I spent some time with a woman this week, once just for talking and then when she came in for an abortion. Juliana (not her real name) is Latina/African-American, has two children, and is about 11-12 weeks pregnant. Her older son is a teen and her younger son, "my baby" as she calls him, is 5 but has been diagnosed as autistic. He was fine until age three, completely verbal, and on track developmentally. They think a vaccination caused his problem but Juliana didn't really know much about the why of it, just that he needs a lot of attention, beyond the special schooling he is getting.
Juliana's current partner is against abortion, but he also says that if they ever split up (which seems likely) he would try to get custody of the child, or just grab it. Suddenly she is seeing him differently. Still, she would like to believe in the idea of him sticking around, of possibly having a little girl, of an unblemished child. When she talks like this, her voice gets very soft and her look is far away, and then, it's almost as if she shakes herself back to reality.
"My son needs me," she states simply. "When my little niece is around, he can't bear sharing me." She may have a fantasy about a family, but she chooses her sons over and over again. She has hope that they will grow with her attention and love.
The other interesting thing is that her sons' father and she "get along fine." They haven't lived together for a long time, they go out with others, but they are bonded to the kids and they partner to raise them. Even the current boyfriend (who may not be around for long) tends to the difficult 5 year old.
Sometimes, or actually OFTEN, valuing family is choosing abortion. That's, unfortunately, a well kept secret.