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Old 03-27-2006, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm an only child; all my siblings were aborted...

So here's something I was just thinking about...

I wonder how many people who choose to abort a pregnancy allow their children to know that?

Has anyone ever said, or heard someone else say, "I have a brother, and almost had another brother or sister, but they were aborted" ?

Now, this is not to say that such conversations would occur in the everyday realm of water-cooler or lunch-table chit-chat, but is it something that would come up? Perhaps among good friends, or with a partner?

It seems it's very possible that some may be fully aware that they may have had a brother/sister who never came to be. Has anyone ever heard of someone being upset with their parents for aborting a potential sibling?
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well in my case my older bro died in a miscarrage, or so they say. Also this story of a mysterious car accident that no one has recollection of

But anyways ive known about it, allittle skeptical about how it actualy happened. But then again my dad said i am an only child because after me he never wanted another kid.
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't see the information as particularly important one way or the other. Miscarriages are frequent (and frequently are not picked up because they occur early in the embryonic stage), people use birth control, I don't see what the difference is between lacking a two day old embryo sibling and a three week old embryo sibling.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If my Mother hadn't miscarried when she got pregnant after having my brother, I would never have been born.

I think it is rather silly to think of aborted or miscarried "babies" as siblings... it serves no positive purpose unless you view resenting your parents choice to abort as a positive thing.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm here, in a weird sort of way, because of abortion; ironic, isn't it? My mother had an abortion before she met my father, and when she became pregnant with my brother, kept him because she didn't want to have another one. I seriously doubt that if my mother hadn't become pregnant that she'd ever have married my dad...they had a shotgun marriage.

Am I upset over my aborted "sibling"? Of course not. My mom made a choice, and I might not be here if she hadn't made that choice. I am pro choice though and that affects my view on the matter.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave
I don't see the information as particularly important one way or the other. Miscarriages are frequent (and frequently are not picked up because they occur early in the embryonic stage), people use birth control, I don't see what the difference is between lacking a two day old embryo sibling and a three week old embryo sibling.
Except that a miscarriage is a naturally-occuring thing, not decided upon, and abortions are chosen. I don't see how the two relate at all.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it would be a really strange feeling to know that my mother decided to kill my potential siblings. Don't know quite how I would deal with that.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would be heart broken to learn that I had a potential sibling that was lost, whether to abortion or misscariage. Family is so important to me that I would feel as if there was a piece of my life that was potentially missing. Is it rational? Maybe, maybe not. It's how I feel.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Analog the similarity between the two is the loss of a "potential sibling". Yes one is intentional and the other not, but ultimately it is the same thing as far as I am concerned.

My mother used birthcontrol. This means that there were potentially many fertilized eggs that were terminated as the pill forced her system to menstruate. I don't worry about those any more than I would an abortion.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have not had one and therefore I am only guessing what I would or would not do. I don't think I would ever tell my children if I had an abortion before they were born. I would not want them to think of the "what-if's" that I thought of when my mom told me she had 3 babies before my sister and I, none of them survived. I hated thinking "what if they did, would my sister and I not be here?". but then, on the other hand, it also made me understand why my mom was overprotective.

Well, maybe I would tell them if they find themselves in a similar situation. I'd want to show my support for whatever decision they make. I am not sure. It must be a tough thing to talk about.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
Except that a miscarriage is a naturally-occuring thing, not decided upon, and abortions are chosen. I don't see how the two relate at all.
They're both the death of an embryo. That's how they relate. I am asking why you would care as to whether the embryo dies naturally or through human interference. While life in the biological sense may begin at conception, the formation of a human being as we know it does not occur until after birth.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
My mother used birthcontrol. This means that there were potentially many fertilized eggs that were terminated as the pill forced her system to menstruate. I don't worry about those any more than I would an abortion.
Charlatan, usually I do agree with you, but I have to ask (maybe I am just wrong): isn't the whole point of hormonal BC to stop any eggs from being released? In that case, birth control does not do its job by dislodging fertilized eggs in a forced menstrual flow. If it's all working properly, then there are no eggs to be fertilized at all. And I suspect that if the eggs were fertilized, the menstruation would not, in fact, take place. Again, I could be wrong, but this has always been my understanding..

Back to the OP: as far as I know, my mother never had an abortion. If she had, yes, I would have missed my potential siblings, the same way I would have missed them if she had had miscarriages (though the feelings towards my mother would be different for abortion vs. miscarriage, because of the purpose required in the first case). It wouldn't be a huge, conscious ache, since I do believe people do what they need to do, but I would have definitely not forgotten it for the rest of my life. I am an only child and I often wished, growing up (and even moreso now) that I had siblings. My mother meant to have three children with my father, but since he died when she was 8 months pregnant with me... well, yeah.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You are right... I had that wrong. Yes, the pill prevents ovulation. I was thinking of the morning after pill (something that was not available to my mother).
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I knew a girl for about 10 years before I started to date her. About half way through our dating stint she found out that her mother had had an abortion a couple months previously. I have never seen her or her little brother more upset in my entire time knowing them. They felt that their brother/sister had been murdered and were affected greatly by the fact. The sadness was deeper than if a friend or loved one died I found, they felt that at least the people they knew who died had a chance to live before they passed on, the unborn child did not even have a chance.

