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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

91 Comments

  1. Elyssa Papa
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:06:14

    Yes, of course!

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  2. JenB
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:09:34

    Sure, I’d read about a heroine who’s had an abortion in the past. It’s not something I’d want to see taken lightly or presented as an easy and convenient form of birth control, but if it’s important to her overall character development and affects her current relationships, then why not?

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  3. Elise Logan
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:14:19

    I think it depends – as all things in romance – on how it’s handled. I’ve read a few who thought about having abortions but didn’t, but I can’t think of a single romance I’ve read where the heroine had an abortion.

    I’m not adverse to it, per se, but I think it would depend heavily on how the author dealt with the issue and what the situation surrounding the decision was.

    E

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  4. Keri Ford
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:26:03

    Hard question and I don’t ever see myself writing a character where abortion would be talked about (by either side of the fence pro/choice), simply because it’s such a hot topic.

    I think this is something that would immediately snap a reader out of the story. which equals bad all the way around.

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  5. Marg
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:27:48

    I don’t have a problem with the heroine having had an abortion in the past, and maybe impacting the relationship with the hero now at all.

    If it was the hero’s baby – not so sure about that one.

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  6. Janine
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:31:16

    Megan Chance wrote a historical, The Gentleman Caller, in which the heroine (a catholic, I believe) had had an abortion in her past. The book wasn’t among Chance’s best IMO, but the reveal of the abortion was one of its strongest sections.

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  7. Kalen Hughes
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:47:18

    Personally, it wouldn’t bother me at all, but I have to almost incompatible caveats: I don’t want her to have taken it lightly, but I also REALLY don’t want it to be the deep dark secret she can’t confess or to be presented as so traumatic that her life now revolves around making amends.

    For the most part, I just can’t see how it could be relevant to the story and not annoy me.

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  8. KeriM
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:49:59

    I think it could be done, if it was handled in the right manner. I even think that I have read one or two stories in the past where it was a part of the heroine’s past. But at this moment in time, I can’t remember titles.

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  9. Bonnie
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 20:55:53

    Wow, I’m shocked that there are 19 nos.

    I’m glad I live where I live.

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  10. tricia
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:11:51

    I wouldn’t have a problem reading a book with an abortion, but I know some readers would, and that makes me think a lot of writers might not go there. I can imagine that some Amazon reviewers would feel obligated to loudly make any potential purchasers aware that an abortion was in a particular book.

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  11. Meljean
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:15:04

    Ah, crap, I think I just voted the wrong way. I read the subject, then didn’t read the actual quiz question before answering.

    I think it comes down to how it is handled. I wouldn’t object to a heroine who has had an abortion, personally, but I would object to certain ways an author might present the issue.

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  12. Nonny
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:20:27

    Other; it depends.

    I don’t think it’s a taboo if it’s part of the heroine’s backstory. She made a mistake in high school or college, etc. I think that’s fine, depending on how it’s handled.

    However, if the heroine gets pregnant during the story and has an abortion (even if it isn’t the hero’s kid)? I think that would be a taboo, yeah.

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  13. Nonny
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:21:48

    @Bonnie:

    The “no” answers don’t necessarily mean that the voters think it’s a taboo. If the question had been written more specifically and were “If the heroine has an abortion during the story, is that taboo?”, I would have answered yes because I think a lot of people would react strongly negatively toward it — even though I wouldn’t have an issue with it myself, depending on how it was written.

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  14. Tee
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:26:02

    Books that featured an abortion wouldn’t be my first choice at all. I have read some books where the secondary characters have had one, but I recall it being a women’s fiction story and not a romance. As someone else mentioned earlier, it’s too much a hot-button issue, especially here in the US, that it probably isn’t something romance authors would want to take on just now.

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  15. ldb
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:26:53

    it.

    Shot tried to edit and deleted the whole thing, will have to retype it out later.

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  16. hapax
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:39:23

    I wouldn’t automatically reject it, but it would have to be handled well. I wouldn’t want it to be the focus of the heroine’s character — Her Deep Dark Secret To Be Revealed — but it is hard to see how it would be relevant to the story otherwise, and wouldn’t feel “forced” in terms of characterizations.

    After all, I can’t think off the top of my head of any romances which talked about the surgery on the heroine’s impacted wisdom teeth, either. (Of course, now the other readers here will immediately think of six or seven…)

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  17. LG
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:41:51

    While I don’t think it’s unacceptable, I probably wouldn’t read the book, for the same reason I don’t tend to read romance in which one of the characters is a widow/widower or has had a child die, or something similar – all of those things are just heavier topics than I like to deal with in my romance.

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  18. rebyj
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:42:15

    I have no objection to abortion being written into a story since romance novels do address a lot of deep issues. Like disabilities and infertility it COULD be in romances but it would really have to be done well . I just don’t think most romances are frankly really deep enough to handle such a politically and morally sensitive issue without yanking the reader out of the romance and into a mental judgemental debate.

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  19. Kat
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 21:57:59

    This poll is a little confusing because the title asks a different (and opposite) question to the poll.

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  20. ldb
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:23:15

    I timed out before I had a chance to fix it.

    Anyway what I was saying is that I would read about it in a historical although I have to guess any historical I’d find it accepable in wouldn’t be your average historical romance but a more epic piece of fiction. I would not read it in a contemp.

    As far as historicals go women and sex were differnt. Women weren’t given any education in prevention girls were also expected and taught to be irresponsible, so if they made a mistake it was understod they’d take the easiest route to correct it. As for the lower classes, many were used and abused and not given enough education to prevent pregnancies, nor did they have the education to really understand what they were doing when they aborted.

    I read a historical which was really all the better for the heroine’s atempted abortion, it did show her deep emotions and the confliction she was facing over the hero’s abandoning her and the duty she felt she owed ehr family, I don’t think most of the author;s writing today would bother getting as deep into that conflict as this writer did, since unlike her they wouldn’t have more then 300 or so pages

    But as for a modern day story the rules change, since times aren’t the same either

    A good author could certainly tell an interesting story involving a heroine who had an abortion, but I would have to think that it wouldn’t be a romance, I jsut think certain topics get too heated, are too hard to deal with, and romance is a form of escape, while it’s ok to comment of the social differnces of a time period, talking about one of the most politicly charge issues in society would not be a way of escaping, it would only drag us into the real world. Either hte author would have to make a “yeah she had an abortion, it was her right,” statement, which would piss off prolifers, or a “she had an abortion but she’d grown and was redeemed by her sacrifices since then” statement, which would piss of the prochoicers. Anything in the middle would feel like a strange sort of tool to add some kind of depth to the story, all the while making a lot of people unhappy.

