"Sometimes the wisest thing to say, is nothing"
I've been through this twice now. Once upon a time I had a relationship. She became pregnant, or rather, realised she was pregnant after I'd left and gone back home. My ex-partner made the reluctant decision to terminate her pregnancy following our break-up. Despite our desire to keep and support our child, she bowed to enormous pressure from both our families (including my Christian parents). She phoned me to tell me of her resolve, and my own feelings and desires were ignored and crushed. Nonetheless, despite my personal feelings, I still supported her. In this case, there was little more I could say.
Knowing what to say was almost impossible. For her, she felt she was in a no-win situation (as I imagine many women are), and as she was studying midwifery, one which cut to the very heart of her identity. She was also already a mother of four, and had lost one to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
For me, it was heart-breaking. I had always wanted to be a father, had loved my brief time as the man in her surviving children's lives, and still loved her. But the relationship was over, and she had made her decision regarding the abortion.
Update, 25th February 2010
More recently, my new wife grundoon was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was scheduled for mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It turned out she was pregnant, that the chemo would wreak dread havoc on our baby, but that putting off the treatment would drastically reduce Christine's life. There was no choice in the matter, despite the heart-ripping decision, we made it. All I could do was nod, and weep quietly.
They still hurts, those hollow insides.
anon says thank you for sharing what do you say to someone . . . Having been the female in such a situation, I can say that it's difficult on the woman to make a unilateral decision, but you often feel you have no choice
liveforever says I just read your WU What do you say to someone who has just had an abortion? and wanted to express my sympathy. As a father myself, I can understand how you must feel.
anon says my heart goes out to you - I had an abortion a long time ago, so I really do know how much anguish and pain it involves. I'm so sorry.
anon says no-one ever wants an abortin (sic), and to talk about it is so difficult. For some it's a relief have one, I'm so sorry it wasn't for you
anon says Me and my girl tried to conceive a baby. We succeeded, and then my father basically said he would disown me if it was carried to term. Sad, sad, sad.