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Buffy makes controversial decision in latest issue

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6

When Editor Scott Allie told Comic Book Resources that Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 would take Buffy’s story “back to human issues … some of the biggest issues anyone can face,” fans knew he was alluding to her mysterious pregnancy. But with Issue 6, in stores today, the Slayer deals with her new situation head on, answering a question readers have been debating since last issue’s big revelation.

Spoiler warning: The following addresses a major plot point from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6.

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #6

Following some serious soul-searching, Buffy confides to Spike that she’s decided to have an abortion, a subject creator Joss Whedon assures will be treated with respect in the Dark Horse series.

“It’s not something we would ever take lightly, because you can’t. You don’t,” Whedon, executive producer of Season 9, tells USA Today. “It’s not an easy thing for anyone.”

Abortion is a very personal decision, continuing the shift in focus from what Allie has described as “the more cosmic craziness of Season 8” to the more human elements of Season 9. That move has been emphasized by the deliberate paring-down of Buffy’s supporting cast, leaving her with just one person to confide in: popular vampire anti-hero, sometimes-romantic partner Spike.

“Given the specifics of Buffy’s life at this point in the season — facing a new kind of vampire threat, barely able to keep a job — it seemed like it would be dishonest for Buffy to not at least entertain the question of whether she should keep or end the pregnancy,” writer Andrew Chambliss tells the newspaper.

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30 Comments

Yes, this is exactly what I expected from Joss. It would be out of character and unrealistic for Buffy not to consider the option. And it would be out of character for Joss and anyone working for him to shy away from a controversial topic.

Can’t wait to see if Buffy goes through with it, or she finds a reason to carry to term. If she does, I have little doubt it will be in character as well.

I’m not pro-choice, but I’m also a man, so I tend to mind my own business on this. That being said, seeing a character actually debate the pros and cons and act responsibly about the whole process would be refreshing, and maybe give people perspective on what a woman goes through when she’s pregnant, whether she keeps it or not.

Also, it’ll be handled far better than in Invincible, when it happened off panel with no deliberation of the character shown. Not that it was out of character, just that it seemed to be done for shock value, as opposed to doing for good story or character progression.

Pro-choice, but like Lyle, I don’t think my opinion on the whole thing matters as much as a woman’s. Not read the comics, but was a big fan of the show in my younger days and I couldn’t imagine Buffy as the kind of person who wouldn’t consider abortion an option. Like Lyle I think the abortion in Invincible was a pretty shallow attempt at story telling, it just sort of happened and then everyone moved on, weird.

So far the writing seems to handle it fairly sensitively. Unless you are the woman facing the decision, it is not fair to condemn or laud a woman for whichever decision she takes. It’s a very hard one. The individual tries to make the best decision she can. There is nothing out of character or in character when you deal with something as tough as abortion.

I think the father’s choice is just as important as the mother’s. It takes two to tango and it should take two to make the decisions. The moment pregnancy happens it ceases to be about the mother or the father and is about the child of which both parents have a valid opinion.

Who is the father anyway? Angel? I remember really awkward sex panels showing up around the time of season 8. What could hinder the whole storyline is that Buffy looks to be drawn like a twelve year old.

i’m definitely Pro-Choice, that being said, this is something the character of buffy would deal with. She knows where she is in life and what she’s capable of. She’s seen what Robin Wood has become after losing his mother to a vampire, so its only natural for her to think of this option. Regardless of what she actually chooses, knowing Joss and knowing the way Chambliss has written these characters so far, i’m sure the decision will actually matter to the story, and feel natural.

@ Nikki.. buffy doesn’t know who the father is. Angel is a vampire can’t father a child.. and yes i know Connor but that was a magical thing..

@Nikki until men can carry children, their opinion/choice is not as significant as the woman’s. Carrying a child to term is SO MUCH MORE life threatening than an abortion.

And in general, this is not out of character for Buffy to consider. She’s witnessed how hard it was for a child of a slayer when they lost their mother. I can easily see her considering abortion as an option.

@Erik, Its Buffy so weirdness should be expected. Rule out nothing.

@allison, even if the pregnancy is revealed to be problematic I would think every woman would talk to the other person about what was going to happen. That is going to be in a minority case obviously, so lets not scare story that ‘pregnancy=death’. Its up to two sensible adults to discuss the matter and come to a conclusion based on all sides of the argument as both have to take responsibility for what they both made happen. I think going alone as if only a woman’s opinion matters is incredibly selfish. I couldn’t even imagine not having a say in what I took part in creating especially when its as life altering as a child.

therealjkwright

February 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

It seems to me all men are pro-choice . . . . . they can choose who (what?) to stick their dicks into, and then choose to walk away or not when they’re done. I don’t get how dudes figure they have any other say — I mean, it’s great to have opinions and stuff that don’t really affect or involve you, but don’t you have other things to devote brainpower to?

