Does She HAVE to Tell Her Pro-Life Boyfriend She’s Getting an Abortion?


We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make YOUR CALL on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

I have a hypothetical question for you. I’m pro-choice, my boyfriend is pro-life (he comes from a fairly conservative, religious family). We recently had a close call with a broken condom (thankfully I didn’t get pregnant) but we started talking about what we’d do and he said, without hesitation, that we’d get married and have it. In my head, I was like woah, woah, woah, slow down there buddy. We’re young (early 20s), I don’t have a decent career yet, I don’t want to get married yet, I’m not even sure I’d want to marry him down the road. I would definitely want to have an abortion. So I was thinking, what if, heaven forbid, I did accidentally get pregnant? I think he would freak the f*#$ out. Since it’s my body, and I have a right to privacy, would it be ok ethically if I had an abortion and didn’t tell him? Because I think we’d definitely break up over it. And while I don’t want to marry him right now, I definitely don’t want to break up.

— I’m NOT Keeping My Baby

What should INKMB do in this hypothetical sitch?
Let her know in the comments below.


  1. I’ve been in this situation and I’m here to tell you neither choice is a good one. If you have the abortion and don’t tell him you’ll feel guilty and it may create a void to some degree. If you tell him it’s just over or if he finds out down the road the result is the same. It’s important to date someone that has the same belief system about having kids because that could just be the beginning of many differences.

  2. I’m pro-choice and my boyfriend is pro-life. I’m 22 and if I were to get pregnant right now I would definitely have an abortion and I wouldn’t tell him. I don’t think it would be selfish or wrong if you to keep this secret. I love my boyfriend and I definitely want to marry him and if he found out I had an abortion we would break up on the spot..I know this for a fact so what’s the harm in not tellin him? You keep your normal life and your relationship..don’t ever feel like you have to have a baby if you’re not ready and for the people who say adoption is an option fail to realize that carrying a baby for 9 months and having to give it away can do a lot of harm emotionally and physically to your body an idk about you but I would go crazy knowing I have a child in this world that’s not with me…do what’s best for you..

  3. Interesting question in that it touches upon a greater number of issues than just whether you should tell him that you are getting an abortion. Ultimately, it would be you, and not your boy friend, who would either have to terminate the pregnancy or carry the pregnancy to term. That said, your boy friend has an interest in the outcome, either way. If fetus is carried to term, he has a responsibility toward the child, either providing support or signing papers for the adoption. If the pregnancy is to be terminated, he has a responsibility to provide financial and emotional support. While he does not have a veto in the decision, ethically he should be informed and allowed to have input. The fact that you would be willing to exclude him completely from the discussion raises questions about how you view your boyfriend and the relationship.

  4. I think you’re being very selfish. No where do you say that you’ve actually had the “what-if” convo, whether or not you’re employing other forms of birth control, or not. He needs to know exactly how you feel, and what your endgame position is. Whether or not you tell him you ARE having an abortion isn’t as important as telling you WILL have an abortion. Put your big-girl panties on and talk with him. And for-damn-sure make sure you don’t get pregnant. And yes, pro-choice female who has had the convo, and said abortion, here. Woman up and do the right thing.

  5. Lots of couples break up over abortions regardless of their ideological stance on the matter.

    Anyway, no, ethically that would not be ok.

  6. These are relationship red flags, Having such fundamental differences of thought can only cause problems down the road, If you don’t have the confidence to tell your partner about such decisions (which he is not necessarily party to the decision making process), then how good is the relationship really? He should be ok with respecting the decision making autonomy of his girlfriend in that regard and she should feel like she can tell him that’s her plan without worrying they will break up.

    1. At the end of your post you said, ” He should be ok with respecting the decision making autonomy of his girlfriend”. From what her post said, he is a hell bent anti-choice bigot. If she even tells him “how it is”, he would either go off like a bomb, or be gone like the mnorning fog by noon on a sunny day.

      From her comments about her boyfriend, he is totally unwilling to compromise his beliefs on this even for the girl he says he loves. Have known 2 or 3 of these wackos. He could even become violent just because of her comment to him that she would have an abortion.

      Best way to go is just say “it has been nice knowing you, but…….

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