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Mum and I Had Disagreement About Abortion

  • 15-07-2020 2:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I know this post is probably going to touch a lot of nerves but here we go.

    My partner and I are trying for our first baby. We've had a miscarriage and it's no secret that we're trying.

    I was out with my Mum last week and she was talking about her niece, my cousin, who was born with intellectual disabilities and I made a throwaway comment that I wouldn't be able to cope with a child like that, and I didn't know how my aunt and uncle do it. I have huge respect for them but I've seen the way their lives changed, the sacrifices and the careers they built and had to pull away from. I don't want that for myself or my partner and neither does he.

    Long story short, my Mum started talking about how you just have to deal with what you're given. She's pro-choice for some situations (i.e. rape) but not all.

    I explained that if any tests while I was pregnant were to show severe malformations, disabilities, etc. then I'd have an abortion. It's something my partner and I have both agreed on.

    She said "Well that means you would have aborted your niece, if they were your child," which is true.

    I said, "I know. I love her, but you're right." She was off with me for the rest of the conversation and now she's ignoring my texts and calls. My partner told me I shouldn't have said anything to start with. I don't want to go to her house uninvited but I'm upset that she's upset with me.

    I don't think people with disabilities or those who are differently abled are worth any less than people with full abilities. It's not even a decision my partner and I have had to make and who knows how we'd feel in the situation, but for now that's our stance on it.

    I don't know what I should do. Am I in the wrong? Should I lie and say I've changed my mind and pray I don't end up in that situation, knowing my Mum won't support me in it?


Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,612 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    Maybe your mum isnt upset about your views on abortion as much as she is offended about the opinion about it in relation to her niece? The discussion wasn't about abortion, it was about her niece and I suppose knowing her niece and loving her niece, it must have been hard for your mum to hear someone would have aborted her.

    I wouldn't apologise for your views on abortion, it's your body and your choice but I think I would apologise for saying it in relation to her niece.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,984 ✭✭✭Shelga


    Don't bring it up with her again, and don't tell her you're pregnant until you get an all-clear on an amniocentesis, all going well.

    It's an emotive topic and I would imagine she took it personally due to you talking about her grandchild. Maybe apologise for that aspect, and ask her can you both put this behind you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    Don't apologise, you are entitled to your opinion and she is entitled to hers. It is such a loaded topic and everyone has their own view on it. In cases like this I think it is easier to agree to disagree. I had to work hard at that during the Repeal campaigns as I work closely with people who have very different opinions to mine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,066 ✭✭✭✭fits


    She loves her grandchild and it is hard For her to separate that from your opinions I guess.

    Just give her some time. Reassure her that you love your niece. And never go there in conversation again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,692 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    Hi OP

    Mum is entitled to her opinion and you to yours.

    She made a good point that you would under certain circumstances be aborting a baby similar to your own niece, and yes, your mum probably feels very protective to that child, and this has probably triggered some of those protective feelings.

    This is a dispute where i think it would be best to give her all the space you can. Your not going to change her opinion, shes not going to change yours. If you have a routine of dropping over on certain days, i would carry on with the routine, and if she is cold just talk with dad etc, and give her all the space she needs for now.

    Maybe give over with the texts and phonecalls for a while - let her initiate first contact there.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,464 ✭✭✭Treppen


    Everyone has their own position on abortion, and it's in a very grey area. At the moment you think it's black and white with your mum on one side of the fence and you and your husband on the other.
    If the cards either of you were dealt differently that position wouldn't appear so solid.
    Believe it or not your partner isn't going to be 100% holding the same position as you on everything.... Despite what ye think now.

    Tldr, not worth fighting over a hypothetical situation.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,880 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty


    I wouldn't even consider this situation unless it comes up, and even then, it's between you and your partner.

    I won't tell you what the right or wrong answer is, but what I will tell you is you won't really know how you feel until you are actually (hypothetically) in such a situation, and until a doctor is explaining a diagnosis to you.
    Your partner doesn't really know how he will
    feel either.