I don’t read the series, but it seems uncharacteristic that Buffy would unintentionally become pregnant from an unknown male then decide to have an abortion. It doesn’t make sense that she would have an unplanned pregnancy when she is a Slayer and deals with vampires and all kinds of terrible things. She has also suffered the consequences before when Angel lost his soul after they made love. You would think someone in her position with the knowledge she has would use contraception.

if you haven’t read any of the series, she didn’t have sex randomly with someone, she had a party at her new apartment and blacked out, which they showed in one of the first issue her trying to figure out what happened. there’s a handful of people she thinks could have..

and the “its buffy” yeah pre-magic getting destroyed it could happen, but there is no magic in the buffyverse anymore..

I’ve read the whole issue, and it’s very well done. Like the rest of the series so far, Chambliss has a good feel for the characters, if not quite as good as Joss does, or as Christos Gage does on Angel and Faith. And his Buffy really shines.

Also, Phil Noto’s cover is a great tribute to the classic covers of Tomb of Dracula.

The father was her boss from work, who showed up at the party.

I am pro-choice, so I am not bothered by the abortion. I am just wondering what dramatic purpose it serves, though. Why bother making her pregnant for a couple of issues if she’s going to go right back to being not pregnant?

OK, let’s say this comic in its themes tries very hard to show real emotion, real…’life'; art as the holding up of a mirror to reality. Well then, in real life, what Buffy’s going through – at that age, I know for a living fact that if a child had been born into the maelstrom that was our lives then, it would have come out damaged psychologically in one way or another, no matter how hard we tried to make it not so.
Buffy is on her own, to all intents and purposes, and she has a, well, the ancient Irish called it a geis, laid upon her to fight the vampire threat. A geis can be a curse or a gift. If someone under a geis violates the terms of the geis, they will suffer dishonour or even death. On the other hand, the honouring of a geis is believed to bring power.
How could she function clear-headed under this geis knowing her child could be used against her – she had enough trouble on occasion with her friends, and with Dawn, who could defend themselves to some extent – how would a helpless baby cope? There are things that need looking at long and hard in a very human choice like this; paradoxically it is one of the more ‘supernatural’ comics that is dealing with this theme.

Abortion is murder plain and simple. I know most left leaning comic fans refuse to acknowledge this but it is true. I’m just sad to see what was once a non- political medium and fairly wholesome hobby has become such a dark, twisted industry.
I appeal to all comic book readers of faith to sound off on this forum and show the people that write this type of garbage ( I’m looking at you Mr. Whedon) that decency and pro-life values have a voice as well.

Not having read one issue of Buffy yet, I have no context for this.

I am pro-life for several reasons, but here are reasons that I think are relevant to the topic at hand:
1. Human life is special
2. Those stronger should protect the weak.
3. Therefore, even the chance of human life should be protected. It matters not when life starts. No pregnancy should end in abortion.

I don’t live in a society that agrees with me, so I have to work to change laws, and at the same time be compassionate to women.

With all of this said, if Buffy’s baby is a vampire, that makes the baby non-human. The pro-life argument only works on human life. The pro-choice argument is also null and void since it is Buffy’s calling to kill Vampires. If this becomes an issue, it seems like a lot of huff and puff over nothing in a fictional world.

Um, vampires – not having the babies so much. Connor (re:Angel) being a Special Case, so baby not likely to be a vamp.
Just out of interest – to the pro-lifers, I want to understand this – is it better for a child to be born with birth defects that would cause it to live blind, deaf, mute, in constant pain and needing care 24/7 for it’s whole life, even though they knew before hand that there was an overwhelming chance of this happening, rather than abort it? (Which case is true btw mother had various illnesses whilst pregnant). That child HAS no life. They will be a senseless lump, able only to scream in pain, relying on others until their mercifully short time on this planet ends. See, that’s the bit I don’t get. I mean, it may allow others to show compassion and care and understanding etc, but isn’t it more than a mite selfish to allow another to suffer, just so ‘we’ can learn some kind of lessons or show how ‘good’ we are?
And what about the child of rape? A child that is not conceived in love or mutual desire, but through someone imposing their will on another, forcing them into a parenthood they would NOT choose for themselves, the beginning of a life the woman did NOT choose to start, in pain and violence, and ‘sinned against’ ?
And isn’t this one of the possible aspects of this story arc? Any child Buffy has is not going to have a ‘normal’ life – it will be one of fear, danger – and if people die defending it, terrible guilt. That or it’d turn into some type of psychopath – either way, terribly, deeply, soul-scorchingly selfish (Oh, I wish there were a bigger word) to consign an innocent child to that. Why place your immortal soul so far above anothers? Is yours better than theirs? If the answer is yes, is that not the sin of pride? I just don’t get it.

