Unwanted pregnancy, preservation of reputation, etc


#1

A friend, who is Catholic, comes to you for advice. She and her boyfriend have sexual relations. As a result, she is pregnant. Her parents do not know yet. Her boyfriend has enough money for her to get an abortion. He is pushing hard for abortion idea. The girl wants to do the right thing. Factors bothering her in the decision include:

a) Her parents are very strict and might disown her if they find out she is pregnant;

b) She has an excellent reputation – if she goes through with the pregnancy, others will look down on her;

c) If she has the baby, she wants to keep it, but she knows her boyfriend does not want to get married.

What would you advice?


#2

This is not where I would start to harp on about the evils of premarital sex or any guilt she might have - that comes way later, there's a life in immediate danger.

I would council her that she has, whether she realises it today or not, been given a great gift and that along with that gift comes great responsibility and some real sacrifice. I would introduce myself or some other succesful person as an unintended child who's parent(s) chose life. I would offer to help her out in any way that I could - by clothing her and her baby, by housing them if needed, by shutting my mouth and just listening to her. etc. Being disowned by your parents and losing your reputation certainly are not pleasant things, especially to a teenage, but there are worse things that could happen. Both would pale in comparisson to the lifetime of regret she would feel about terminating this pregnancy.


#3

[quote="alitaptap, post:1, topic:199773"]
A friend, who is Catholic, comes to you for advice. She and her boyfriend have sexual relations. As a result, she is pregnant. Her parents do not know yet. Her boyfriend has enough money for her to get an abortion. He is pushing hard for abortion idea. The girl wants to do the right thing. Factors bothering her in the decision include:

a) Her parents are very strict and might disown her if they find out she is pregnant; Well, obviously it would be wrong to disown her. They should forgive her...often girls are afraid to tell their parents, they forget how much their parents love them

b) She has an excellent reputation – if she goes through with the pregnancy, others will look down on her; So? She would be doing the right thing. No one can look down on her for that.

c) If she has the baby, she wants to keep it, but she knows her boyfriend does not want to get married.
If she wants to keep the baby, and the father doesn't want get married, then he should at least support the child financially. If he doesn't want to, she could try to sue him for child support. I see that you are in the Philipines, I'm not sure if that is possible there.
What would you advice?

[/quote]

I would adivse her to have the baby. If the boyfriend keeps harassing her into an abortion, she must leave him. She might consider placing the child into an adoption scenario.


#4

a) Do you know her parents? Would they really disown her? Teenagers often overestimate what their parents will do and how angry they will be. Worst case scenario, they disown her is still better than her realizing later that she killed her own baby. Are her parents pro-life? Have they ever talked to her about teen pregnancy?

b) A lot of pro-lifers will admire her for being brave and going through with it. Some people might look down on her, it’s true, but, again, that will be less traumatizing than an abortion. And looking at the worst case scenario here: abortions can cause infertility and other health problems. She might well come through it physically all right, but does she really want to risk infertility for the rest of her life? And women who have abortions often are haunted by nightmares and thoughts of their baby for years to come. (Something the folks at Planned Parenthood conveniently forget to mention, but important to consider.)

c) I understand wanting to keep the baby, but will she be able to support it? Is she even willing to consider giving her baby up for adoption? Even if her boyfriend wanted to marry her, it might not be the right choice for them to get married. It sounds like they are very young and not on the same page about moral issues.

Is there a trusted priest your friend could talk to who could help her through this? It sounds like she really needs guidance and reassurance. There are also counseling centers for pregnant women, and she may be able to get financial help, or live in a shelter for pregnant teens if her parents do kick her out (which I seriously doubt they will, but I’d have to know them to guess better.) Are you good enough friends that you could offer her a place to stay if her parents kick her out?

Please find outside help for her though. She can’t make it through this alone.


#5

As Christians we’re called to “live in the light”… having an abortion, and hiding THAT, would not be “living in the light”… it would require keeping it a secret (hiding it in the dark) for the rest of her life, and living with that decision and having it eat away at her emotionally, spiritually, and physically… every single day… otherwise her precious “reputation” would be tainted.