    I completely understand people having a choice and I voted for that.But equally, I am on the other side of the divide....I have 3 healthy kids, and 3 times I have seen that heartbeat on a screen long before 12 weeks, and I still don't know how I would react to such a diagnosis.I don't know if I could stop that heartbeat, and equally I don't know if I could live through a pregnancy knowing the outcome might be something other than a perfectly healthy baby.

    There is absolutely no point in making definitive statements and getting into arguments about things that might never happen.Leave it where it is, and frankly, just hope that you never find yourself in a position where you might have to make such a decision.




  • youve called and texted

    leave her at it, her move

    both of you are entitled to your own opinion on this


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    Your Mum is applying your theoretical position to a real live person. Aborting a foetus is v different from a real live born person. I think it is illogical and emotional blackmail of your mother to make you feel this way.

    Sounds like you will never agree on this. I’d tell her nothing tbh. Do whatever feels right for you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    I mentioned this on another thread a while ago, but there was a tv programme about Down’s, and people who’d aborted when they found that out. The tv presenter had a kid who had Down’s, who was highly upset by this.

    How ever, she was equating an early abortion with cancelling her own kid, and she was very very well off, with a child who was mildly affected, and had a flexible well-paid career, and loads of supports. It was obviously an emotive issue for her, but she took zero account of how life might be hard to impossible if other people went through with the pregnancy.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that your mother is equating your position to a real live born person that she knows - which is different from what you’re talking about. And it’s all very well for her to say that, if she doesn’t have to live the reality for the rest of her life after she’d had an early scan.

    I’d leave her off and wouldn’t bring it up again tbh. And let her come back to you.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,612 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    Mod Note

    qwerty13 and karlitob the OP is seeking advice on how to resolve the situation with her mum. If you wish to discuss the issue of abortion, take it to PM. Otherwise offer advice to the OP as per the Charter.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    It's a rabbit hole you shouldn't have gone down OP.

    I'm staunchly pro-choice in all circumstances. My mother is staunchly pro-life in all circumstances - including if it means death of the mother. I can't change her mind any more than she can change mine. So we just do not talk about it. There's no middle ground.

    Having seen several couples who have had a FFA diagnosis, what I would say to you is that it's not a family decision. In each of those, the couple made their decisions based on the medical information they had specific to that pregnancy and then informed wider family after they had made their decision. That's the way it should be. Your mother has never been in that situation, neither have you. And there's no way either of you really know what choices you'd make until you were faced with them.

    It's pointless to fall out over hypotheticals. It's also emotive and logic doesn't always play a part. You should have dodged the loaded question about your niece - and I do think that for family harmony you should roll back on this, not least because if your mother tells nieces parents they too would find it hurtful. It's the kind of thing that can cause long time rifts so for that reason I would lie to your mother, yes. Then just avoid the topic from here on in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭Tork


    How are things now OP? As we all know, abortion is a very emotive topic and it can bring out very strong reactions in people on both sides of the argument. I'm pro-choice but have some family members who went to those retain the 8th marches in Dublin at the time of the referendum. I don't agree with their opinions but I respect their right to express them. If the topic ever came up in conversations I just stayed out of them because it made life easier. My reasoning being that I don't want to fall out with my family and that nothing I can say will change their minds anyway.