Any child of Buffy’s would be exceptional and a great story possibility. The child could go to be fostered just like King Arthur did. Therefore, taking her place, that’s right it’s a girl, in future storylines.

Didn’t this already happen on that Britsh supernatural show, “Hex?” Original as hell, Joss.

@Creidne
“And what about the child of rape?”
Possibly the best to answer this question are people who were born as a result of rape: http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/index.html

My first thought was “Zander”. I’ll have to go back and look at the issue again, but I believe they did have a pretty intimate moment at the party. This is a very politically charged subject to tackle and Chambliss and Whedon are doing a tremendous job of treating it with respect and showing respect for the characters at the same time, as opposed to just shoehorning the issue into the story for the sake of it like so many other writers do with politically charged moral issues. I look forward to the next few issues.

i thought this was wonderfully written. bravo and kudos to the creative team.

@RMW
OK, read it, and what lucky, lucky people to have had things work out so well.
I knew a happily adopted girl who at the age of 19 was told, by her adopted parents, who thought she should know the truth for medical reasons, she had been a result of rape. She tried kill to herself – couldn’t face it, thought she was somehow dirty…. another sin to add to the original one that brought her about. Fortunately, she had her parents support and recovered, after a very long time and lots of money spent.
I have worked with trauma survivors – please read Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D, because she makes a good case for people to recover from all types of trauma, as long as they have sympathetic and supportive others around them – and that’s the kick – not everyone does have support and treatment, not everyone can afford it, not everyone is in the happy situation of coming out the other side, of being adopted by a loving family… Some of them will pass it on to their child of rape, perpetuating the evil.
Dr Herman further says “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil.
The victim asks the bystander to share the burden of the pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering. (there is a tendency to render the victim invisible; to look the other way.)”
Nothing is as black and white as many people like to believe. I personally consider each situation should be judged on its faults and merits, and if the subject of abortion can be discussed sensitively and most of all, unclouded by preconceptions (not a pun) from either side of the bad/good divide that seems to exist on this point, via a comic book, then maybe in future the subject won’t just be met with dogmatic approaches from either pov, or groans of boredom from those who refuse to engage.

@Creidne
Like most pro-choicers you cite extreme cases to support your opinion. Situations like that are the exception, not the rule. We have become a society that is comfortable with zero accountability and responsibility. I recently lost a child due to birth defects. The pregnancy was unplanned, and we carried her to term even after we found out about the birth defects. We wouldn’t have changed a thing. We wanted to give her a CHANCE at life. That’s all any new life deserves.

- I’m going to have an abortion.
– Are you pregnant?
– No, I’m in the middle of downloading a movie and I changed my mind about it.

¬¬

What’s with the pro-life pro-choice argument? Buffy’s making a decision based on her own lifestyle, and based on her own morals, and that’s literally all she can do – and all the writer should -make- her do, especially with controversial decisions like this. Having her go through this conversation and then suddenly saying “No, I’m going to keep it” would probably make the pro-lifers happy (and fit in with the stance of the rest of the entertainment industry – remember, NOBODY has an abortion in fiction without being screwed in the head), but here’s the thing: from everything I know about Buffy, that’s not in her character to make such a decision after finding a good argument against it.

Though it’s funny how everybody is considering how the child can be damaged once it’s outside the body – imagine if she’s forced into a fight while pregnant. At any stage during pregnancy. She would not be at her best fighting ability, which means villains can sneak in cheap shots – and a good punch to the stomach would abort the baby anyway. Though, it would obviously fit the pro-lifers since it would be a villain killing it… But I’m sure what Buffy is doing is trying to avoid a stupid situation like that in the first place.

I’m generally not pro choice but in the cases of medical emergency for the mother, incest and rape.

But I’m not ignorant. I know why people have them. It happens in this world we live in and I don’t look down on people that have them. I just feel that there are consequences for action and there are lots of people out there who would love to have kids of their own and adoption can always be a viable outcome (except when there is danger for the mother).

I do however feel that Buffy weighing her options and thinking about the outcome of a situation is perfectly in character and it is nice to see this issue brought up in a sensible and sensitive way. I don’t think it was in character for Buffy to put herself in this situation in the first place but it happened now and sometimes people make mistakes.

My thoughts on the implications in the story are that I don’t think that they would have her be pregnant for 2 issues. Also they don’t want to alienate fans. So I don’t see her going through with it. It would be nice to see her give the baby up for adoption if the father is not revealed which I can’t see not happening either.

Keep up the great work Buffy team.

Instead of Buffy having a abortion why not have her have the child and put it up for adoption.

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