    And on a personal note, I just won’t warm up to her if it were a contemp. I wouldn’t be able to really respect a woman who in my mind took the easy way out when she had to deal with the mistakes she made. Women have many forms of birth control, so many are idoit proof, how can I really “forgive” the heroine’s lack of respect for herself in getting pregnant if she isn’t even going to take responsibilty for it afterwards. Not everyone is good enough to be a heroine, and it’s the girl who when faced with a life altering choice makes the one that is easiest but also least responsible that I think doesn’t make the cut.

    So basicly, it’s not a taboo topic for fiction, nor is it a total no if you’re trying to show the emotional journey of women in a time when an unwanted pregnancy meant her life was basicly ruined, but it’s way to charged for a modern story.

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  21. Edie
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:30:23

    Not taboo, wouldn’t knock me out too much reading it in a romance novel.. BUT I could have problems with presentation of it.. As others have mentioned, it would be hard to find relevance for it, unless it was a deep dark secret.. and as a DDS it would piss me off.

    aside: As much as I like my escapism with romance novels could also do with a bit more reality sometimes, I think this is why I struggle with a lot of contemporaries and stick mainly to paranormals.

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  22. Moth
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:38:41

    I can’t think of any romances I’ve read offhand where an abortion was even mentioned (which includes contemps) but it wouldn’t bother me if the heroine had one at all. Her body. Her choice.

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  23. Moth
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:46:36

    After all, I can't think off the top of my head of any romances which talked about the surgery on the heroine's impacted wisdom teeth, either. (Of course, now the other readers here will immediately think of six or seven…)

    @hapax
    LOL! I actually was turning over the idea of having my heroine get her wisdom teeth yanked in my current WIP.

    And I suspect this thread is going to start getting pretty heated very soon…

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  24. Andy
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:54:06

    Eep! I think I voted the wrong way too! I read the title and the question, got distracted, came back, and just remembered the title.

    I meant to say that it is acceptable and is not taboo.

    I have difficulty imagining how it could be included in the plot for a romance as anything other than backstory or a starting point, and I agree that it would be annoying as a secret, but as something open, I’m fine with it. I would imagine that folks who aren’t pro-choice would have a harder time with it than I would, but I think it could depend on how the characters reacted, when it took place, and other details, such as who was the father?

    It seems like a dangerous topic, both for the potential to alienate readers and for the potential to become a message. I don’t want to read a story that’s there just so that I can learn it’s okay to have an abortion or it isn’t okay (as evidenced by the heroine finding true love and being shown the light by the hero, who leads a group that protests outside the local clinic every Wednesday and talks her out of the abortion and raises the child as his own…)

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  25. Jen
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 22:57:58

    As far as historicals go women and sex were differnt. Women weren't given any education in prevention girls were also expected and taught to be irresponsible, so if they made a mistake it was understod they'd take the easiest route to correct it. As for the lower classes, many were used and abused and not given enough education to prevent pregnancies, nor did they have the education to really understand what they were doing when they aborted.

    This comment really rankles me, both for the assumption that abortion is an irresponsible choice and an easy way out, and for the historical inaccuracies contained therein. We are used to viewing historical attitudes to sexuality through the lens of Victorian sexual mores, but access to sexual education and sexual knowledge actually varied quite widely between time periods and between social classes. Some women would have been quite knowledgeable by the time they married (remember, many large families shared very small living spaces, meaning sex frequently occurred before an audience– the concept of valuing privacy is actually quite recent). There was also a rise in illegitimate births throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Abortion itself, however, would NEVER have been the easiest route to correct an unwanted pregnancy. While abortion was not made illegal in England until the 1830s (in prior years, it could be tried before the ecclesiastical courts, but not in a secular court of law), the most reliable methods of inducing abortion (herbal potions and the like) were also extremely likely to kill the mother. To have an abortion in this time period, therefore, is quite literally to take your life in your hands, and would likely only have occurred if the woman was a) extremely credulous or b) extremely desperate.

    That said, I will agree that I don’t think I’d want to read about abortion in a romance novel. I think it would be difficult for an author to write about the abortion in such a way that she doesn’t reveal her personal feelings on the topic, and quite frankly, I don’t want to know the politics of my favorite authors. Abortion is a topic I’m passionate about, and I’d hate to have to add a beloved author to the Do Not Buy list.

    ETA: Also, I’m quite well educated and know exactly what happens when a woman has an abortion; I just don’t believe that said procedure is morally wrong. I’m sure many woman in history have felt the same.

    I apologize if my comment derails an otherwise literary discussion.

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  26. AReader
    Jul 20, 2009 @ 23:38:23

    There was a Superromance last year that handled the subject well, IMO–Trusting Ryan by Tara Taylor Quinn. I thought the first half of the book was only moderately interesting, but it became more so in the latter when the topic came up. The heroine had had an abortion in the past. The hero was very much opposed to abortion based on his own history (he was the product of a gang rape, IIRC, who wouldn’t exist if his mother had chosen to abort). They came into conflict on a case they were both involved in (the heroine was an attorney, the hero a special victims cop). I liked the even-handed way the subject was handled. No one was portrayed as being a bad person based on what they believed, with those beliefs completely understandable given their histories. The heroine, in particular, wasn’t depicted as a terrible woman who’d made a horrible choice, which I appreciated. Her reasons were logical given her circumstances at the time, and she didn’t have to apologize for them. I thought it was really interesting, enough so that I still remember the book (even if this conflict and my appreciation for how it was handled are the only things I really remember about it).

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  27. Keishon
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 00:04:39

    Just yes and no? Not a lot of flex there, J. Depends…

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  28. Kaia
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 00:12:24

    I don't want to know the politics of my favorite authors. Abortion is a topic I'm passionate about, and I'd hate to have to add a beloved author to the Do Not Buy list.