Judging from that experience I would say that it is a little bit more of a deal than most people think. But the experience is different for everyone.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hmm, as far as I know there were no abortions, but my mom first had a miscarriage; then she was pregnant with twins, of which one died in the womb but my sister survived (though she was born on the 7th month and had a pretty difficult year after that). Then, I was born.

I rarely thought of my 'potential' siblings. I guess, if they were born, everything would've been different, and I wouldn't have been conceived anyway.. It just seems to hypothetical a situation to ponder.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blahblah454
I knew a girl for about 10 years before I started to date her. About half way through our dating stint she found out that her mother had had an abortion a couple months previously. I have never seen her or her little brother more upset in my entire time knowing them. They felt that their brother/sister had been murdered and were affected greatly by the fact. The sadness was deeper than if a friend or loved one died I found, they felt that at least the people they knew who died had a chance to live before they passed on, the unborn child did not even have a chance.

Judging from that experience I would say that it is a little bit more of a deal than most people think. But the experience is different for everyone.
That depends on one's outlook on the creation of a human being. I would term the people who think of first trimester abortions and miscarriages as "not having a chance to live" as naive and idealistic. If the consciousness is not there to begin with, nothing is lost, and no potential is lost. Either we live in a random, spiritless world, in which case no person was created to have a chance to live in the first place, or if we do live in a spirited world, whatever entity would have been created in that body will find another or go on existing outside the material realm (or as another part of it).
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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When I was 14 my mother informed me that she had two abortions prior to having married my father. Perhaps due to the fact that these were only (and I say "only" very lightly) potential half-siblings, that fact wasn't so much disturbing.

More traumatizing was probably the circumstances under which she decided to dump and share her own guilt regarding this information on her teenage children. So I'd be curious to know if the impact from discovering this information differs depending on the circumstances under which it was shared (is she trying to teach? trying to scare? just using you as an emotional dumping ground?)
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I learned as an adult that my mother had an illegal abortion when she was in her early forties. She had already raised three girls, and her marriage was on seriously shakey grounds due to my father's infidelity. (I can't believe I am telling this to strangers).

Do I condemn her for her choice and mourn the loss of a potential sibling? Absolutely not.

Responses to this question have been in the "what if" frame. Consider the possibility that your frame might alter somewhat in the real world of your family.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topper1
When I was 14 my mother informed me that she had two abortions prior to having married my father. Perhaps due to the fact that these were only (and I say "only" very lightly) potential half-siblings, that fact wasn't so much disturbing.

More traumatizing was probably the circumstances under which she decided to dump and share her own guilt regarding this information on her teenage children. So I'd be curious to know if the impact from discovering this information differs depending on the circumstances under which it was shared (is she trying to teach? trying to scare? just using you as an emotional dumping ground?)
This is the worst possible thing that an adult parent can to to his or her child. I've been put in that position and it is just wrong to lay confidences of that type on your children.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
I learned as an adult that my mother had an illegal abortion when she was in her early forties. She had already raised three girls, and her marriage was on seriously shakey grounds due to my father's infidelity. (I can't believe I am telling this to strangers).

Do I condemn her for her choice and mourn the loss of a potential sibling? Absolutely not.

Responses to this question have been in the "what if" frame. Consider the possibility that your frame might alter somewhat in the real world of your family.
My mother had two abortions...one when she was fifteen, the other at 21 or so. The first was because, well, in 1972 nice girls didn't do "that" (have sex) and obviously it would have ruined her life. The second was because her husband at the time was dying of terminal cancer, and she was giving all of her time to nursing him.

It's never bothered me. Not at all. My mother made the decisions she had to make. What's bothered me more is my aunt suggesting that my mother's first husband would have been my father. No. We are all products of our parents--I could have only been produced by my parents in combination with one another and at the time I was conceived. Any other combination or timing would have resulted in something other than myself.
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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My situation is slightly different. My older brother was stillborn, but my parents didn't tell me until I was 21. I found out when I was on the phone with my dad the night before my wedding, and he said, "Are you sure you want to do this? I think you're too young. You know, the only reason your mom and I got married when we did is because she was pregnant." Now, I'm the eldest of 3, and my parents were already married for 2 years before I was conceived, so... yeah, I did the math and it didn't add up. Then he told me that I was supposed to have an older brother, but he was stillborn. NOBODY in my family had EVER told me this. Is that fucked up or what? I still don't know why they waited so long to tell me this. *sigh*

Communication is a foreign concept in my family.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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They're both the death of an embryo. That's how they relate. I am asking why you would care as to whether the embryo dies naturally or through human interference.
I don't. Others might. Someone said they didn't care which it was- I simply pointed out that they are, in fact, much different scenarios in reality. Losing one is hardly the same thing, at all, as aborting one. They're completely different types of loss.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Aborting is killing the embryo. (Baby, human, life, sack of cells, whatever, it does kill it)

A miscarriage is the embryo dying.

