I’ll Make You Have an Abortion

When you’re neither pro-choice nor pro-life but just plain vile

Martina Petkova

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Me with a few Romani children | May 2021 | Image by author

Last year, I befriended a community of the most despised ethnicity in Europe: Romani/ Gypsy. This year, I am in a happy relationship with a man from this community.

Racism against the Romani is pretty vile and unacknowledged here in my home country but for a long time I thought that the people in my immediate circle, at least, were “open-minded.”

They knew I grew close to the Roma community. They knew I took part in activities for the children. They knew I helped in the fight against the municipality which was trying to leave 30 families on the street. They were very supportive.

But then, I crossed a line. I fell in love.

All of a sudden, I’d stopped being superior to the Romani. I had demoted myself somehow, left “my place.” The immediate reactions I faced when I told then-close people about my relationship ranged from hilariously ignorant to downright vile.

And on the far extreme of this spectrum, past vile and well into the territory of revolting, was this.

If you get pregnant by him, I’ll make you have an abortion.

But you see, this is not racist

This was said to me by a long-time friend as she was painting my nails and talking my ear off about just why this relationship is a bad idea.

She said a lot of things in this monologue. “Just have fun with him for a month and drop him.” “I know Gypsies better than you, he has bad intentions.” “Don’t sign over your apartment.”

When we said goodbye, I walked toward a bench and sat down. I was in a daze, not angry (yet), not upset, just numb. I was looking at my nails and wanted to scrub off the nail polish she so carefully had put on.

Half an hour later, Pepi — the Roma man whose hypothetical child I was just told I’d be made to abort— was holding my hands in his, admiring my nails. “This is a beautiful color on you,” he said. “Tell your friend she’s really good!” But I already knew I would never talk to her ever again.

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Martina Petkova

In my Medium writing, I explore the human psyche, our many contradictions, mental health, & the signs and causes of abuse. I also write about racism.