    ITA Jen. I think I know how my fave authors feel about politics (with the exception of Suzanne Brockmann, her politics I know), and from that can surmise how they feel about the abortion issue. I really would rather leave it to the ether, rather than knowing and getting bitter, one way or the other.

    Someone mentioned earlier that paranormals can be more realistic…In that vein, do you think that paranormal authors could be more open on this issue?

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  29. Edie
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 01:02:15

    I think I was the one that brought up paranormals in my not really related side rant. It is not soo much that they are more realistic, but in my experience they seem to have wider room to have more issues in them under the “others” – “other world” trope.. (is that the right word?) and that I find it easier to read them in the way that their world is built by the author, and I can suspend belief easier and don’t impose my beliefs on them as much as I do with for example contemporaries.

    I hope that makes sense..

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  30. Sam
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 03:47:24

    I've read about abortions in romance novels two times and it was about the evil ex-girlfriend. One of them wasn’t even evil imo. Her only “evil deed” was the abortion.

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  31. Angelia Sparrow
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 04:08:30

    I remember one 80′s romance novel where the heroine had an abortion. No, I can’t think of the title or her name. She’d been dumped into a pasha’s harem, got pregnant and the court doctor gave her something. She regretted it, sort of. But not obeying meant getting stuffed in a silk bag, strangled and drowned. She also miscarried later, while tending to her dying gay husband-of-convenience.

    (If anyone has read this, she’s in love with a pirate named Roque. Help, it’s preying on my mind!)

    I’ve read two novels in the last two years that made me crazy because the heroine DIDN’T abort. One was horror and she was pregnant by a monster. The other was A Baby by Chance, a romance. She’s a hard-driving VP-in-waiting, who gets pregnant after a single night of protected sex. You can’t convince me a woman with the mentality the author created for her would let a pregnancy and a baby stand in her way of the corner office. And when she quit the agency to move in with him? I threw it across the room for having a case of stupids.

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  32. Angie
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 04:47:12

    Okay, the pirate named Roque rings a bell, but I can’t think of the title or author either. :/

    I remember another one, from the very late 70s since I was about fifteen when I read it. It was a historical where they were in old Mexico (post-Contact but still colonial) and the Girl got kidnapped away from the Guy by this rich whack-job who was obsessed with her. She got pregnant while she was there, and a local woman showed her how to brew a drink using a green pineapple (green as in unripe, rather than a different variety) that would cause her to miscarry.

    Angie

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  33. Laura Vivanco
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 04:49:35

    I recently read a Harlequin Mills & Boon medical romance from 2008 in which the heroine has had an abortion in the past, rather than have the hero’s secret baby. I’ve put in a link to a review of the novel for anyone who wants to know the title, but since this is the heroine’s Big Secret, I’ll not mention the name of the book or the author here in case it spoils the book for someone.

    It was interesting that the heroine had had an abortion, because that’s unusual and does make a change from the usual “secret baby” plot, but the amount of guilt the heroine felt about it, and the terminology used (i.e. she’d had a “baby” not an “embryo” or “fetus”) seemed to come down on the side of abortion being seen as a bad thing which kills a baby and leaves the woman traumatised, so in that sense it didn’t seem to have a very different attitude to abortion than the one in most romances in which the heroine gets pregnant and cannot imagine having an abortion because it would mean destroying a “baby.”

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  34. Tonya Kappes
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 05:55:54

    I just finished reading Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak an author across the pond. It was a fun read-BUT Daisy does get an abortion at the beginning of the book.
    At first I was a little shocked because I can’t remember another book where I have read that and I have never been able to write an emotional scene and pull it off as well as Anna. It’s a British comedy and it was pulled off, dealt with and well done.
    Fiction writing=anything goes, right?

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  35. Susan D.
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 06:14:12

    If it were ever covered in a book, w/ the heroine dealing with both the choice, the procedure, and the grief, I suspect it would have me sobbing.

    Wonder if paranormal could deal with this easier than contemporary–that is, would people be less averse to the heroine have an abortion if it were Satan’s baby, for instance?

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  36. Tee
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 07:03:28

    I agree with others here who think that the words used in the poll are misleading because they are opposite in meaning to the title of the article.

    Title: Is Abortion Taboo in Romance

    Poll question: Is Abortion Acceptable for a Heroine in Romance

    The title is in larger letters and of a different color so it sticks right out and the poll question is smaller and blends in to the rest of the text. Quite misleading. I am guessing many people are responding to the first question when voting and disregarding the next one. Just a thought.

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  37. Jane
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 07:07:11

    I’m sorry for the confusion. I changed the title.

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  38. SarahT
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 07:26:34

    I voted ‘Yes’ but only in certain circumstances. For example, if the heroine had an abortion in the past, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. However, I don’t find the idea of the heroine having an abortion during the course of the story, then reuniting with the hero, to be in the least bit romantic. In other genres, fine. In a romance, no. Along with adultery, it represents an uncomfortable reality which has no business in a romance novel.

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  39. Sandy D.
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:07:26

    I’m thinking this is more a poll on this blog’s readers’ politics than romance. Those that agree that abortion should be safe (but rare) and available probably think it’s ok for a romance, no?

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  40. reader
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:14:40

    “Wow, I'm shocked that there are 19 nos.

    I'm glad I live where I live.”

    I don’t quite get why the 19 no’s have anything to do with where you live or why you are glad you live there? What does reading preferences have to do with you personally?

    For me, I don’t want to read about something as upsetting as an abortion in a romance where I am trying to find a happy ending. I think people on both sides of the abortion argument can agree that abortions are awful things and fewer of them would be better. Maybe not…?

    In a modern romance this would not be something I’d read, and I would be very upset if it were kept from me (i.e. not mentioned in the blurb) and then thrust at me inside the book as a surprise reveal or shocking plot twist.

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  41. M E 2
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:17:07

    Most of the responses seem to be:

    ” I would be okay with it if the heroine had had an abortion in the PAST”

    Great, but that wasn’t exactly the question, therefore :

    What about in the middle of the story, our heroine finds herself pregnant and has an abortion? Are you still okay with that as far as a romance novel goes?

