Deep, heavy stuff. Besides the obvious topic of Emily’s pregnancy (and her decision concerning it), these pages introduce quite a few new things about her background as well.
I'm trying my damnedest to leave "pro-life vs pro-choice" arguments out of the story, but I did get a few comments on the matter with the previous page. So, while I’m afraid I may be opening Pandora’s Box here, I’m actually just very curious about the general consensus: Is Emily making a big mistake with this? Is this potentially a good thing for her? Is there a right or wrong answer at all? Similarly, do you think Fara is handling the situation well, by not being pushy and leaving things up to Emily? (I know this can be a heated topic, but please do try to keep it clean and respect the opinions of your fellow readers even if you disagree.)
Rain, all characters and all other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.
Also, I'm saving for SRS, and to be perfectly honest, I could use your help! If you can, great. If not, don’t worry about it. I totally understand (you don't need to feel bad or apologize if you can’t).
i my self am happy to see that Emily is keeping her baby and is going to be a mother
I kind of dreaded this point ever since it was first revealed that she was pregnant since this subject inevitably brings out the greatest animosity in a lot of people regardless of the setting where it's taking place. And since this comment section is supposed to be a nice and supportive setting... I'll cross my fingers that it doesn't just devolve into a flame war.
For what it's worth, my two cents on the matter is that "right" and "wrong" are irrelevant when it comes to this subject (especially considering nobody I've ever met thinks of abortion as "right" regardless of what side they're on when it comes to this subject). The bottom line, to me, is that the ultimate choice should be left to the parent(s) because they're the ones that are going to be the most directly involved, and the ones that are going to have to deal with the consequences regardless of whatever they decide. Everybody else is free to have an opinion of course, but that opinion shouldn't be forced on those who are already facing what is more often than not an extremely difficult decision.
SO in short, I'm going to say that I do have an opinion on the situation, but it's largely superseded by my little speech prior to this about not poking my nose into an already intensely difficult and personal situation that doesn't involve me in the slightest. (Yes I am aware this is a comic written about fictional characters, but I can't help feeling a sense of "It's not my place to say/type anything specific.")
What Emily wants to do with her body is her choice, there is no right or wrong choice there is only a choice. I personally believe in pro-choice because of this idea called bodily autonomy. It basically means that no one can do anything to you or your body without your consent even if you are dead. Because the fetus uses its mothers body, it needs her continual consent to keep using it. By saying that the fetus has rights to its mother body until it's born does two things.
1 It grants the fetus more rights to other people's bodies than any born person
2 It gives a pregnant woman less rights to her body than a corpse
Even though I am pro-choice I prefer that women think hard about whether they want to keep it and not just jump to abortion straight away.
I'm of the mindset that if she wants to keep the baby, alright. If she wants an abortion, alright. No matter what, it's her choice. There are so many factors that come into it, and as long as she does whats best for her, and what she wants to do without pressure from others trying to make the choice for her, that's what matters.
I wonder if she'll raise it or adopt out, seeing as she's already said she's keeping it. (does keeping it mean raising or just going through the pregnancy?)
I think Fara is doing the right thing by supporting any choice that she may have regarding the baby. While I haven't been in that situation I still think it would be nice to know that there's always someone there to support me no matter what I do
Given her personnal situation explained in those two pages, I think Emily is making a mistake. I can only foresee a very hard future for her if she keeps it.
Let me rephrase that: if I was in her situation, I would abort it.
This is a touchy topic for me as I was forced into having an abortion and am still traumatized by that.
It's easy for me to say that I don't think a zygote is a baby, I would have no moral qualms about taking the day after pill.
However, it's difficult for me to draw the line of "personhood." When does that life become a baby, and not just a blob of cells? Is it at conception--some people believe it is, and the new life does have its own DNA at this point, but as a single cell, I don't think a zygote needs to be protected. Is it at the first heartbeat, the first activity in the brain, the earliest the fetus could survive outside the womb? It's not an easy question. Even an adamantly pro-choice person would draw the line somewhere before 9 months of pregnancy. Not all of us agree, and to be honest I don't even know where exactly I stand on the spectrum.
What I do know is that I saw the life inside of me as a baby. It had a heartbeat, arms and legs, fingers and toes. I wanted to protect that life. No, it would not have been easy, it would have made my future more difficult. But this is a decision that should have been left up to me, because I am the one who now has to live with the guilt of doing something I was not morally okay with.
