Dear Mary, 26 May 2013:
I’m really confused right now and as I can’t talk to anybody else I’m trying the anonymity of the news paper. I have a relatively new girlfriend – it’s only a few months since we got together – and as a result of her having a virus, and vomiting all the time, the Pill wasn’t effective, and now she is pregnant. She wants to have an abortion because she says we don’t know each other well enough to be parents, and I can’t think of anything worse than aborting an unborn child. All the controversy going on right now doesn’t help, and I am at my wit’s end. None of our parents has a clue as to what is really going on. I’m in my late 20s and she is a few years younger. What are your thoughts?
Unlike you, I can think of something worse than aborting an unborn child: a woman who is unwilling to put her health and future at risk and commit to 18 years of parenthood with a near-stranger so that a grown-ass man doesn’t ever have to feel confused or sad about a decision he will never have to make for himself.
What an awful position you’re in, being physically unable to be pregnant and yet knowing exactly what pregnancy is like, and specifically what your girlfriend should do about hers! So many pregnant people experience complicated emotions about unplanned pregnancy and bodily autonomy, while you’re cursed with the absolute knowledge of what’s best for all pregnancies, if only everyone would just listen to your penisfeels for a minute.
But you’re helpless to force every pregnant person ever to carry every pregnancy to term, which is the right thing to do because you personally can’t imagine anything worse than something you literally cannot imagine because it literally will never happen to your body. O, cruel fate!
What can you do? Make a lot of frowns at your girlfriend so she sees how sad you will be if she doesn’t spend the next nine months, and potentially 18 subsequent years, attending to your emotional wellbeing, the most delicate and precious thing on the earth (besides zygotes).