The brave choice would be to admit what happened, confess the sin of premarital sex, have the baby, and decide the next move (keep child or give up for adoption) based on personal circumstances.

ALL would be “in the light”, ALL consciences would be cleared, ALL would be forgiven, and she would then have a reputation of being brave and loving…

I don’t understand why this is a difficult decision… both are hard in one way or another, but only one is clearly the EASIER in the long run.


#6

great advice:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#7

If this were to happen (in the Phillipines), are there organizations which help women in this situation? Could she go to her pastor, maybe he would know of people who would help her?

b) She has an excellent reputation – if she goes through with the pregnancy, others will look down on her;

c) If she has the baby, she wants to keep it, but she knows her boyfriend does not want to get married.

These two are contradictory. (Don’t say all this stuff to her.) On the one hand, she wants to keep the baby if she has it, on the other, she would kill the baby? If she keeps the baby, her reputation will suffer anyway, right? Maybe if her reputation is that important, she should have thought about it before doing what would actually mess up her reputation, which is having sex before marriage, not hiding that fact by killing her baby in order to maintain a now-fictional reputation (which her boyfriend could destroy with a word!). She would kill the baby whom she would otherwise keep in order to maintain her reputation? This all sounds like she is mulling over several scenarios without putting her priorities in order.

So my advice to you would be to help her put her priorities in order. Having committed one sin, she needs to go to Confession.

Having become pregnant, she should NOT kill her baby because her first priority should be her baby and what would be best for him, not what would be most convenient or least embarrassing for her and/or her family.

I would say that the likelihood of her parents’ disowning her is really low. If she is really concerned that her parents would be that angry, I would suggest that she discuss this with her pastor or another close adult, preferably a woman whom her parents would respect (not a friend her age), and tell the parents *when that other person is there. *If the other person is there, then her parents will probably pause before reacting, reducing the likelihood of her being disowned. In addition, she would have an advocate who could reason with the parents if necessary, which she herself probably will not be able to do.

(If some strong male were able to go to the boyfriend and beat him up for offering to pay to kill his child, that would be nice too, Sigh, but I suppose impossible.)


#8

[quote="alitaptap, post:1, topic:199773"]
a) Her parents are very strict and might disown her if they find out she is pregnant;

[/quote]

Parents can surprise you. I knew someone who was pregnant when she got married. When she told her parents (who were devout Catholics) about the baby and the marriage at the same time, they were overjoyed, because at least it meant they hadn't been using contraception and she hadn't had an abortion.

(However, I am NOT suggesting in this case that your friend should marry the man who is trying to pressure her to murder his own child!)

All I'm saying is that people do not know how others will react. In any case, you have to do the moral thing regardless of the consequences, and abortion is never the moral thing.

I mean, what if the boyfriend was going to go to her parents and tell them she'd been having sex, and then was going to take out an ad in the newspaper to ruin her reputation. Would she be justified in killing him? Of course not! Still less an innocent baby who has not sinned against her in any way.

And the fact is that even if she doesn't feel this way now, if she had he abortion she might come to feel it later and then there would be no help for it, because it can't be undone.

And if she puts the child up for adoption, she can be healing the broken hearts of two other people who want a child but can't conceive, too.

--Jen


#9

[quote="alitaptap, post:1, topic:199773"]
A friend, who is Catholic, comes to you for advice. She and her boyfriend have sexual relations. As a result, she is pregnant. Her parents do not know yet. Her boyfriend has enough money for her to get an abortion. He is pushing hard for abortion idea. The girl wants to do the right thing. Factors bothering her in the decision include:

a) Her parents are very strict and might disown her if they find out she is pregnant;

b) She has an excellent reputation – if she goes through with the pregnancy, others will look down on her;

c) If she has the baby, she wants to keep it, but she knows her boyfriend does not want to get married.

What would you advice?

[/quote]

An abortion would be murdering her baby. That is not an option. The baby cannot be murdered under any circumstances.

Her reputation is less important that taking care of the child. What other people think cannot be controlled. If she follows God and the Church there is no need to worry about reputation.