I think that the choice should ultimately be left up to the mother, at least in those "gray" areas between conception and sentience of the fetus. She is ultimately the one who will have to live with the decision, and either she sees the life inside her as a baby or she doesn't. Nobody should push her into doing something she isn't okay with, whether that's maintaining the pregnancy or having an abortion. Or taking the day after pill or using birth control, for that matter. Totally up to the woman in question.
So yeah. If Emily is making the choice that she is okay with (or less not-okay with, oftentimes in this situation neither choice seems okay), then she is doing the right thing. Nobody should try to pressure her into changing her mind.
Sorry that was really long.
It's understandable that you'd want to respect your audience's feelings, and I think Fara is doing the right thing. The comic is sad, but it's good that Emily is finally getting some emotional support.
That said, I think you'll find a pretty strong pro-choice bias. As ReidCL999 mentioned, bodily autonomy is fundamental to the abortion debate. It's also fundamental to a transperson's right to transition. You won't find many of us arguing against that right.
I think most of us know Emily isn't ready to be a mother. Emotional support is important, but it sounds like she could use some sound advice from a perspective of distance. I'm not sure who would be appropriate. Maybe you've got something in mind?
I can't speak for everyone, but I've grown rather invested in the characters you've created. I want to see them happy in the end. It's only fiction, but I hope we'll get to see that by the end of your story.
Thanks for everything, Lynn.
@LittleLynn84: There's no one-size-fits-all right or wrong answer, only a right or wrong answer for Emily in her current circumstances and what she believes is right or wrong for herself in her current circumstances, and we just have to hope the two coincide. "Pro-choice" isn't a buzz-word, its a principle and includes the choice to give birth as well as not to. See also queer couples' choice for IVF/adoption, trans* people's choice to freeze gametes and maybe have kids later or to go on a lower HRT regime while they have kids, etc etc.
So yeah, I think Fara's taking the right approach
@LittleLynn84: I'm adopted. While it's a closed adoption, I do know that I was adopted because my mom had an affair while her husband was out of the country. She could have had an abortion and kept it secret, but instead made the difficult decision to give me up for adoption. I think it's the better decision overall, but I think I'm a little biased. :)
Well, it's her choice. I think she's making a mistake that'll make her life much more difficult but... -shrug- Can it lead to anything good? Maybe. She's gonna have a very difficult time getting through school and then off to college if she's got to be at home taking care of a kid. But realistically she doesn't have a family - the chances of getting that support seem slim.
Is Fara doing the right thing? I don't know. There's a world where Emily is 20 with no qualifications and no reasonable hope of getting them, drawing down whatever basic benefits are applicable in her society or living on the street. There's another world where she's 20 and happily employed or in college, with a kid she loves.
But what are the odds?
If she's got the social capital to push Emily towards making the choice to get an abortion, then I think she should use it. Emily might hate her afterwards but that's not much of a price to pay. Forcing her is going too far, but if she could convince her... yeah. For her situation I think that a child would be an extremely poor choice.
I feel it is every woman's choice. Yes I could have done the easy thing after my son's SD left me homeless but my son was the only thing left in this world (or at least this is how i felt) that loved me. My grandmother, the woman who raised me, was passed on 2 days before i found out i was having a boy. Now i'm with the person i've been in love with since i was 18 and we are a happy thriving family. I have friends that were adopted and fully understand that more than likely there mothers knew they just could not care for them or just wanted better for them. I also do know that normally a woman usually wont know till after the small time frame they give you to (i have a hard time using the word. Just because i feel it is up to the woman don't mean i like the idea) "get rid of" the baby. but i can say being a single mother can be really tuff. Some times you see your child's father in them and you just want to scream and yell at them or even cry. I'm lucky my son looks every bit like me. but some of my friends, there kids look just like the dad and my friends have to do everything they can to not curl up in a ball and cry. Its hard, I've always felt its worth it. The love that my son and i have is the best feeling ever. I know my son in and out and always know when something is wrong. My soon to be husband and i make time for just us cause in the end one day he will grow up and move out and have is own life how ever he wants his life and all that will be left after is him and i. Gage right now though is my life and i'm glad that i didn't put him up to adopt. things may have been hard at first. REALLY hard, but the struggle was well worth it. that's just how i feel though.
About the whole 'pro-choice and pro-life thing"... I hate it.
People generally treat it like a one sided thing and without knowing information about what an abortion is or what it's like to be in that situation. Giving birth and raising a child isn't easy.
I'm not Pro anything. It depends on the situation.
Sometimes abortion is needed... that no ammount of 'support' can help the woman carry the child for 9 months.
Or the womans body might not be able to handle it and she could die.
