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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:52 AM
Original message
Poll question: Friend asks my advice on unwanted pregnancy
I told her it's not any of my business and I have no right to advise her as to what she should do.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Her unwanted pregnancy?
If so, then she really could have used some input. If you did not feel qualified to provide any, then that should have been your response, along with "I will support you no matter what."
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geiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. If she asked your advice, ask her what the issues are for her, and give her
your perspective. There is nothing wrong with that, if she asked. That's what friends do.
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Little Wing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sometimes giving advice can simply mean talking out the options with someone
It's often a big help.

So, I won't say you were correct or not, but perhaps you didn't know of the third option.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. excellent comment.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. I agree
also, sometimes when someone wants "advice" they simply want someone to sit and listen to them think it through out loud. Just, "uh-huh" and "ok" and "I see" every so often while they talk is enough.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
4. If the friend ASKS for advice
then you as a friend have a right to give it or at least listen will she(?) vocalizes her qptions, you have NO right to give advice unasked .
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. As a friend who whose advice was solicited...
... you would not have been overextending by giving an opinion. You certainly have the right to refuse to give advice. I would have at least listened to your friend and offered some direction. I would agree that getting emotionally invested and trying to influence the final decision would be wrong, but your friend opened the door by coming to you in the first place.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. Partially correct.
It is her life and her decision. Her's and the father's. And her doctor. Depending on her age, perhaps her parents have input. She asks your advice because she needs to make a decision. She also needs a resource that has no vested interest in the matter.

So, you could have given her some advice without trying to make the final decision for her.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. My friend got this advice from a pregnancy counselor.
Edited on Fri Mar-09-07 08:59 AM by no_hypocrisy
There sometimes is pressure from the boyfriend/husband to have an abortion but the woman is ambivalent about what to do. The bottom line is that it's his opinion and his preference, but it's her body and that the latter always rules. While you can't tell her what is best for her and her future, she is capable of consideration of ALL options, and will do the best she can under the circumstances.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. Good grief, that was gutless.
She needed to talk it out. She already knows what she wants to do, what she's going to do, she needs some honest support.

Now you've made her feel toxic and ashamed. Good work.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'd feel like I just got slapped by a "friend"
Here's why: She wasn't saying "tell me what to do". She was asking a friend, YOU, to help her talk this through so SHE could decide. By saying to her that it's none of your business, you're telling her you don't care a whit about her.

People don't solicit advice about such deeply personal matters from strangers. Even if it were just to listen, which is probably what she needed more than anything, a friend is there for support. You let your friend down.

JMHO.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. Agreed
Friends listen to each other. They support each other through good times and bad. They share personal matters.

I'm guessing she will long remember this response in a less than positive light. If there is any interest in maintaining this supposed "friendship" then OP might consider approaching her and explaining the reasons for his response.

In any event she probably doesn't want anybody to tell her what to do. She needs somebody to listen to her. A friend would do so.
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smoogatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. You have every right to decline the request for advice
if the subject makes you uncomfortable--which it clearly does. Must not be such a close friend
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. nothing uncomfortable about it, I just know what is and what is not my business
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Your friend's concerns are usually your business, especially if they ask... n/t
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. You have SOME doubt about your action, or you wouldn't post a poll on it.
nt
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Just wanted to see what others thought

I have no doubt about what is and what is not my business.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Oh, come on now! You know this is a very serious matter.
You don't post polls questioning your own decision when a friend asks you to recommend a restaurant or movie. I think some posters are being a bit hard on you. You ARE a guy - and your friend's question probably caught you totally unawares. That happens to me sometimes - and upon reflection, I wish I had handled a situation differently.

You can still give her some support. You could say, look I've been thinking about you, and I don't feel qualified to talk with you about this, but I think you should talk this out with someone and you'll be my friend whatever you decide. She could definitely use a few kind words about now.

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. I wouldn't change what I said.

No one's decision about that is ever my business.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #20
34. you have been tried and found guilty by DU. I pardon you for all crimes real or imagined. nt
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smoogatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. How?
What are the criteria? For me, it's when the conversation gets too personal given the depth/intimacy of the relationship. The "too much sharing" test.
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. In Chinese there are many words for our word friend. Maybe this is really an acquaintance...