If her boyfriend is trying to get her to have an abortion, she must leave him. He is an evil influence and unworthy to be a father.

She should have some faith in her parents. She should explain to them that although she made a mistake, she is going to do the right thing from now on. She will take full responsibility for the child (their grandchild) but will need their help and support. They will probably help her. If not, then she should seek aid from the Church and other charities.


#10

for issue (a), I'm sure that if she approaches her parents asking for their support as she sets right the effects of her sin (in keeping the baby, naturally) that she will have it. Secrecy would be damaging for their relationship. Openness may deepen their bond (though it can take time). It may be advisable for them to have this discussion in the presence of a trusted adult friend or their priest.

for (b), where does her reputation count: with God or her peers? God already knows her sin. While going through the pregnancy would reveal her sin to her peers, aborting the pregnancy would only compound her sin. One mortal sin cannot correct another. (in my experience, people hold a higher regard for mothers who keep their babies in difficult circumstances).

for (c) ... if he doesn't want to be a permanent part of her life, he has no right to suggest to her what to do. Honestly, she should not have anything more to do with him.


#11

Do you have Pro-life Pregnancy Centers where you live? They are a great resource for counseling new moms on making the right choice. Perhaps she will need to hear and get advice from people removed from the situation as well.

Advise her to keep the baby and help her see the pros of that, but also suggest a pregnancy center if you have them. They are trained to help new moms make the right choice.


#12

Your friend needs to tell her parents that she is pregnant as soon as possible. Of course they will be angry/disappointed, but then they will get over it and help her to make the best choices for her and the baby. Forget the Boyfriend. Of course he wants her to have an abortion, then his responsibility goes away and he can move on to the rest of his life.


#13

[quote="Catholic1954, post:12, topic:199773"]
Forget the Boyfriend. Of course he wants her to have an abortion, then his responsibility goes away and he can move on to the rest of his life.

[/quote]

So true. This is probably why he is even offering to pay. If he procures an abortion for the girl he impregnated, he pays once. If she keeps the baby, he's on the hook for child support for 18 years.


#14

a. Tell her SHE is responsible for the decisions SHE makes, not her parents, her friends, her teachers, ect…and SHE will be the one that will have to carry this for the rest of her life. She is already a mother - and that’s all the criteria she needs to reflect on to ‘do the right thing’

Tell her this: God loved you into existence…and you can do the same for your baby.

b. ‘excellent reputation’? To be honest, it just saddens me that that was put forward as an excuse to kill what may be the only biological son/daughter she may ever have.

Honestly, if that kind of concern holds weight than she really needs to look into adoption - making a decisions that involves authentic motherly love and one she will be able to live with.

c. You cannot build a relationship on the death of your child. Period.

BTW - sounds like her boyfriend likes the act of creating life, but does not care to love the life he creates. It would be in your friends best interest to get rig of this guy. After all, if she is not going to change her behavior (abstinence until marriage) than she will be in the same situation a few months from now, the only difference will be a different little innocent pre-born life at stake.


#15

a) I’m assuming your friend’s parents are Catholic, too? They will NOT disown her. They will be angry, and disappointed and sad. They will get over it. They will also admire her for making the right decision. Telling her parents will be the hardest thing she has ever done up to this point in her life, I promise you that. You might even offer to tell her parents on her behalf. Sometimes, for a daughter the words ‘Mom, dad, I’m pregnant’ are just WAY too hard. So, let her know, you would be willing to play middle man.

b) I had an abortion for the very same reason. Guess what? Those people whose opinion I was so worried about? I haven’t talked to them in ten years. :shrug: Reputations can be rebuilt. Oh yeah, and I was worried my parents would disown me. What I SHOULD have realized at the time was that they most certainly would not have done so.

c) There are resources available for her if she decides to keep the baby, but, honestly, if she’s considering abortion, she should at least consider adoption, too. There is NOTHING wrong with getting all of the information. Frankly, she probably doesn’t know how beautiful the adoption process could be for her and her baby. She owes it to herself and her baby to explore that option, even if in the end she decides not to take it.

