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Help me do the right thing - Friend is planning an abortion. I think she's doing the wrong thing but, somehow, I need to be supportive of her decision <glup>

(109 Posts)
NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 13:07:12

OK, so maybe she's not really a friend in the strictest sense of the word, (she's DPs business partner's wife) but our lives are totally and utterly intertwined and we like each other a lot.

She already has one DD who's 18 months, wants more children and wasn't using contraception. Now she's pregnant and will be having an abortion on Friday sad. I find her actions and choices really hard to swallow, but obviously it's not about me and what I think or feel about the situation or her choices.

I haven't actually spoken to her myself yet, her DH told my DP this afternoon. DP's the type who can be frank and open about his feelings (the same as mine) without upsetting or hurting anyone's feelings. That's not something I could pull off.

She's made her decision, it can't have been easy and I know I have to be supportive. It's going to be farkin hard. I'm pregnant with DC2 myself ATM (24 weeks) and although I'd always stand up for a woman's right to choose I could never have an abortion myself, whatever the circumstances.

I just can't understand WHY she wasn't using contraception when she's this against have a second child now.

So, help me do the right thing. Please. How can I go about being supportive of her? What can I say?

I'm just so horribly shocked and sad about the whole thing.

warthog Tue 24-Feb-09 13:08:56

it IS her decision. there might be something you're not aware of.

just be there for her, listen, but don't offer your opinion. if she asks, just say you wouldn't, but you support her right to.

the last thing she needs is someone judging her at a very vulnerable time.

MrsMattie Tue 24-Feb-09 13:11:05

Just bite your lip. Nothing else you can do. I do understand your feelings completely, but it really, truly is her decision, has nothing to do with you and nothing at all can be gained from being anything other than supportive towards her.

Penthesileia Tue 24-Feb-09 13:11:20

Do you have to say anything? Although your lives are intertwined, there must still be a sense of privacy. She might not even mention it in your presence. Perhaps her DP told your DH deliberately, to get it over with, and that's that.

If she does, however, simply say part of what you've said above, ie. "This must have been a difficult decision", and also let her know you're there to listen - if that's true.

If you're not, however, I'm sure she will understand that a pregnant woman might not wish to talk about abortion. You can say that gently, and without implying that you disagree with her choice.

Of course, you know that you must not say anything about disagreeing with her choice, or questioning her contraception or lack of it in her presence.

DogMa Tue 24-Feb-09 13:12:04

Ninja, you're going to have to find a way of dealing with your own feelings over this.

I've been in a similar position to you so I know exactly what you're saying but the bottom line is - you must not influence this decision in any way, shape or form because it will come back and bite you.

Just listen. Don't offer any opinions at all - listening is all you can do. It's difficult but you must follow this advice.

I feel for you, I really do. S'no good wondering why she didn't use contraception - they'll be more to the story than you might be privvy to. Just listen if she wants to talk.

Nontoxic Tue 24-Feb-09 13:12:33

You don't have to say anything if she doesn't mention it to you - which she won't if she has a shred of consideration.

I don't see why you feel you have to support her.

luckylady74 Tue 24-Feb-09 13:16:20

You have to accept that sometimes people make mistakes- very stupid ones, but they still need friends.
I refuse to believe that she's making this decision lightly - she may well be crying herself to sleep about it.
She won't be telling you all the factors involved in making her decision because she'll be sensitive to the fact that you are pregnant.
It's not your business and saying you believe in a women's right to chose, but would never do it yourself is a very judgemental thing to say (remember you may well come across people on here who have had abortions after rape or incest).
This is the place to vent rather than to her.
Say absolutely nothing other than 'Is there anything I can do?'and imo women should support other women because if we don't who will?

beanieb Tue 24-Feb-09 13:17:23

Bite your lip, it's her choice and she could have many reasons for not wanting to carry the pregnancy to term.

Miyazaki Tue 24-Feb-09 13:17:32

It's nothing to do with you. If she brings it up you listen, if not, you keep your opinions to yourself. If you were close you would have been privy to this information first hand and from the very beginning, not hearing it from your dp.

She wasn't the only one not using contraception, so you really mustn't make this (in your head) all about her. It really isn't anything to do with you at all. Did I say that already? wink

JumpingDizzy Tue 24-Feb-09 13:21:05

I don't know why a woman who's going in for an abortion in these circumstances would expect you (being pg)to support her? I doubt she'll bring it up, I know I wouldn't.

I wouldn't say much at all if she does.

prettyfly1 Tue 24-Feb-09 13:24:11

Without seeming harsh, I think you need to understand that this is absolutely nothing to do with you. Your feelings about this are more down to your feelings about abortion then they are anything else (which is entirely your right). I doubt very much if this is a decision she took lightly and there may very well be reasons behind it that you just dont know. I dont think that as a pregnant women who feels the way you do about abortion that you can support her and i think the post that said very gently telling her this if you come to her without expressing your opinions is the only thing to do. You have to respect her right to choose and leave it alone.

NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 13:31:55

Oh, don't worry, I intend to keep my thoughts and feelings on the situation totally and entirely to myself. I just don't know how to do it. I'd never dream of trying to influence her decision and thankfully I won't see her again until it's too late.

It is indeed none of my business, and I wish I didn't know. I'm looking for help to support her because I know that that is the only right thing to do.

DP, my friend and her DH all Dutch. There will be open discussions, there always are, about everything that's just the way they do things. There isn't anything I don't know about, there really isn't. That's not the way the relationship between us four works.

I'm going to have to be actively supportive because by keeping stum my feelings will be sensed...

luckylady74 - I really am pro-choice just too weak to exercise that choice myself. I do not judge women who feel they need to have an abortion, really not. It must be so so hard.