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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
14. I think I would have said, I'll support you in whatever decision
the person makes, but, I would definitely mention there are professionals out there who will counsel her in her decision.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
15. You didn't give enough background to answer your poll.
Edited on Fri Mar-09-07 09:20 AM by Divernan
Are YOU pro-choice, pro-life, undecided?

How close a friend IS this woman to you?
Do you know if she has someone closer than you with whom she can talk about this?

I know how desperate a woman can feel in dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. I would not cut off any woman -even a casual acquaintance, who asked my advice on this matter. The level of advice I would give would vary. But first of all, I would find out how far her pregnancy had progressed and point out to her the time constraints on her options, i.e, the types of abortion available in first, second (and rarely)third trimester of pregnancy. Depending on how much I knew of a woman's personal situation, my actions would range from referring her to a good psychologist/counselor - someone neutral on the general issue who would not pressure her one way or the other; to sitting down somewhere private with her and let her just talk about WHY this pregnancy is unwanted, and what the consequences would be for her in re EACH of her options: (1) abortion; (2) keep the baby; (3)give the baby up for adoption. There can be so many factors involved - financial, medical, psychological, family/community/workplace. In other words, help her to verbalize her thoughts, and work it through for herself.

Even if you felt absolutely unprepared or otherwise unable to talk WITH her about this, I hope you gave her some support and urged her to get find someon with whom to discuss this life-altering decision she faces.

I used to teach women's studies, and included material on all the forms of birth control and abortion. This was back in the swinging (Yeah Baby!)70's, and I thought a lot of my college undergrads would be bored by hearing/reading material they already knew. On the contratry, the level of ignorance was staggering! I ended up giving them the sex education they should have gotten in high school.I told my students I wasn't supporting any one-size-fits-all solutions to unwanted pregnancies. And I didn't glorify abortion. I told them in my personal opinion, abortion was never an easy choice, but sometimes it was the best choice under the circumstances.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
16. Discuss every option, the pros and cons, but do not tell her what to do
Or even advise her on what to do (or mention what you would do). The decision should be completely up to her without the weight of judgment from you or others. Also, if you tell her what to do it could ruin the friendship if she regrets listening to you later.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
23. I don't think you should consider yourself this person's friend anymore.
Edited on Fri Mar-09-07 09:26 AM by aikoaiko

You're only a friend if you behave like one.
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. I tend to agree. I hope she does have a friend to help her through this tough time. n/t
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #25
33. Guys are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. How jackass is *that*?
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. I don't get it. What do you mean? n/t
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Situation A: Boy gives opinion on (specific case of) abortion...
... and gets reamed based on "you're not a woman, you have no grounds for a say-so".

(don't even BOTHER trying to tell me you haven't seen this approximately a jillion times in DU abortion threads)


Situation B (current thread): Boy refuses to give opinion on (a specific case of) abortion:

"I don't think you should consider yourself this person's friend anymore"... "I tend to agree."


That's a CLASSIC case of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't.

(It's worth noting, though I'm certain it'll be ignored, that I'm not, in fact, siding "with the guy" on the specifics of this episode. I'm criticizing at an abstraction-step-above.)
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
26. I've been in your position - I've always played "Devil's Advocate"
although I've let my friend know that I was doing it. When she swore she was going to have an abortion I gave her every reason as to why to keep it. When she swore then she was going to keep it I gave her every reasonw why to have an abortion.

She said I was the most helpful of everyone out there who she asked advice from and oh, she has a wonderful daughter.
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Now that's a friend! Thanks for sharing that.
I got pregnant at 19 and the father asked me to marry him when I told him. We have been married for almost 24 years. I was a lucky one. He was my friend. If I didn't have him I don't know what I would have done but I did have great friends and they still gave me advice, even though I didn't ask, because they loved me and worried about me. That's what friends do.
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RevolutionStartsNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
29. I only answer this because this because...
I was in your friend's situation 16 years ago. The pregnancy was not planned, and the guy was my boyfriend but it was rocky and new. I lived with 3 women who were my friends but I can't say they were my close friends -- I don't even know any of them anymore.

