Sometime last month, news broke that Paul George and a dancer named Daniela were expecting a child together. Ignoring the fact professional basketball players seems to have a complete disregard for using protection with strange women, this story would’ve been run of the mill except for a very small detail. Apparently, Paul George offered Daniela $1 million to not have the baby. Depending on who you are, what George did was either a despicable act or a shrewd business move. In either event, it begs the question. If a man gets a woman pregnant and he doesn’t want her to have the baby, how can he ask her without her being offended? The answer is, he can’t.
In an ideal world, a woman finds out she’s pregnant and informs the man she slept with she’s expecting a child. If it’s not something they planned and there are serious doubts about what should happen next, they sit down and have a conversation. In this conversation, both “soon to be” parents discuss the pros and cons of having a child at that respective moment in time. In an even more ideal world, a conversation happens prior to this event. The man and woman, who’ve decided to engage in a relationship where sex is involved, would have already decided that should the woman get pregnant they will do X, Y, and/or Z. Once pregnant, the man would only need to reaffirm what had been agreed upon and both people would either go to the clinic or announce they’re expecting a child together. Unfortunately, this world isn’t ideal and for plenty of people, neither are the circumstances.
Real life tends to be a bit more…messy. There are a number of mitigating factors which dictates the “right” way a man can ask a woman to have an abortion. I thought about this on Saturday night and all day Sunday, which is when I wrote this post. The best question I thought of in all of that time is, “so….what are you going to do?” It’s a fake open-ended question. It sounds like there’s a million ways to answer the question, but there’s really only two. The safety in the question is that it gives a woman the space to answer the question without feeling pressured. It gives the man space to ask a question without seeming like he’s trying to sway her one way or the other. I’d imagine that a woman who just found out she was pregnant is going through a host of different emotions at the time of learning the news. Men are going through a similar situation, with the added effect of having virtually no control over what’s going to happen next.
After examining the previous two paragraphs in this topic, I’m still not sure if there’s a proper way to ask a woman to have an abortion. It’s telling that the only question I thought possible to ask was not one that was appropriate but one that I thought to be the least offensive. Assuredly, “what are you going to do” is better than “I don’t want to be the father of your child so I don’t think you should have it.” Granted, the latter quote isn’t something that’d likely get said, but I imagine that’s probably what some women in a heightened emotional state might hear. While it’s entirely possible two people in this situation would be able to sit down and have a grown up conversation about whether it’s viable to have a child at that point, if a woman is going to have the kid, there’s likely no real way to ask if she’s planning to have the child without offending her sensibilities. If she doesn’t want to have the child though? Things get considerably easier.