If all of this is too overwhelming, YOU or a friend should offer to drive her to a pregnancy resource center. Again, she does NOT have all of the facts, and she won’t get them at Planned Parenthood either. They can help her.

The most LIBERATING words this girl could speak would be to say ‘Mom, dad, I’m pregnant’ Believe it or not, after that, it all gets much easier. She just needs to say those words. I pray she makes the right decision.


#16

[quote="SonCatcher, post:10, topic:199773"]
for issue (a), I'm sure that if she approaches her parents asking for their support as she sets right the effects of her sin (in keeping the baby, naturally) that she will have it. Secrecy would be damaging for their relationship. Openness may deepen their bond (though it can take time). It may be advisable for them to have this discussion in the presence of a trusted adult friend or their priest.

for (b), where does her reputation count: with God or her peers? God already knows her sin. While going through the pregnancy would reveal her sin to her peers, aborting the pregnancy would only compound her sin. One mortal sin cannot correct another. (in my experience, people hold a higher regard for mothers who keep their babies in difficult circumstances).

for (c) ... if he doesn't want to be a permanent part of her life, he has no right to suggest to her what to do. Honestly, she should not have anything more to do with him.

[/quote]

I would like to stress what a good idea (a) might be. She might be more comfortable telling the priest, or an aunt, or an older sibling. They can help deflect the parents' reaction. But she needs to tell SOMEONE who is willing to talk to her parents about it, and her loser boyfriend needs to step off.


#17

Iam pro life but this young girls fears are certainly not unusual.remember it wasn;t so long ago that no matter what class of society a woman came from unmarried pregnancy was a leperous subject.Can you imagine the horror some women went through when employers, clergy "friends "family members and even hospital staff thought they had the right to condemn and treat them like garbage .Many times adoption was forced so they suffered with grief the rest of their lives and resentment of the people who forced them into it ,.No wonder back street abortions took place /Although the pre marital sex would be absolved in confession society still thought they had the right to impose a lifetime punishment.Of course the man walked away scot free.It seems the “sin” was getting pregnant .Lots of unmarried people were having sex only the unmarried pregnant woman was held accountable for it .So the Churches have a lot to answer for by unofficially sanctioning centuries of horrible behavior towards these women many of who were impregnated by date rape and incest .they only changed their attitude when abortion became legal and suddenly many women could solve their "problem"without society knowing .this also knocked the socks of those people who always needed malicious gossip and a victim tomake them feel they had a proper place in the world…NO I DON’T BELEIVE IN ABORTION BUT MY HEART BREAKS FOR THE YOUNG WOMEN WHOSE CHILDREN WERE FORCED INTO ADOPTIONS BY THE CHURCH AND FAMILIES , AND WHO HAVE SPENT A LIFETIME SEARCHING FOR THEM WHILE CLERGY AND FAMILY WENT ONTO COMMIT WORSE SINS IN THEIR LIVES THAT NO ONE KNEW ABOUT ,THE HYPOCRISY WAS WHAT FORCED SO MANY WOMEN TO TURN TO ABORTION ,. A baby is wonderfull and clean and innocent but unfortunately " illegitimacy "was treated as a kind of leprosy and it still exists.Many women don;t trust the advice of the churches and prolifers and it;s no wonder. Anne C


#18

as a parent, I would be far more upset by the death of my grandchild (abortion) then by my child being pregnant under any circumstance. Just my two cents. I will pray for your friend.


#19

I had an abortion at age 17. Now, 23 years later, I still struggle with that decision. I would seek any and all alternatives to that. The aftermath of abortion is a horrible thing and she will be alone in it. I would say for her to tell her parents and go from there. Often when we think we have no option, we do, we just don’t know how to find it at such a young age.


#20

Her pregnancy is her parent’s fault. They failed to raise her and instill a healthy of fear of God and a realization about this secular world’s temptations. I would explain that to her, and then see if the parents wish to own up to their own shortcomings as well.

The boyfriend seems to be even more immoral because he would rather kill a baby than own up to his actions. He should be dumped and ostracized from society.

Whatever the case, the baby should not have to pay for the mistakes of its parents.


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