It shouldn't be used as a condom though-
No one WANTS abortions, but it's something that it needed some times.
I don't know, I always hated it how people just yell "IT'S MURDER!!" and care more about the fetus then the woman who has to carry it... Don't just say 'I'll just put it up for adoption' It's still just... UGHHHHH Not everyone is as stable on their feet like you are... deal with it.
Sorry I'm just sick of people being trapped in their own little bubble and refuse to acknowledge other things. Being afraid of different things or just generally... ugh.
I wish people would start listening to each other. Most of these fights are just because no one wants to know WHY the person is fighting.
Although I'll probably still disagree... but still -.- jkwhagljkahljla
I don't know why It bothers me so much... it's really getting on my nerves on the bubbled people. How can you just-- nekjahlugila
Sorry I sort of got off the topic .w.
I think that the biggest issue about the whole pro-side debate that bugs me is what was earlier alluded to about bodily autonomy. It's not the idea of bodily autonomy that bugs me, in fact, I heartily support the concept, but more that resolution of issues surrounding those decisions are being made by people that are only tangentially affected by the choice is what bugs me. Welfare and repercussions due to the child's future actions (negative ones, anyhow) are the main ways that unrelated people are generally affected by the decision - e.g., in a bad situation that a child might become an additional welfare case or that a neglected child might perform a harmful act - and both of those possibilities exist primarily when you take away the choice. Even putting a child up for adoption isn't necessarily a kindness given the alleged state of the foster care systems in many areas.
There's a trend in the world today to defend those that can't defend themselves, without any thought as to whether those that are being defended would be better off being defended. For example, while rape victims are usually exempt from many anti-abortion laws, there are those out there that believe that even those cases shouldn't be allowed - despite evidence that in many cases children of such events suffer because of multiple factors - mother not being able to care for the child, emnity/regret placed upon the child for the circumstances of conception, etc. Is it right that those out there possibly condemn a life to this type of situation? But the argument is made that the future isn't set, and that the fetus needs to have someone stand up for them because they can't stand up for themselves. And why is that more important than the mother's choice to protect her life (health, economic, or otherwise)?
I don't agree. I'm not sure about where the line is to be drawn, but I do think that since so much of the consequences of the situation fall upon the mother's shoulder, that giving a choice - whether exercised or not - is more rational than denying said choice.
There are a lot of Emily's in this world, and many of those who have their choice made for them - either legally, or by having the decision pressed upon them (peer pressure, guilt, etc.) may have the rest of their lives impacted negatively. I feel that if they recognize the potential for this sort of result, that they be given the chance to take control of this life choice and better their lives, like we allow people to choose in other parts of their lives.
I'm kind of like Fara. If it was me, personally, I would have it, even if I gave it up for adoption in the end. But if someone else chooses to terminate their pregnancy, I'm not gonna look down on them for it. It's their decision. Only thing I might tell them is to weigh all the options before making that decision. It's sort of a lesser of two evils senario: Have the baby while you're still a kid or end the pregnancy and live with the memory of that for the rest of your life. Each person has to decide which is the better choice for themselves.
After i read the previous page, i said, on another forum, "Fara is one of the Really Special People. The ones there aren't nearly enough of."
@Guest: As a teacher Emily has a positive relationship with, Fara has quite a lot of social capital with her, although as a teacher *in a religious school* encouraging a student to get an abortion could be a risky move for her. In any case, I'd say pressuring someone in a vulnerable position to make a life-changing decision in a particular direction would be an abuse of social capital. What she should do is help equip Emily to make an informed decision for herself, by making sure she's considered all the implications and possibilities thoroughly. Normally I'd say second-parties should assume that *is* the case, but the unfortunately-not-that-exceptional circumstance here is that as a student in a religious school with a conservative ethos she's probably been actively discouraged from considering abortion or negative aspects of pregnancy and parenthoood
Suppose I should stick a name on this so it's not which guest.
I think it would be an abuse of trust in the other direction not to.
I don't think that Emily has the life-experience to have an informed opinion, regardless of what anyone might say to her. There are things that you can tell people, but you can't tell them what it feels like. Someone who's never worked a day in their life, never gone hungry, never learned the value of a dollar - (which, despite some parents giving their kids pocket money, you can only really learn when you've earned it and had to make a choice about what to spend it on from necessities through to leisure) - cannot make an estimation about the costs involved in the choice of a much harder life vs killing.
The same argument can, of course, be made from the other direction. You don't know what the long-term emotional effects of having an abortion would be.