The boyfriend wanted me to keep the baby and strongly urged that, but he knew it was my choice. My girlfriends downright encouraged me to have an abortion; it was almost as if they didn't care what I wanted, they just thought I should assert my right to choose, and not even to choose, but to abort. I suppose they were just projecting what they would do.

I strongly believe in choice, but I also knew it was my choice and these friends weren't helping me. I ended up going to a counseler -- not a pregnancy counseler, but just a family counseler, and after talking to her for about an hour she essentially told me that I already knew what I wanted to do, I just had to get past my fear (of telling my father, of what would happen with the boyfriend, etc.)

16 years later I have this beautiful daughter and am happily married to the rocky boyfriend. So go figure. Everyone's situation is different, but my advice in this situation if I were asked would be for my friend to look deep within herself, try to look past the fear (of either keeping or not keeping the baby) and listen to what SHE really wants.
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Telling my father was the hardest part...
and he was so great about it, I was shocked. Friends tried to tell me to have an abortion for a variety of reasons but I knew what I wanted, just like you did.

I certainly wouldn't advise friends to tell a person what to do or what is right in this situation, but listening and feeling as if it were their 'business' would help.
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RevolutionStartsNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. My father said okay, "how about those Lakers"
but that's just my dad.

:)
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terip64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
37. Mine said something like, "What are you getting all excited about?"
He was great. Both my parents insisted that I could have the baby and not get married but it just worked for me. God knows it could have been very different. I consider myself blessed.
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
32. You need to give us more. Sometimes when someone asks for
advice, they want someone to listen to them talk out the options. Sometimes people DO want someone else to tell them what to do. The fact that she asked you indicates a level of comfort and trust with you, which sounds as though you rejected rather harshly. That's your right, if you aren't comfortable
getting involved. In that case, you might have been a little more tactful
in saying that you weren't comfortable offering advice.

You might have offered to help her get professional advice so that she could talk through her options.
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silverlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
35. It is none of my business what you do..and I won't
Edited on Fri Mar-09-07 10:18 AM by silverlib
respond to your request or your poll.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
36. I would have handled it differently - not necessarily better, just
differently.

I didn't respond to the poll since I don't know if there's a "right" or "wrong" way to respond to this. And, I don't know you, your friend, your relationship, the situation and so forth.

I have an understanding with most my friends, I let them know if they're going through something; I have two ears, no waiting, and a couple o' hugs to "spare" if they need 'em.

So, I'm a listener. That may not be your style. As I said, not "better" just "different."


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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
39. I would have suggested notification of the father
among other things... and if she didn't want to hear any suggestions... well, that's her problem.

Just because it's ultimately her decision doesn't mean to say that I have to support it, I only have to support her right to choose.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
40. What irony that you ask this question....


A 'friend' asks you for your opinion on her what she do with pregnancy, but you decline to answer because you think its none of your business, but yet you ask total strangers to give their opinions on your behavior. What makes you think that you and your life are any of our business?
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
42. Not Sure Why You Felt The Need To Have Us Validate Your Decision.
The first thing you need to realize is that your entire premise is faulty since there is no 'correct' thing to do here (advise or not to advise). You could've told her about why the child has a right to live and how she has people around her who care about her and will help her, and that once the baby is in her arms she'll never regret it for a second; you could've told her the downside of bringing a child into this world if she's not prepared to parent it etc etc or you could've said what you said. None of them are wrong or right; it merely matters what you felt comfortable doing and that you don't force anything on her.

So I'm not really sure why you felt the need to come here for some sort of validation. If you are feeling guilty over it, you can always talk to her tomorrow. But that's still not something we can convince you to do or not to do and none of our responses should technically have the power to tell you what to do. The choice is yours on how you wanted to handle it and if you're having second thoughts you can easily change course. But we can't tell you what's right or not in this situation for you; only you can.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-11-07 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. no guilt. Just wanted to see what people think of it was all

What I told her is what I think about it.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-11-07 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
44. If she asks, then she values your opinion. If you don't want to give your opinion, that's your
right- but since SHE asked, it is your business until you say it isn't.
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