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Table 4 Selected quotes from women participants in the study indicating “maternal emotion” as the main reason for refusing an abortion

From: Decision-making on terminating pregnancy for Muslim Arab women pregnant with fetuses with congenital anomalies: maternal affect and doctor-patient communication

Age (years) Number of pregnancy Quotes
31 3 “I’m the only one responsible for taking care of her. I’m a mother! I don’t care about anything except my daughter. I won’t give her up by any means. I will never give up my daughter.”
35 3 “Am I making the right decision? Am I thinking only about myself? I don't know. But I am also saying that I will not give up my son. He’s my son. He’s moving in my womb. I can’t… I won’t give him up.”
21 1 “What encouraged me is that this is my daughter. She is part of me. My flesh. I am so sorry for every tear I shed during the pregnancy. I swear to you. Except for the special love I give her… My heart saw her before my eyes. That’s why I felt her before seeing her. She holds my heart. I am very proud of her.”
37 4 “Human, let’s say maternal emotion. I can’t kill a soul … I couldn’t. I don’t have the strength to do that. She is my daughter. I feel her deep in my heart. I can’t even imagine giving her up.”
25 2 “I’m a mother. And to be the mother of another son… That’s what encourages me to stand by my decision to bring my second son into the world. I don’t need another reason to explain to you why I refuse to abort him. He is moving inside me. I can feel him. How could I give him up? When he’s hungry he knocks on my stomach. When I eat something sweet he thanks me. I feel his thank you knocks and can tell the difference between them and his hunger knocks.”
32 4 “No matter what the child’s condition is… When I felt the fetus’s movements I believed everything was fine and that encouraged me. I became attached to him. My heart saw him and felt him. I could not think of giving him up and aborting for one moment.”
27 2 “I expected that it would be hard for him… because I already knew what was going to happen. Because I experienced it before him with his third sister. I know that giving birth to such a child will require a lot of treatment and hospitalization. Still I won’t give him up. He’s my son. He is part of me.”
32 1 “When I found out I was pregnant my life filled with joy. Happiness. From the day I got married I dreamed of becoming a mother. My dream came true. I will never give up my son. I don’t know. I have an internal maternal feeling there’s nothing wrong with my fetus. I can feel it.”