So, secondary accounts: do the people who follow a particular course of action have the sort of life that you'd like? If I thought that Emily was rational enough to think things through that far, and take a relatively dispassionate look at that sort of life she'd like to end up with, then I'd be fairly strongly in favour of just giving her info. But, I don't. Emily has made some very bad choices - probably emotional, probably based on a desire to be loved and wanted - but bad choices she's ended up crying over all the same. She's demonstrated that although the decision is ultimately hers, she ought not to be trusted to come to a good conclusion herself, even in a relatively simple situation where a bare smattering of foresight would have served.
And thus I think it's up to more experienced people to look at the sort of life they think she'd be least sad with and promote that option to her. Granted, they suffer an information disadvantage relative to her, they don't know how she feels. However, there comes a point where even with a relatively steep information disadvantage (which I don't think is really the case here, given that people are bad at predicting how things will pan out in the future) the experience and rationality of a third party is great enough that it's the more important attribute.
Emily is not mature enough, in my mind at least, to be treated as an adult. I think, under those conditions, it would be ... dereliction of the duty of care you acquire towards someone that vulnerable and unsure of themselves when they choose to come to you ... to respond along the lines of information rather than to promote what you think the best choice for them is.
I think we should support those we care about in their decisions, even if we feel it is a very bad one. They still need our support just as much. So it is really good that Fara said she would support her either way. What would be worse than being ditched by those around you when you are living through a difficult time...
I think the right group of friends can be just as much of a family as a traditional parenting situation.
I support neither pro-life or pro-choice. To me life starts with the sperm meeting the egg so terminating the unborn is murder. Yet making laws based on gender, such as telling a woman she can't decide what to do, is a form of slavery. This has to be decided by the woman, based on her own belief system, not by the Federal, State, or local governments. And she should be reminded that there are other ways to handle it. She can look for support from spiritual leaders, organizations who can help her with the child or even find parents for it. But this is my own weird views on the topic as I am both a libertarian but also a semi-Buddhist. In the end it is her decision. As are the results of said decision. (I hope I do not offend anybody - I think this kind of thing is lose-lose kind of thing).
@Guest: I have to disagree with you. Emily is the one who is going to have to live with the decision for the rest of her life. If Fara convinces her to do something that is against her moral judgment, she might regret it forever. I know that I was pressured into getting an abortion by my parents and now, years later, I am still not over it. It's different for everyone. Some people can live with that choice, some people can't. That's the whole idea. It's a choice, and the woman (or girl) who is in the situation should be the one who gets to make that choice.
I've seen too many 1-parent families struggling to survive to think anyone should do it at any age. Add to that the struggles of juggling the almost full-time needs of a baby with only the baby's nap times of as little as 2 hours for the parent to recover her energy, and the other needs required by school and the stress is greater. Add to that the lack of parental support, the inexperience that causes every teenager to make bad decisions and her adolescent raging hormones. We don't know Emily's financial situation, but by far the poorest people in America are under the age of 20. Even assuming she's okay, with all those other potential problems, something's gotta give. It's like a Jenga tower with all the easy blocks removed: just one more thing could make it all fall down and there's a defenseless baby at the bottom of it.
I don't think she should go through with even the pregnancy at all, but it's not my body. If she does go through with it, then she'll have to deal with another pair of hard choices for anyone, never mind a teen: raise a baby as a single mother, or part with the newborn that she's gone through 9 months of pregnancy to bring into the world.
That said, it really does take a village to raise a baby and if Emily can find a group of other parents to help she could be alright. My wife and I found half a dozen other families through a "mommy group" set up by our hospital for parents of newborn babies, and we took turns taking care of each others' kids. Later, our little girl attended a co-op preschool, and we're still friends with several of those families almost 2 decades later.
Can of worms aside (although I'm really unsurprised to see basically everyone here pro-choice; really, what did you expect from the readership of this kind of comic?), someone just mentioned Fara being a teacher in a catholic highschool. And now I'm wondering why did Fara enroll Rain in this school at all?
I mean, transition would obviously be easier in a non-religious school, and neither Fara nor Rain seem the religious sort, and we know from Ky that there's another school nearby. Plot hole?
I get that Emily has the right to do what she wants with her body. Personally, I wouldn't want to keep the baby from an ex. But that's just me.
Fara did the exact best thing that anyone could ever do for someone with an unexpected pregnancy. I personally think it might not be a good idea for her to keep it, but it is /her/ decision and /her/ body, and I have no place to tell her what to do with it. And I'd support her either way. Go Fara, best aunt <3
i know this was a serious page, but i kinda sorta maybe laughed at emily's derp face in7th panel