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  42. Diane V
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:20:44

    I voted “No” for the same reason I hated JR Ward having the heroine become “Casper the Ghost” or Cameron Dean killing the hero in the 3rd book of her trilogy — if I’m reading a romance I want it to be a HEA.

    If it was just part of the heroine’s backstory than my answer would be “Yes” — but part of the actual story makes it a big “HELL NO” for me.

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  43. Kat
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:35:52

    @M E 2: If it was with someone other than the hero? If she and the hero discussed it and agreed on it? If the heroine really, truly never wanted to have kids and contraception failed? I’d still answer yes, but always on the condition that it’s written well (not necessarily to align with my personal beliefs but that of the heroine’s, because hey, it’s not my life). The onus is on the author to convince me that it was a) needed in the story, and b) a good decision for the heroine.

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  44. kimber an
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:39:58

    It all depends on how it’s handled. Since I believe life begins at fertilization, any book which presents abortion as something positive is going to get chucked and that author will never be read by me again. However, I think a skilled author could present it in a believable way without taking a political side. Regardless, anyone who knows anything about abortion realizes it’s a very serious matter for any female to endure and that there will be long-term emotional effects.

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  45. Karen Templeton
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 08:59:00

    As an author, I have to say this is one place I’d never, ever go in a romance. Women’s fiction, yes — in fact, I did, with a secondary character in one of my Red Dress Ink books. But romance? No way. Since the general public seems to be almost equally divided on this issue, no matter how I handled it I’d be almost guaranteed to turn off half my readers.

    Especially as I have my own strong feelings on the subject, and I don’t think I could be objective, either. :)

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  46. Jennifer
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 09:16:50

    I think the poll can be interpreted in two ways, from a story perspective and a business one. From a story perspective, yes, abortion should be acceptable provided it’s handled with sensitivity. This is a very real issue some women are faced with, and thus it stands to reason that some of our characters might face it, as well.

    From a business perspective, however, putting an abortion into a book could be the kiss of death. Abortion is such a divisive subject that no matter how the topic is handled, half your readership is likely to be offended or put off. As a writer, I don’t think that’s a chance I’d want to take.

    So IMHO, abortion should be acceptable in stories, but no it’s not acceptable because of the nature of our audience.

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  47. Maili
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 11:15:26

    I remember a medieval romance I read when I was in early teens. The heroine was pregnant by the hero who raped her after raiding her family’s castle, and she hated the idea of having a part of him in her so much that she went to a local woman (herbalist?) for help.

    The local woman made a brew with herbs that would help her to miscarry. She drank it and that night she had painful convulsions, causing her almost to die, but the miscarriage happened. The hero found out and wasn’t exactly happy, so he moved her into his chamber where he’d rape her again(!) and every night after. Way to go, hero(!)

    That was my first exposure to the concept of abortion/induced miscarriage, but the author didn’t shy from laying it all out. She really hit it hard with the highs and lows of this incident including the heroine’s religious faith. She knew she was “going against God”, but was willing to suffer in hell for an eternity to keep the hero out of her life. When the heroine finally fell in love with the hero, she suffered remorse over what she did.

    The hero had issues to deal with, too, but surprisingly, he acknowledged he was responsible for the consequences of the action, so he told her there was nothing to forgive. It was a sin they shared and must accept it as part of their past. At the time I didn’t realise that this type of story was highly unusual, but after reading many romances years onwards, it was indeed unusual and probably still is.

    This was from those days I didn’t think to keep track of books I read, so I don’t remember the title or the author’s name. It was published between late 1970s and mid-1980s. I think the author’s name was Joanna or Joanne (not Johanna Lindsey), but can’t remember any than that.

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  48. KatieB
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 12:23:13

    I hate it when authors bring their politics into a book, and refuse to read any who do, even it it’s just a single line of snark winking at the reader. It would be the rare author who could write about abortion and not make it feel like she was on a soapbox. If she could, I’d read it. If not, I’d probably never read her again.

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  49. MaryK
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 12:51:43

    @KatieB: “even it it’s just a single line of snark winking at the reader”

    I hate this!

    An author I used to follow did this in one of her short stories, and I haven’t been able to read her since because what I mostly remember about that story is the “wink.” The heroine made one random comment that was so clearly the author talking and not the character. It threw me out of the story, and I didn’t enjoy the rest of it – partly because I was braced for the next jar. I didn’t consciously decide not to read her, but I do have sort of a let-down feeling about her work now.

    If I want to read political commentary, I know where the non-fiction section is.

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  50. CupK8
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 13:10:15

    I think a difficult thing about abortion in Romance is that it is such a touchy subject that even if the author is writing true to the character and not his/her own personal political beliefs, the reader will assume it is the personal belief of the author.

    Personally, I like my romance with a little political flavor, but it’s more easily done in Historicals when we have hindsight on our side. History is still written by the victors, however, so there are still plenty of touchy political subjects. Well-done, they add an intriguing aspect to a novel of any type. Even then it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. But I think this is one issue where it may be such an inflaming topic that most authors would do well to stay far, far away for the sake of peace with their readers.

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  51. emily
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 13:56:04

    Regardless, anyone who knows anything about abortion realizes it's a very serious matter for any female to endure and that there will be long-term emotional effects

    I had an abortion 25 years ago. The only long-term emotional effect is that I think it was one of the best things I ever did. Seriously. I know some will disagree, but a handful of cells is not a human being.

    And yes, birth control can fail. I was scrupulous about checking for cracks in my diaphragm, holding it up to the light before use. I failed to see the crack at the very edge, where the spring is. Until I got pregnant and wondered how it had happened.

    I recently read Separate Beds by LaVyrle Spencer. It really bugged me how abortion was not considered as a viable option. A woman from an abusive home going to college with no money decides to have the baby and keep it. Of course, she ends up marrying the hero, but if she hadn’t, she would have just been selfish and, IMO, not thinking of what was best for the kid.

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  52. Angelia Sparrow
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 14:42:23

    @KatieB and MaryK,
    Stay out of SF romance then! Politics show most clearly when a writer is creating a future. Oh, and avoid GLBT romance, because the political is personal for those characters.