I'm afraid I do find it hard to understand why such an intelligent well educated couple wouldn't use hardcore contraception when they absolutely want to avoid pregnancy.

prettyfly1 Tue 24-Feb-09 13:42:15

But perhaps they werent looking to avoid pregnancy. Perhaps they have discovered a reason since why they really cannot go ahead with the pregnancy, medical or emotional. That is why I think you have to leave this alone. You dont know all the facts and whilst i really respect that you are trying to be understanding and compassionate, you are also judging them and finding them lacking on the basis of the information you have right now. If you really cant avoid it the best thing you can say is "it is a very personal choice and i respect your right to make it but as a heavily pregnant woman myself, i am not sure i am in the position to help too much right now". Blame the hormones if you have to.

NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 13:52:31

That's a good line prettyfly, I'll try and keep it limited to that. I'm afraid there will probably be more required though.

I have no intention of ever telling her (or her DP) what I really think. Never. Ever. I'm being honest about my feelings on here because... well, because I can, I suppose... but I will bite my tongue / lie / blame the hormones, anything. That was always my intention. I'm just looking for advice and tips on how to be supportive of her/their decision when avoiding the issue isn't an option.

Oh, and DP has just called to let me know that we will all be spending the day together at work tomorrow after all...

NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 17:02:28

Anyone? I really want to do the right thing here (which IMHO is to support her) but I'm getting really nervous about seeing her tomorrow. I need some help to put my feelings in a box.

I can go into more detail about her situation, reasons etc, but that's not what it's about, is it?

Molesworth Tue 24-Feb-09 17:04:09

If she hasn't actually spoken to you about it herself, do you need to mention it at all? I think it's quite likely that she won't say anything about it to you because you are pregnant tbh.

NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 17:08:55

I certainly won't be bringing it up, no way, but she will speak to me about it as will her DH. I (selfishly) wish they wouldn't but the Dutch don't really do discretion. It's honestly and openness all the way.

It's all very new and the system is very quick here because the limit is so low.

prettyfly1 Tue 24-Feb-09 17:09:01

I would support Moles on that. Hopefully she wont mention it at all. If she doesnt then dont bring it up. Just be as normal as you can be with her and leave it at that. You do have the right to not discuss it with her if you dont feel able you know and i think if you say look i dont think i can help with this because of the hormone/pregnancy thing but its your decision and if oyu think you are doing the right thing then i support that completely. Then change the subject. You are work companions and friends but you dont have to agree or discuss everything and i truly think this is one area where you just cant.

veryembarrassedmummy Tue 24-Feb-09 17:16:18

Is she asking for your opinion- or your support? if not, then keep quiet. If she does ask, then I think you are entitled to ask why she chooses to abort when she wants another child- is it timing? Are they not really happy?

I was in a similar position with my BEST friend some years back- they had had fertility drugs, no pregnancy- then she did get PG. At that stage they were not getting on, and they were also faced with having to relocate overseas. She decided to abort, but I spent days on the phone with her, helping her analyse her feelings. For them the timing was all wrong- she wanted a baby but not with her DH- they are still on the verge of divorce now, 5 years later.

I felt angry that she had got PG - not using contraception- when they didn't feel the time/relationship was right for ababy- but she was also the first to admit to the stupidity of that too. I think beause they had had problesm conceiving, they thought it wouldn't happen.

anyway- back to your friend- unless she asks, keep it to your self, but if she wants an honest opinion, then I think you should say what you feel, but acknowledge it is her choice after all.

Miyazaki Tue 24-Feb-09 17:17:15

If you genuinely want a way to put your feelings in a box, I would just think over and over and over again. This is nothing to do with me. Nothing at all. When you know something is going to be highly inflammatory if you say something and the fall out is going to be huge if you do, you keep quiet. You just do, find a way. Fake it until you make it. Tell your dp it's going to be hard for you, make sure he watches your back. If they ask you a direct question tht he knows you'll be uncomfortable with, see if he can have a prepared interjection. Oh, it's really hard for x, cos of all the baby hormones... Best of luck

NorktasticNinja Tue 24-Feb-09 17:17:31

I hope hope hope that it doesn't come up. TBH I know it will.

I get your point about trying to avoid talking about it but evasive tactics are basically implied disapproval in a situation like this. Well, that's the way I see it anyway, and I don't want to be responsible for making it any harder than it already must be.

I went with a friend for an abortion some years ago, where is that strength now?

Miyazaki Tue 24-Feb-09 17:18:42

But you do disapprove, so I guess you need to deal with that appropriately.

Molesworth Tue 24-Feb-09 17:18:56

I agree, if she asks you for your opinion I would say something like "I'm afraid it's impossible for me to be objective about this because I'm pregnant and my hormones are all over the place". I really can't imagine why she would ask for your opinion though!

veryembarrassedmummy Tue 24-Feb-09 17:19:53

maybe you need to be honest- anyone having an abortion and talking about it, must accept that not everyone will agree with them- i think there is nothing wrong in saying how you feel, as long as you say it non-confrontationally, and support her decision.
You could say that you couldn't do it, that you find it hard to accpet abortion if there are no real medical reasons etc etc but that it is her choice. I don't see why you feel the need to lie to protect her so much.

dontgive2shoites4daftpricks Tue 24-Feb-09 17:24:41

I really dont get what your dilemma is tbh. All you need to do is keep your mouth shut. Unless she asks - which she probably wont. But if she did, then you speak your mind. It'll come out in the wash sooner or later, when your not thinking or something, so might as well be truthfull. But I cant see her ever asking your opinion. I expect she's gone over this plenty in her own mind.

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