Would I abort?
Carlos and Nadia have been living together for two years. Their relationship has had its ups and down, but they have stayed together. They live in a small rented apartment. Nadia thinks she's pregnant and both happy and concerned, says to Carlos.
Nadia: Carlos, my love, I have to tell you something.
Carlos: What's up?
Nadia: May I turn off the TV?
Carlos: Well since its something important, shut it off.
Nadia: Carlos, I think I'm pregnant.
About fifteen seconds pass as Carlos thinks before speaking.
Carlos: Okay Nadia, but besides a delay in your period, do you have other symptoms?
Nadia: Yesterday morning I had some dizziness, and today when I visited Alicia Peters I had an upset stomach. She said that I was pregnant, and I tried to make a joke out of it.
Carlos: Nadia, I don't want to hurt or offend you, but you know my concern for our difficult economical situation and my plans for the future.
Nadia: It's okay, Carlos.
Carlos: Don't take it wrong. Go to the pharmacy tomorrow and buy one of those pregnancy tests they sell and let's see what the truth is.
The next day, Nadia bought the pregnancy test, and it was positive. That afternoon Carlos came straight home from work.
Carlos: How are you feeling today, Nadia? What did you do today?
Nadia: It's been a good day. I visited Mrs. Roberts this morning and she gave me an order. It's a small order, but something is something.
Carlos: Did you take the pregnancy test? I'm worried about it
Nadia: Yes, I bought a test and it was positive. I'm pregnant.
Carlos: Nadia, I'm very concerned about this because completely destroys our plans for the future.
Nadia: Hold on, Carlos, and thing about me.
Carlos: Yes. What I mean is that with the kind of jobs I get, food stamps and unemployment benefits we never get our feet out of the hole. And if we are now going to have a child to raise, then we will never get out of poverty.
Nadia: You're right about that. Now that I'm starting to earn some money with the Avon products, I'll have to use less time to visit people and sell. Life is going to become more difficult for both of us, but we need to face the consequences of what we do.
Carlos: Yes, but there are several ways of facing them. You can abort that child now, and later, when we are financially stable, we can have one.
Nadia sits down and remain silent for a minute.
Nadia: I accept that our economical situation is difficult, but a child is part of us and should be received with joy, not with the intention of killing him. It would be very difficult for me to accept the idea that I have killed a child of mine, and who knows if it's the only one I'll ever have. Abortion is a procedure that has its risks, and it could be that I may not be able to have more children. Even natural birth has its risks, much more an abortion!
Carlos: Nadia, to have that child is not the best for us. You are the owner of your body so you can decide to do with it whatever you want. If it was today that you found out that you're pregnant, then what you have is almost nothing.
Nadia: That's not true. I have control over my body until I surrender that control to another person. Look if that is so that besides making me pregnant you could have infected me with the AIDS virus. When I became pregnant, I gave control over my body to the person inside of me. I don't have the capacity to stop him or her from growing and developing. The owner of this apartment cannot evict us while we make the monthly payments. It's his apartment, but it's our home as long as we pay for it. It's my body but when we placed our child inside my body, I gave him permission to live within me until he develops and is able to come out. That was our agreement with him. Well, part of the agreement, that's not all. I understand that we committed to take care of him as long as he depends on us and to always help him, as long as we live.
Carlos: If you see things that way, I'll have to think about separating from you and let each one of us follow our own life. I cannot allow my life to be ruined because you refuse to have an abortion. It's very common. Millions of women go through it and continue their lives very well. Besides it is completely legal in this country, the laws allow it.
Nadia: Look Carlos, I made the decision to be with you I made it because I loved you and I still do. I also thought that you were a man with qualities I wished to see in my children. But if your selfishness has reached the extreme of refusing me because you are unwilling to face manly the consequences of your decisions and actions like a man, I think I'll be better off alone, with my child and without you.
The next morning Carlos got up early to go to work. Nadia prepared breakfast for him and after a period of silence.
Carlos: Nadia, I want to ask your forgiveness for asking you to abort our child and for threatening to leave you. I'm very sorry for that, and I promise not to speak of it again. Our child will be born, and we will do our best for him.
Nadia: Thanks Carlos, I forgive you. What you said was very painful to me, but I expected you to reconsider and decide to face the future with valor and hope.
February 5, 2011