That is like saying there is no difference from your brother dying from a heart attack, or being shot 5 times in the head.

There is a difference.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:56 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I can't believe the emotion people invest in this...

a) it wasn't you who had the abortion
b) it has nothing to do with you
c) there is a very real chance that you would not be here had that abortion not taken place. I know I would not be here if my Mother hadn't had a miscarriage.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:14 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Well, if you can't believe that...

I had a very good friend in high school who got quite upset when she found out her mother had had an abortion. She wasn't upset because she believed abortion was murder, she was upset because she grew up an only child. Her life, she said, would've been so much better if she'd had an older brother or sister around.

She was quite upset for a long, long time about the whole thing. Somewhere in the middle of all that nonsense I just stopped hanging around her. I don't know if she ever reconciled with her mother or not.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:37 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I'd have to say that having two younger brothers played a very big role in how I turned out. My parents are great and I can always count on them, but there is a bond between sibblings that is sometimes so much stronger. So if I found out that I had missed out on having another sibbling, I'd feel somewhat cheated.

But for me the biggest deal would be that it'd change my view of my parents. They have always taught me to take responsibility for my actions, and abortion is definetly not taking responsibility for your actions. It'd be hard for me to respect them if I found out that they had abortions before or after me.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:39 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Does it make me a bad person when I secretly wish that my brother had been aborted? It's hard to deal with the mentally ill when they know exactly how to get under your skin in the most efficient way possible. It's not an everyday wish, but once or twice a year....

guthmund, your high school friend should be very careful what she wishes for. She could have my brother.

Back to topic - first, I don't see any difference between an abortion and a miscarriage. The end result is the same, although the emotions could be different. There are always valid, rational reasons (at least to the woman) for an abortion, and unless you know the whole story, I don't think that any of us are in any position to second guess.
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:40 AM   #28 (permalink)
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They have always taught me to take responsibility for my actions, and abortion is definetly not taking responsibility for your actions. It'd be hard for me to respect them if I found out that they had abortions before or after me.
You and I apparently have a different view of what "responsible" entails. There are about ten gigajazillion reasons where choosing to abort a child is the "responsible" choice, especially considering infant life and the means of the parent.

And really, I don't see a difference between miscarriage and abortion. Miscarriage is just God aborting the embryo, whereas abortion is a well-trained MD aborting the embryo.

Stressing about a decision your parents made AT LEAST 18 years ago is pretty silly, don't you think? I was a bastard when I was born -- my parents divorced and only re-married because I was concieved. I could certainly stress over this .. but it happened 20 years ago.

Let dead dogs die. (Ouch, I didn't intend that pun.. )

To be frank, this sounds like another spin on the trite "think about what that embryo coulda been" argument that those anti-choicer's use everytime abortion comes up in a rational discussion. I prefer "think about how fucked up that kid woulda been had he been borne to those parents."
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:07 AM   #29 (permalink)
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You know, if this had happened in my family, to my mom, it would still be HER life, and HER choice, and it would be completely crazy for me to be pissed off about things she did before I was even around--talk about ego centric! I'm pissed about WWII, but nobody seems to give a rat's ass. (mild sarcasm, although yeah, I am still shocked at how very recently most of our planet was engaged in active warfare against each other).

But I'm not planning on having kids, ever, so it's not something that greatly concerns me.
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Except for my sister, all of my siblings were never even fertilized.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:09 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guthmund
Well, if you can't believe that...

I had a very good friend in high school who got quite upset when she found out her mother had had an abortion. She wasn't upset because she believed abortion was murder, she was upset because she grew up an only child. Her life, she said, would've been so much better if she'd had an older brother or sister around.

She was quite upset for a long, long time about the whole thing. Somewhere in the middle of all that nonsense I just stopped hanging around her. I don't know if she ever reconciled with her mother or not.
That she believes her life would have been "so much better" assumes quite a bit. I can just as easily say that my childhood may have been much better had I NOT had an older brother around to terorize me. She sees what is her ideal situation as the only possible outcome of what may have been. Maybe the brother/sister would have been an axe murderer and her mother in fact saved their lives by aborting.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:14 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Life is hard; people have to make hard choices to survive sometimes, particularly pregnant women.

