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Heated Political Discussion Exposes Deep Divide Between Mother and Daughter

DEAR ABBY: My daughter is 29, and we recently had a respectful, although heated, discussion about politics, agendas and the candidates. It turned out that we disagree on major issues, and we both can give chapter and verse about why we believe the way we do.

Something came to light, though. She's not the person I thought she was. She informed me that she had had an abortion. My feelings on this issue aren't a judgment call. This is a belief system for me, something ingrained in me. If she were a stranger, I would absolutely not be around her. Knowing what I do now, I am crushed.

She's my daughter, and we have always had our differences. But I feel so strongly about what she's doing and has done that I no longer want to be in the same room with her. She has a son I adore with all my heart, and I provide child care for him. I feel broken right now and could really use guidance. -- BROKEN IN ILLINOIS

DEAR BROKEN: I can only imagine how you must have felt to have learned about the abortion during a "heated discussion." However, there is a common misconception that women who decide to terminate a pregnancy do so lightly. They don't! If you don't know your daughter's reason for having hers, it might benefit both of you to talk calmly about it. You don't have to approve of her choice, but you should hear what she has to say.

Because you feel broken, this is something you should discuss with your religious adviser and take your cue from him or her. To cut off relations with your daughter -- and by extension your grandson -- would benefit no one.

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