    This is a touchy subject true, and my opinions have changed greatly since I was 15 and reading about Whatshername getting the potion from the court doctor.

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  53. Angie
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 14:54:44

    Oh, and avoid GLBT romance, because the political is personal for those characters.

    That’s an important thought, for the broader implications as well as the specific point. [nod] The only way to avoid writing about politics (barring the simplistic, like children’s books) is to write about privileged people. People without privilege can’t afford to ignore politics; being aware of who has and does not have power and how the world works and what views and actions are and aren’t accepted by the privileged group(s) is basic survival for those on the outside. Privileged people can ignore it because it all supports them and their views and their goals anyway. People without privilege have to swim upstream every day of their lives; not getting caught in a whirlpool or an undertow means paying attention, always.

    The fact that mainstream romances largely ignore politics and the political aspects of everyday life says something about just who the characters are, who the books are about. [ponder]

    Angie

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  54. MaryK
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 15:49:43

    @Angelia Sparrow:

    Stay out of SF romance then! Politics show most clearly when a writer is creating a future.

    True. And if a writer is clearly (or subtly) writing an allegory, I’ll definitely avoid it. Really though, I’m not interested in any world system – past, present or future. I’m interested in interpersonal relationships, particularly ones that resolve happily; and if an author’s world system starts eclipsing the relationship, it’s no longer a romance to me. It’s some other genre.

    Oh, and avoid GLBT romance, because the political is personal for those characters.

    Not to worry. I already do.

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  55. Chantal
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 15:51:41

    I voted no because I don’t care to read a book that features a woman who legally kills her baby.

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  56. jennifer
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 16:01:18

    I also had an abortion several years ago and there haven’t been ANY negative emotional consquences (there was a lot of relief). The idea that EVERY women experiences them is dismissive and asinine.

    I actually think I experience the opposite too often, esp. in contemps. The heroine gets pregnant and the author manages to stuff in their anti-choice agenda, which I find very, very annoying.

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  57. GrowlyCub
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 16:34:07

    Reading the comments I was really struck by the ‘I don’t want politics in my fantasy reading’ sentiments expressed.

    Because in every romance novel that has a (secret) baby plot in which the formerly-not-at-all-interested-in-becoming-a-mommy heroine suddenly decides that the only possible, the only ‘ethical’ choice is to have that baby is a very loud political statement.

    I wonder that people who express their strong aversion to politics in their romance reading aren’t avoiding those books!

    ‘Cause every time we add the evil-ex-who-had-an-abortion villainess that political statement gets louder and more strident.

    Just saying…

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  58. KB
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 18:21:36

    What I dislike is when there is the possibility of an unintentionally pregnancy and the hero/heroine both agree that to even consider an abortion is wrong with the clear understanding this makes them good people. As a woman who has had an abortion I usually have a momentarily twinge where I think “wow guess I would be a horrible person in their world.”
    So while I adamantly support the legality and availability of abortion, I would say that when it comes up in a romance it pulls me out of the story for that moment.

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  59. Cindy from Michigan
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 19:40:14

    I’ve written a book where the heroine reveals she’s had an abortion when she was very young. It impacts her whole life, just like my girlfriends who have had one have been impacted by the abortions they’ve had in real life.

    Since I’m a Pro-Life person, it was very interesting to get inside the head and heart of a young girl who made this choice.

    She even tells the hero – who is an appalled Italian-born Catholic – that she’d do it again. She snaps her finger and says, “Just like that. I’d do it again!” But she suffers and she’s never the same, which is where I believe my beliefs really seeped into the story. No one I know has ever had an abortion and not been changed by this action. That’s not a judgment; it’s an honest observation.

    So I think it’s very important to bring this life (sic) issue into romance and present it from all sides. We very often learn from these stories and figure out how we feel personally about all women’s issues when we read such fiction.

    Choice and abortion are facts of life and embedded into relationships in real life. Why not in romance?

    That’s why I vote a resounding “yes.”

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  60. hapax
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 19:41:39

    Actually, GrowlyCub, yeah. I HATE that kind of plot.

    I don’t mind the Secret Baby when it’s the “I always wanted a baby and this is my last chance” type (eg SEP’s NOBODY’S BABY), although I do think those heroines need a sharp whap upside the head with a Clue by Four.

    But I luurve h/h who talk sexy about birth control…

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  61. MaryK
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 20:31:49

    This conversation illustrates why I mostly avoid contemporaries.

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  62. ldb
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 21:13:09

    @Jen:

    ALL history and ALL classes into consideration women were a lot more educated about sex and how to prevent pregnancy then we give them credit for, yes I agree, but the reason, you are right I did, base it on Victorian and basicly 1800s values would be because that’s the time period like 100% of authors are writing about. Also the close quaters you refer to would hardly be relevent to books featuring upper class heroine, which are what we mostly get, and the middle class heroines, who I do think of as more intelegent and world wise, were also more quaint and religious, and would be less likely to get themselves in that kind of situation. But you overall, yes, we do often look at the past and judge them as less then us in what they knew and how they delt with it. I still stand by the fact that many young girls were keep uneducated both sexually and otherwise, so that they could remain as the ignorant pet of society, and that someone bred this way would have less to loss risking her life with an abortion then to risk her social place without one. I also stand by the fact that the lower class girls were not educated in any way that would let them deal with sex and prevention or the possible reprecutions of an abortion and that is from primary sources I’ve read about working girls. And while this is all based on my study of Victorian women, I do think it is what the books we get deal with.

    And if that makes no sense it is because I kind of forgot the point I was trying to make.

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  63. Jen
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 22:36:09

    @Ldb

    Well, most historicals that I’ve read have been set in the Regency, not the Victorian era; while there is some continuity between the periods, the middle class sexual repressiveness we associate with Victorianism was not yet fully codified.

    To respond to your comment- certainly, you are correct that upper class women would not be living in close quarters with other family members, and indeed, I agree that upper class women were more likely to be sexually sheltered, mostly for dynastic purposes. A sexually aware woman was considered more likely to be a promiscuous wife.

