Happily, Emma finds her role as a mother.
«I haven’t regretted not going through with the abortion for one second.» (Foto: shutterstock/Nina Buday)

One Pregnancy – Two Conflicts about Abortion

Emma (35) has the feeling that she lives only for her job. She longs for change and hopes to find it in a relationship. When she gets pregnant, however, she sees another side of her partner: He does not want a child. He has no time and no money for one, period.

Emma is shocked. She would like to become a mother, but isn’t willing to take a risk and raise a child alone. After weeks of circling around the same problems and not finding solutions, she sends an e-mail to the SAMC, requesting help.

Fighting for Clarity

A lively exchange soon develops between the SAMC counsellor and the desperate woman. She finds out about Emma’s employment, that she works as a temp, on call. Her income is very tight and irregular. It appears as if it will stay that way. Also her partner has to work long hours but is nevertheless at his limits, financially. He is convinced that he has neither the time nor the money for a child. The counsellor explains that financial problems shouldn’t be a reason to have an abortion, and that the SAMC is here for such situations.

The counsellor counters Emma’s argument that her partner will leave her by saying that she knows from experience that before an abortion, men often threaten to leave, but after an abortion, usually women break off a relationship, because mourning often turns into anger towards the father of the baby.

These intense discussions between Emma and her counsellor end up giving her courage and security. Even though her partner doesn’t change his mind, Emma decides that she can imagine a future together with her child.

Crash into Uncertainty

Following almost on the heels of this turning point, the counsellor receives terrible news from Emma: there are signs that her baby has serious defects. The pregnant woman is devastated, asking herself how she can cope alone with a handicapped child. She again doubts her decision to keep her baby. The counsellor does everything she can to support Emma enough for her to keep her resolve. She recommends another gynaecologist for a second opinion. Also this doctor finds signs of an atypical development, but is not sure the baby will be handicapped.

While Emma is in hospital due to complications, she is told that the baby will be severely disabled. This makes her conflict even more difficult, and drags it out for weeks. With her counsellor she discusses the reliability of prenatal tests, the right to life that also handicapped people have, and the possibility of giving the baby up for adoption should she be unable to care for it.

The Clouds Lift

By the sixth month of her pregnancy, Emma has finally decided in favour of her baby. After it is born, the deformity doesn’t appear as bad as it had been predicted. The baby girl has a blister on her head which is filled with cranial fluid. Her motor skills will be somewhat delayed, but only for about the first two years, thanks to physical therapy. There shouldn’t be any concerns with her brain development.

Thanks to the SAMC, Emma is able to cope financially. She is, however, struggling with her new role as a mother. The foundation, therefore, arranges for an experienced professional in her area to lend help.

Emma is both happy and thankful to begin her new life as a mother with this energetic and competent assistance. She tells her counsellor, «without your support, I wouldn’t have got through both of those conflicts». Despite the challenges, she hasn’t regretted not going through with the abortion for one second. And there is even one more unexpected bright spot: Since the birth, the father has been keeping in contact with mother and child!