Abortion leads to loss of relationship

A woman named Mae writes about her abortion:

“… Despite my partner having used contraceptives, I was expecting a baby.

My first feeling was one of great happiness, swiftly followed by confusion; what would this mean to my partner? Our relationship was still in its early stages; who knew if there was a future in it? We were still finding out about each other; I didn’t want to force him into committing himself to me permanently…

I rang my partner and asked to see him. When he arrived, I told him my news: “I’m pregnant.” His response was matter-of-fact. “Well, whatever you do about it, it’s your decision.”

I have since realized that this kind of statement simply stems from a man shrugging off any personal responsibility. Rarely does it spring from respect for a woman’s autonomy.

I couldn’t pretend it was what I wanted to hear. At a time like that, I wanted him to show some emotion. I think it was fair enough to give me back the responsibility, but after all, the baby was his as well as mine.

His detachment only added to my confusion.…

Somehow, the path ahead of me was narrowing into a single channel – that of abortion. All the circumstances pointed to it. I had little to offer a baby in terms of a home or a father; although I hoped to keep my relationship with the baby’s father. So why didn’t I call a halt there and then? I could’ve said, “Wait a minute…”

But I can see now that there wasn’t any space to reflect. The clock was ticking by and I was told, “You’ve only got so many days in which to make a decision.”…

Wanting to please my partner… I listened carefully for nuances in our conversations about the situation. There were hints that an abortion would be best at this stage: he would say, “It’s still early in our relationship, so it’s your decision,” which I chose to interpret as meaning that he saw future for us. Left to myself, I made the abortion decision on an “information basis”, determining my future by sifting the information I had received.”

After the abortion:

“The relationship with my partner lasted another 18 months to two years… The fact that our relationship became destructive to me reinforces my realization that I made the wrong decision over the abortion… He just wasn’t the supportive, loving person I thought him to be at first.”

Melanie Symonds, Phyllis Bowman And Still They Weep: Personal Stories of Abortion (The SPUC Educational Research Trust, 1996) 27, 28, 29

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Woman describes hating sex after abortion

Author Luc Boltanski interviewed a woman named Lillian, about what happened after her abortion:

“Afterword, you’re sort of disgusted with the guy, so you don’t want to see him, I don’t know why, but…in my case, with the one I was with at the time, and he was serious, I was fed up with him, sexually I mean, with him, I couldn’t do it anymore. It was purely sexual. I mean that having sex was painful; it really hurt, it was really so uninteresting that I don’t even understand how girls my age who are at that point and think about nothing but sex… It’s so worthless, really there’s no point, because for me, it hurt, it really was bad, but okay, fine, if it doesn’t hurt them, I have the one friend who went through the same thing and had the same reaction as me, but not the other one, she kept on liking it. For me, it’s awful, it hurts, it’s not even fun at all. But the problem is that the guys ask you for it. Indeed, it turns me off, it’s really a chore, but he keeps asking for it. If he doesn’t get it he’s in a bad mood… Well, I can do this to him for a month, but at the end of the month he’ll say to me: “Come on, we better do something about this”, because every night I’m looking for an excuse, because it turns me off, I don’t want it.”

Luc Boltanski The Foetal Condition: A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013) 118

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Pro-choice author: my marriage was hurt by my abortion

Pro-choice author Linda Bird Francke reflects on how her abortion has affected her marriage:

“The effect has indeed been profound. Though my husband was very supportive of me… our relationship slowly faltered.…. I hope we can get back on a loving track again.”

Linda Bird Francke The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Penguin Books, 1978) 9

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Woman hoped her husband would stop abortion, they later divorce

Frederica Mathewes-Green sat with groups of women and listened to their abortion stories. She recalls one story:

“She voices the secret hope many aborting women harbor: “When I was at the clinic waiting for the abortion, I kept hoping my husband would show up. I kept hoping he would come in and say, “Don’t do this! I changed my mind!” but he didn’t show up. The marriage grew tense and they divorced a few months later.”

Frederica Mathewes-Green Real Choices: Listening to Women, Looking for Alternatives to Abortion (Felicity Press; 3 edition, April 16, 2013) Kindle version

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Abortion researcher: Almost every couple’s relationship ended

Linda Bird Francke interviewed men and women in abortion clinics and after their abortions for her book The Ambivalence of Abortion. She says:

“In my research, almost every relationship between single people broke up either before or after the abortion. What had been pleasure became pain. What had been frivolous became heavy. Sex, which had brought intimacy and relief, brought memories of pain and guilt.”

Linda Bird Francke The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House, 1978) 47

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Counselor says that half of relationships break up after abortion

Bruce Rappaport is the program director of the Men’s Support Center, an abortion counseling organization. He has experience counseling men whose partners have had abortions. According to Rappaport, although they’ve done no official study, counselors at his centers have found that half of all relationships break up after the woman has an abortion.

Rappaport said this in an article he wrote for Mademoiselle:

Bruce Rappaport “Abortion: Are Men There When Women Need Them Most?” Mademoiselle April 1981, 253

Read more about relationships breaking up after abortion here.

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My relationship with him was gone with my abortion

A postabortion woman was asked how her abortion affected her in a study:

“Q: So how do you feel now about having an abortion?

A: It was very different than I had expected it. It sort of affected my whole life and the way I just take care of my health in general… I just know that it was a trauma to put my body through… I felt a lot of conflicting emotions. Mostly directed towards the man that I had gotten pregnant with … I mostly felt my relationship with him [the father] was gone with the abortion as far as my commitment to any relationship with him… I will never be the same as I was before I had the abortion.”

Judith G. Smetana Concepts of Self and Morality: Women’s Reasoning about Abortion (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1982) 103 – 104

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Glamour magazine: many couples break up after abortion

An article in Glamour magazine addresses men’s feelings about abortion:

“Male feelings also do not end with the procedure itself. A man is usually very concerned about how a woman will feel toward him afterward, and how he will feel toward her. Understandably, a considerable number of couples break up after the abortion. Recalls one young man, “I don’t know what went wrong, I just didn’t feel the same way about her anymore. I guess I felt guilty about it, and I didn’t want to be reminded of that.”

James Lincoln Collier “Abortion: How Men Feel about One of the Biggest Issues in a Woman’s Life” Glamour February 1980, 245

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Many relationships don’t survive abortion

Pro-Choice author Miriam Claire:

“Pregnancy forces responsibility on lovers and tests their capacity for communication, understanding, caring, and love. Many relationships don’t survive the test, and abortion becomes a source of great trauma and stress. Sadly, because of the lack of communication, couples who separate as a result of abortion often learn very little from the experience because they were unable to express their feelings to each other… The problems of lack of communication, understanding, caring, and love seem common to unwed and married couples, although the issues that trigger these problems may vary considerably.

Miriam Claire The Abortion Dilemma: Personal Views on a Public Issue (New York: Insight Books, 1995)104-105

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Studies show most couples break up after abortion

Pro-Choice feminist Kathleen McDonnell:

“Studies of abortion and its aftermath reveal that, more often than not, relationships do not survive an abortion; the majority of unmarried couples break up before or soon after an abortion.”

McDonnell Not an Easy Choice: A Feminist Re-Examines Abortion (Boston: South End Press, 1984)

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