoms range from short-term mild distress to posttraumatic stress disorders, and can include guilt, shame remorse and grief as well as several more severe psychological distresses and/or disorders, and physical trauma. So there is a price to pay either way, and your girlfriend should weigh up the cost of both options before making her final decision, which if she is already 2 months pregnant, she will have to do soon. I think the adult thing for you both to do would be to seek advice and help from your families and church community. Whatever you both decide, you will need the support of those who are close to you in order for you both to survive psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. My hope is that you obtain this support, and that your family and church will help you through this difficult time in your lives.