    I disagree, however, that a middle class or religious heroine is less likely to find herself, for want of a better term, knocked up. One of the striking features of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is that the age of first marriage at first increased (largely due to the need to establish oneself financially- it was only the upper class that married very young) and later decreased. Parish records indicate that many of the marriages that took place resulted in births at 5 or 6 months after the wedding, suggesting that many people, including religious middle class girls, were indeed having pre-marital sex and dealing with the consequences. (Good birth control information was extremely hard to come by, not just for women, but for men as well. Condoms existed, but were generally frowned upon and were by no means foolproof. The rhythm method was frequently practiced, but until late in the period, scientists believed that a woman was LEAST fertile in the middle of her cycle, exactly the opposite of the scientific reality. Several pornographic texts of the period urged couples to use certain positions that would supposedly make a woman less likely to conceive, or suggested that the woman move her hips in such a way as to prevent conception. Obviously such suggestions were likely to result in pregnancy.) There was also a marked uptick in the number of illegitimate births throughout the period and into the nineteenth century. Several historians have tried to explain this phenomenon- Tim Hitchcock, for instance, suggests that the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries emphasized penetrative sex rather than other, non-penetrative forms of intimacy. (Personally, I’m disinclined to agree with him, given the emphasis on penetration in seventeenth and eighteenth century pornographic texts, and the virtual absence of instances of oral sex in those same works.) It’s also just possible that fertility rates improved with nutrition.

    As far as the lower classes go, much of our image of the lower class English woman (and many of the resulting primary sources) stem from the narratives coming out of Bridewell hospital, where lower class women would deposit their unwanted and frequently illegitimate babies. If the mother was believed to be of ill repute, the hospital would not accept the child, so the women frequently told stories of rape or seduction and abandonment. Recent historical research, however, has disputed the degree to which these narratives were accurate rather than invented for the sake of the Bridewell audience.

    So the upshot is, if you’d like a differing perspective on this topic, you might want to take a look at Barrett-Ducroq’s Love in the Time of Victoria, J.D. Gammon’s Ravishment and Ruin, or Lawrence Stone’s The Family, Sex, and Marriage in England.

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  64. Edie
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 02:44:39

    Just have to say ditto to growly at #57

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  65. reader
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 07:15:24

    “I also had an abortion several years ago and there haven't been ANY negative emotional consquences (there was a lot of relief).”

    Sometimes the emotional repercussions don’t hit you until years later…or after you have decided that you are ready to be a parent. I have to say your statement just makes me sad….

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  66. LizJ
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 09:20:43

    I think it’s a very complicated and emotional issue that would tend to push many readers to focus on that aspect of the plot at the expense of the overall story. Very few people are “neutral” on the topic – I’m not sure that’s even possible – more like there are just degrees of each “side” as far as peoples’ views/beliefs on this issue.

    I think it could work as part of a back story – but if the heroine has no regret or issues with what happened, and it doesn’t somehow impact or cause conflict with the hero, how could it even be significant to mention in the back story?

    Let me add just one thing about the “evil ex abortion” aspect. Yes, it’s a stereotype. So are a lot of other characteristics of “evil ex’s.” For example, breaking up and breaking the hero’s/heroine’s heart in the process. IRL there can be many reasons why a breakup happens, not simply that the ex is a selfish-you-know-what. I understand that specifically regarding abortion this hits a nerve with some people. Maybe it’s healthier to either not take it personally (since evil ex’s tend to be somewhat stereotypical), or to work through the reasons why this hits a particular nerve.

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  67. Angie
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 10:30:55

    but if the heroine has no regret or issues with what happened, and it doesn't somehow impact or cause conflict with the hero, how could it even be significant to mention in the back story?

    Maybe she has issues with the fact that everyone around her expects her to have issues, and expresses sadness when she says she doesn’t. [wry smile]

    I read somewhere — wish I could remember where — that actual research on the subject (as opposed to anecdote or what people think should be true) shows that a woman who carries to term and then gives the baby up for adoption has far more serious emotional fallout, which lasts a lot longer, than a woman who has an abortion. Not that having an abortion is a walk in the park, but it’s not usually the life-long devastation a lot of people think it is (although it might be if you’re surrounded by people who won’t let you forget about it?) and it’s significantly less emotionally devastating than losing a baby to adoption. Something else I don’t expect to see addressed in a romance book any time soon.

    Angie

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  68. Karen Templeton
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 14:07:07

    and it's significantly less emotionally devastating than losing a baby to adoption. Something else I don't expect to see addressed in a romance book any time soon

    Actually, my Special Edition, A MOTHER’S WISH, which just won the RITA, is about *exactly* that.

    Just FYI. ;-)

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  69. Angie
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 14:09:24

    Actually, my Special Edition, A MOTHER'S WISH, which just won the RITA, is about *exactly* that.

    Gads, I might actually have to read a contemporary! Thanks for the mention. :)

    Angie

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  70. ldb
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 17:35:11

    In regards to those who make refrence to the evil ex, the reason she’s so easily characterized as being evil is not because hse had an abortion, but because she did it knowing that the hero would have wanted the child/ Yeah, legaly “her body her choice,” but acting on that without consulting the person who also has a claim to the “child” doesn’t make her a good person. After all child or bunch of cells, it was made as much by the hero as the ex, a reasonable adultwho isn’t selfish would at least talk to the hero about it. But as for it being a general attack on a woman who chose to do it that weren’t in a realtionship ro who are told to go screw by a man it;s not.

    After all there are plenty of “you’ll just have to have an abortion” comments by hero’s who want no strings attached affairs, and I don’t see people saying anyhting about that.

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  71. ldb
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 17:57:28

    @Jen:

    I;d be lieign if I said I was basing anything off accounts based on sexuality, a topic I’ll definatly deffer to you on, as you are well researched, my understanding comes from the letters and older writings of the periods I’ve have been able to read. So clearly you are the more knowledgeable on the topic.

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  72. suburbanbeatnik
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 19:54:57

    @reader

    Sometimes the emotional repercussions don't hit you until years later…or after you have decided that you are ready to be a parent. I have to say your statement just makes me sad….

    Dear reader, I know this is a touchy subject, but please try not to judge other people here.

