Next, this demonstrates what's wrong with the framing of talk about abortion.
Dear Abby: I just found out that my girlfriend of nearly four years had an abortion when she was in high school.Of course Abby is quite correct that the young woman is under no obligation to tell boyfriend anything.
I overheard her during a conversation she was having with someone. I later asked her what was implied when the name of her ex-boyfriend from high school was brought up. She proceeded to tell me what had happened and then said, “I never told you that?” Obviously, she never mentioned it to me because I certainly would have remembered something of that magnitude.
My reaction is feelings of disgust, betrayal and of having been lied to. Am I overreacting or are my feelings warranted?
Feels Betrayed In Connecticut
Dear Feels Betrayed: That depends upon whether you ever had a conversation with your girlfriend about her sexual history during which you were supposed to tell each other “everything.” If so, then the omission was deliberate. If not, she was under no obligation to reveal that she had terminated a pregnancy during high school.
Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for women. Ultimately, I am told, most women feel a sense of relief after an abortion. However, many do not feel that it is something to celebrate and may not be comfortable sharing that they have had one.
But to imply that perhaps she was ashamed is not warranted on the facts given.
Boyfriend asked, she promptly told all and seemed surprised that she hadn't already told him.
That sounds to me like a confident young woman who has no regrets, no shame about her decision. She doesn't think about it much and is surprised it hadn't come up before.
This is the way past abortions should be handled. Like any other past medical procedure.
'Oh, yeah, I had my appendix out in high school. I never mentioned it before? Well, it was no biggie.'
The boyfriend seems to be a typical male drama queen. What about meeeeee?
ADDED: Interesting. Another paper runs the column without Abby's second paragraph.