    I don't know what sort of person your mum or what your relationship is like so I could be giving terrible advice here. My instinct is to buy a nice bunch of flowers or something and call up to see your mum. (Unless she doesn't like uninvited guests?). Other than that, is there anybody else you could talk to who's close to her to gauge how she is now. Your dad? An aunt or uncle who lives nearby? I think you should roll back on your comments too, just to keep the peace. It may go against your instincts and beliefs but it's better than causing a rift.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,399 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn


    I’d just try and move on from it. I remember back around the referendum some people who had kids with issues found the whole thing hard to deal with and when it was discussed it caused issues for them. From what I can see it all settles down after a while. If ye can accept one another’s views and move on. I wouldn’t discuss it again tough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,482 ✭✭✭Kidchameleon


    You are 100% in the right. My opinion is that it is best to end a pregnancy in such circumstances. It seems to me from what you described that it was your mam who brought the neice into it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,441 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo


    For the sake of peace I would apologise for saying that about your niece and move on. Dont discuss abortion again with your mum, in fact dont even discuss FFA or Downs or any of the less positive outcomes of pregnancy. Dont let your apology turn into a conversation about any of it, just apologise and move on.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,721 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    Neyite wrote: »
    It's a rabbit hole you shouldn't have gone down OP.

    I'm staunchly pro-choice in all circumstances. My mother is staunchly pro-life in all circumstances - including if it means death of the mother. I can't change her mind any more than she can change mine. So we just do not talk about it. There's no middle ground.

    Having seen several couples who have had a FFA diagnosis, what I would say to you is that it's not a family decision. In each of those, the couple made their decisions based on the medical information they had specific to that pregnancy and then informed wider family after they had made their decision. That's the way it should be. Your mother has never been in that situation, neither have you. And there's no way either of you really know what choices you'd make until you were faced with them.

    It's pointless to fall out over hypotheticals. It's also emotive and logic doesn't always play a part. You should have dodged the loaded question about your niece - and I do think that for family harmony you should roll back on this, not least because if your mother tells nieces parents they too would find it hurtful. It's the kind of thing that can cause long time rifts so for that reason I would lie to your mother, yes. Then just avoid the topic from here on in.

    100% this. I voted in favour of repealing the Eighth, and if I was voting again tomorrow, I would do the very same.

    As Neyite and other posters have said, should you ever be in that position, it would be a decision for you and your partner.

    Your mother is most likely hurt by what you said, and for the sake of family harmony, I suggest you apologise for what you said in relation to your cousin/ her niece, and never get drawn into that conversation again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 292 ✭✭Citygirl1


    Agreed with most of the advice given.

    While you're entitled to your approach to this, you must have had a good idea of your Mum's position on the topic, and given the family situation makes it all more sensitive. So, it was unfortunate that you were so blunt about your cousin.

    In my family, my Mum is 100% Catholic, and completely anti-abortion in all circumstances.

    Myself, I'm rather on the fence on the issue, and can see both sides, but did eventually vote yes in the referendum. I have avoided sharing this information with my Mum, and generally avoid discussions on such topic also.

    So, maybe best to apologise for the comment re your cousin, and ask can you both move on. And if (hopefully!) you become pregnant soon, maybe just keep it to yourself and your partner, until you know where you stand. While tempting, there is no need to share immediately with your family.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,398 ✭✭✭StinkyMunkey


    Apologise to your mam for hurting her feelings, it's not about right or wrong, it's simply about an easy life and the path of least resistance.

    Never make the mistake of being drawn into a conversation about the topic again with your mother.

    Only you and your partner get to decide your life choices and your under no obligation to share or explain them with anyone.

    For the record, I'm pro choice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,463 ✭✭✭pgj2015


    Im pro life but I can see the other side of the argument and I refuse to debate it with the other side as neither of us are going to change our minds on the matter. You need to make it up to your mother, as others have said she is naturally protective of your cousin, not sure why you wanted to discuss the issue with her. you may even find yourself changing your stance on the topic, I was pro choice a few years ago.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,612 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    Mod Note

    karlitob if you have no advice to offer the OP on the issue they are trying to resolve, please do not post in the thread again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,174 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes





    I don't know what I should do. Am I in the wrong? Should I lie and say I've changed my mind and pray I don't end up in that situation, knowing my Mum won't support me in it?

    Just wait for it to pass. Don't talk about the subject again.


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