    @Jen, your comment rocked. Do you have any specific books you’d recommend about sexual practices in the 17th-18th centuries? I’m not interested in the 19th century, but I’ve been studying the early modern period a lot, and I could always do with a few more recommendations.

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  73. CD
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 20:03:55

    Really though, I'm not interested in any world system – past, present or future. I'm interested in interpersonal relationships, particularly ones that resolve happily; and if an author's world system starts eclipsing the relationship, it's no longer a romance to me. It's some other genre.

    As other people have mentioned, there’s the old adage that “personal is political”. Woman being able to sleep with, marry and have non-dependent relationships with whoever they want, AND end happily is in fact intensely political. There are many countries in the world where the idea at the heart of all romance novels is an “alien world system”.

    I don’t mean to say that controversial political issues should be brought up just for the hell of it – I can’t think of anything more tedious than having an author use her novel as a sounding board. But if there’s a good reason for it and if it makes sense in the context of the characters and plot, then hell yeah, go for it.

    And I’ve read plenty of romances where the author clearly has a different political slant than I do, and still enjoyed them. I love Linda Howard for one but would definitely have loads “to discuss” were we to meet in a political forum. I even enjoyed “24″ before it went off the rails and that definitely has somewhat questionable politics in my mind.

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  74. Jen
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 21:06:20

    @suburbanbeatnik

    Thanks- I’m glad you liked my comment! In regards to early modern sexual practices, the seminal (no pun intended) work is Thomas Laqueur’s Making Sex; Laqueur turns up fascinating evidence of early modern biological beliefs (including the belief that the female reproductive system was merely an inverted version of the male, and therefore if a woman exercised too hard, her penis could fall out). I also highly recommend James G. Turner’s Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern England; he does an amazing job of culling together all kinds of strange sexual beliefs and practices. Elizabeth Foyster, Tim Hitchcock, and Thomas King are also excellent scholars.

    If you’re interested in the history of homosexuality, take a look at Randolph Trumbach’s amazing body of work. Bruce Smith, Alan Bray, and Jonathan Goldberg are also quite good.

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  75. MaryK
    Jul 22, 2009 @ 22:16:03

    @CD:

    As other people have mentioned, there's the old adage that “personal is political”. Woman being able to sleep with, marry and have non-dependent relationships with whoever they want, AND end happily is in fact intensely political. There are many countries in the world where the idea at the heart of all romance novels is an “alien world system”.

    I get what you’re saying, but I don’t want to read about that. I want it to be invisible background. I’ve never really cared for the star-crossed lovers plot. And if Lady Y has to marry Lord X because they were caught in a compromising situation, I don’t want a story about how unjust and unenlightened this is; I want a story about how they deal with the situation and fall in love. [I can actually think of a star-crossed lovers plot that worked well because the "personal politics" were contextual - Devilish.]

    Issue/message plots just remind me of all the depressing, preachy YA novels that were around when I was growing up.

    if it makes sense in the context of the characters and plot, then hell yeah, go for it

    I agree with that. Maybe what we’re talking about is how difficult this is to get right. A controversial issue in a book runs the risk of becoming the book’s focus and dominating the relationship development. MJP’s The Burning Point relied heavily on an issue and there was much disagreement over how she dealt with it.

    The reason random politics (with no purpose but to swat at an opposing belief) can derail a story is because they break the suspension of disbelief. That’s what happened to me in the story I initially commented about. My disbelief came back on and never went off again so I was very skeptical through the rest of the story.

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  76. Maria P
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 11:41:42

    How sad! That a woman would say that a clump of cells is nothing. Funny that that’s how she started out too. And no, it’s not just the womans’ body, there’s another little body inside her. Must be getting easier to know there are thousands of babies daily being torn apart, burned, and stabbed with scissors in the head for any little reason. Yes they are babies. I’ve never seen a mother to be wearing a t-shirt that says, “I’m having a fetus!” Out of sight, out of mind! We’re knee deep in innocent babies’ blood in this country but all that seems to matter is the supposed primacy of a woman’s body. Oh the irony, that only a live person can decide who sits at the table of life. If that’s not playing God, I don’t know what is. I guess by this you can tell that no, I do not want to read about this in my romances, and no, I do not want to know the author’s views either, especially if they do not respect life. And no, I’m not angry, just extremely sad that life means so little anymore if it’s in the way of a persons plans.

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  77. AndreaS
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:46:31

    Well, I ended up answering No. For two reasons: Firstly, I have strong feelings on the subject. Which means I’d have a hard time if the author didn’t agree with me or even if the author’s views felt preachy. Secondly, I was reading the question and thinking about the story. I don’t want to read a book that has someone getting an abortion in the middle.

    But I do have to agree that I don’t have problems with heroines who have had abortions (although I also dislike it being a DEEP DARK SECRET!). And I don’t have a problem with it being a viable option. If having a baby will ruin your life, why shouldn’t you consider all your possible options? But I don’t really want to read about it. It’s such a serious issue to me that I don’t think it would fit well in my happy romances.

    But as always, there might be times when I’m proven wrong. I won’t say it’s impossible, but I’ll probably never pick it up if I think there is an abortion in the story.

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  78. reader
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 13:07:59

    Just had to speak up on the statistics of abortion vs. adoption and the emotional toll. Not a fair comparison, because I would assume women who decide to give up their children for adoption do so because they recognize that ‘clump of cells’ as a baby and want to give it the best life possible, regardless of their own life circumstances at the time. Of course this kind of woman would have more emotional repercussions for her decision…I’m assuming this person would want to keep her own child, if it were possible.

    I’m going with the theory that women who go through abortions have justified in their mind the ‘clump of cells’ theory to deal with it in the least emotional way. To get rid of any guilt or bad personal feelings about themselves. The ‘my body, my choice’ argument is a good way to cover up what is really happening: the ending of life.

    Just to give MY personal experience with this issue. A good friend from many years ago made some bad choices, ended up pregnant, was afraid what her parents might think of her, never told them and had an abortion. She was 21. She confessed this to me one evening 3 or 4 years later and was clearly emotionally distraught, asked what I thought of her, and seemed to be looking for some kind of absolution. It was terrible and sad. And something I will never forget. Those types of personal experiences speak louder than any statistics someone throws at me.

