an After abortion

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

My One and Only, in this month's Elle Online.

This story perfectly captures a father's influence on the abortion decision. It captures the pained ambivalence of the decision, and the lingering impact it has on the mother.

“The window’s broken,” he said in a soft voice, and as soon as he said that, I saw the baby recede from me, I saw the baby get very small and distant. I looked at my husband. There was something so sad and strained in his face, and in my face, too, I’m sure. And it suddenly occurred to me that either way, no matter what we did, we were going to regret it. “I’m getting an abortion,” I said. I said it more to see what it sounded like, to try it on, but when he turned to me, I saw something hopeful in his eyes.

I suspect that the most lingering impact of this abortion will be on the living daughter. You'll see in the story that her well-being--the fact that she learned to read early, etc.--is how this family stays centered after the abortion.

It'll be harder, I suspect, for this family to handle this little girl's inevitable inadequacies, small or large character failings. She has been made to carry a heavy burden.

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