My mom grew up during the depression. She was poor, had little education and no job prospects, so she married a soldier during WWII just to get an income. It was a mistake; he was abusive, and there'd never been any love on either side. So she divorced him, married my father a few years later, and never told us kids about it until we were adults.

So, not long after that conversation, the subject of abortion came up for some reason. She said, "I hate it." I asked, "Would you outlaw it?" And she looked at me for the longest time; I felt she was about to say something. And then she just said, "No." I never followed up. But I knew. A pregnant woman on her own in the '40s, especially poor, was in desperate straights. She did the necessary to survive. And I sure don't blame her.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:32 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I can't imagine being a parent and then telling your child about it. It's none of their business in day to day life; if they needed guidance in their own situation, then I might bring it up, but woe betide any child of mine who would presume to judge decisions they have no frame of reference for.
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JustJess
I can't imagine being a parent and then telling your child about it. It's none of their business in day to day life; if they needed guidance in their own situation, then I might bring it up, but woe betide any child of mine who would presume to judge decisions they have no frame of reference for.
This is exactly how I am reading many of the posts above.

Who are you to judge what your parents did or didn't do, in many cases, before you were born? You have no idea what they went through. Whether they did it gladly, or with much pain.

Missing siblings? How can you miss something that never was? Move on, there are more important things to worry about in life than a pile of never was...
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:33 PM   #35 (permalink)
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They have always taught me to take responsibility for my actions, and abortion is definetly not taking responsibility for your actions.
I don't at all see how having an abortion is irresponsible. If you can't raise a child- either monetarily, or practically, or you don't want children, the responsible thing to do is, indeed, to NOT have children. If accidental pregnancy happens, abortion is the way to not have children when you shouldn't be having them.

People who can't afford kids, shouldn't have kids- people who can't raise kids, shouldn't have kids- and people who don't want kids, shouldn't have kids. I don't know why you're suggesting that having a kid when you shouldn't have a kid, is responsible.
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:23 PM   #36 (permalink)
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My mother had four abortions before I was born; I was almost an abortion, myself. So was my younger sister.

I don't blame her or feel sad because I could have had more siblings. I am just glad I was not aborted.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:56 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I don't at all see how having an abortion is irresponsible. If you can't raise a child- either monetarily, or practically, or you don't want children, the responsible thing to do is, indeed, to NOT have children. If accidental pregnancy happens, abortion is the way to not have children when you shouldn't be having them.

People who can't afford kids, shouldn't have kids- people who can't raise kids, shouldn't have kids- and people who don't want kids, shouldn't have kids. I don't know why you're suggesting that having a kid when you shouldn't have a kid, is responsible.

The part that makes it irresponsible is that becoming pregnant is entirely avoidable. Having sex without consequences is not a God given right. No matter how safe you think you're being there's always the small chance that the woman will get pregnant. The responsible thing to do, is to not have sex until you're ready to support children. And if you can't wait for then, then atleast be ready to change your life style to support a kid in the event of pregnancy. Its all really pretty simple common sense.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:06 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blade02
The part that makes it irresponsible is that becoming pregnant is entirely avoidable. Having sex without consequences is not a God given right. No matter how safe you think you're being there's always the small chance that the woman will get pregnant. The responsible thing to do, is to not have sex until you're ready to support children. And if you can't wait for then, then atleast be ready to change your life style to support a kid in the event of pregnancy. Its all really pretty simple common sense.
You can take all the precautions available and still get pregnant.

As for not having sex until you can afford kids?
1) Get real.
2) If that was the rule of thumb, few would be having kids.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:12 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blade02
The part that makes it irresponsible is that becoming pregnant is entirely avoidable. Having sex without consequences is not a God given right. No matter how safe you think you're being there's always the small chance that the woman will get pregnant. The responsible thing to do, is to not have sex until you're ready to support children. And if you can't wait for then, then atleast be ready to change your life style to support a kid in the event of pregnancy. Its all really pretty simple common sense.
It may seem like common sense to you, but it's pretty naive. You should check some of the virginity discussions on this board and look at when a lot of folks here lost theirs. As an off-the-cuff, in no way accurate guess, I'd say that the mean age is probably 16 for the sampling of folks here. Are you saying that teens shouldn't have sex because they can't support a kid? Do you honestly think that you could get a 15 year old boy to buy into that arguement? I agree that there are lots and lots of reasons to wait, with pregnancy and STD's chief among them, but mistakes happen and technology fails occasionally. Abstinence is easily preached but much more difficult to practice, especially for teens.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:21 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Abstinence is easily preached but much more difficult to practice, especially for teens.
Here, here. This is the most succinct statement of my views on all the abstinence discussions yet.

And Charlatan.... yes, I wish people would "get real" and fast... But that is also easily preached and hard to practice for most!
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