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  79. Lynne Connolly
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 14:21:10

    Jen – you rock.

    I would write an abortion into a book if it served the book and the character. Like everything else, I don’t want to force my opinions and views on the characters. I have a book planned out which features an abortion doctor being threatened by extremists, but I haven’t had time to write it yet, and it would be a little different to my usual fare.

    Historically, abortions were extremely dangerous, but then, so was childbirth. I think most women who found themselves pregnant tended to go away to have the baby and then return to their usual haunts, having dumped the baby on the way. The poor would have the baby, because after the infant turned five, it was a potential earner and could be put to work.

    ReplyReply

  80. Taboo Topics in Romance & Genre Expectations | Monkey Bear Reviews
    Jul 24, 2009 @ 02:44:12

    [...] at Dear Author has a poll about abortion in romance. She asks: Is Abortion Acceptable for a Heroine in a Romance? Responding to the number of poll participants who voted “No”, Karen Scott wonders if [...]

  81. krysilove
    Jul 25, 2009 @ 19:16:20

    It depends. I say it depends because I cannot imagine an author giving the subject the weight it deserves without dragging the story completely under. Of course if they made too light of it I would probably throw the book at the wall. Like some of the other posters said, if this was included there would absolutely need to be a reason for it. This could not just be mentioned on page 100 and then never make any impact on the heroine. I have seen that happen with rape victims and that always takes me out of the book. Also it cannot happen during the falling in love stage. A flashback…yes, but something she decides to do after a night of love with the hero…please no.

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  82. Caligi
    Jul 25, 2009 @ 21:32:42

    I wouldn’t call it a taboo at all. It’s a risky plot device, for sure, but it would be unfair for something women choose to do legally to be a taboo subject for books written by, for and featuring women.

    Women have abortions and they have any number of reactions to them based on their upbringing. Certainly a past abortion could be an acceptable part of a heroine’s backstory. I wouldn’t place any sort of restrictions on how it should be treated either. I am certain that it may certainly have been a total non-issue for some women, while being a source of devastating guilt for others. The heroine’s reaction or non-reaction to it would say a lot about her, as would the hero’s reactions to the act, and her reaction, say much about him.

    I would only object to its use if it was used to shout the author’s opinion of abortion. Pro-life or pro-choice, I don’t want to be hit over the head a la Aslan in Narnia. (ZOMG THE LION REPRESENTS CHRIST, TELL A FRIEND)

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  83. Lynz
    Jul 25, 2009 @ 22:47:21

    I’d be game for it if it were written well. As many people have said, it’s a serious and controversial issue. While I am personally against abortion, one of the things I enjoy about reading is that I can push my boundaries and look at things from other points of view.

    The problem is that I doubt it would be done well. While Maili‘s earlier example sounds amazing – I want to read that! the heroine sounds cool! (apart from falling for her rapist, that is) – I rarely feel that the serious issues which sporadically appear in romance are dealt with properly. Rape, for example: as krysilove mentioned, I’ve seen it pop up and be dealt with horribly. Even worse are the oldies where she has “healing sex” with the hero right after someone else rapes her and suddenly everything’s all better! Yippee! *snorts* Yeah, right. Then there are stories where the heroine’s miscarried but it doesn’t change her at all, except that every now and then she feels a bit sad but it’s okay because she’ll have another baby one day! Yes, these do exist; I’ve seen several.

    Basically, I’d love to see it done well, but that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. So it’s both a yes and a no from me – yes, it should be written about, yet no, it shouldn’t, all at once.

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  84. SonomaLass
    Jul 25, 2009 @ 23:57:32

    I’d also love to see it done well, and I think there are authors who could handle it believably. I just don’t expect it to happen, because of the marketing issue.

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  85. What NOT to Write: 10 Ways to Commit Romance Novel Suicide
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 03:50:21

    [...] example, some of the strongest taboos I know of are about sex and pregnancy. Abortions and morning after pills are still unheard of in novels, though times might be changing. We will [...]

  86. Southern Fried Chicas » Blog Archive » Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog “TALES”… no, that’s not a typo….
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 17:13:54

    [...] Dear author had a poll this past Monday about abortions in romance. This got me thinking about contraception. Do your heroes wear raincoats? Are your heroines on the pill? Would you have an issue with a heroine who takes a Morning After pill after having sex with the hero? Could you accept a heroine who has an abortion DURING the story (not backstory). She wasn’t raped, in fact, the baby belongs to our valiant hero and he wanted the child. What say you? [...]

  87. Do You Blog For Yourself or Your Readers? «
    Aug 10, 2009 @ 19:50:24

    [...] the topic of abortion and romance came up over at Dear Author. This inspired Laura Vivanco to post more generally on politics in romance at Teach Me Tonight, but [...]

  88. Audio Switch
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 00:01:00

    what i can say is that abortion is a sin and it should be deemed illegal by all means ‘:.

    ReplyReply

  89. Karen Knows Best » Abortion In Romance, Yay or Nay? – The 2012 Version
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 09:07:42

    [...] Back in July 2009, DA Jane had a post asking whether or not abortion was acceptable for a heroine in romance. [...]

  90. Mahara
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 07:57:03

    i just stumbled onto this discussion by accidents and i read the comments because i find it interesting that the majority of romance novels demonize abortions and that many readers seem to agree and yet many of those readers have very little problem with the intensely sexist and patriarchal undertones if the genre or with just how many romance novels involve sexual coercion and many times out and out rape.

    the way in which abortion is dealt with (or not dealt with) in romance novels undermines the fight for bodily autonomy for women because so many reading these books are really being led to believe that if they choose not to let a fetus (which is scientifically a human being as much as an egg is scientifically a chicken) grow into a human being inside their own bodies they are evil. us women really are our own worst enemies. i wonder how many of the women who agree with the “abortion makes u evil” school of thought have ever stopped to consider how easily accessible abortions would be if men could have babies.

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  91. To baby or not to baby: that is the question « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 06:09:07

    [...] 2009, Dear Author ran a poll asking if abortion was an acceptable choice for a romance heroine. 70% of the respondents said yes. [...]

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