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Playing With / Stigmatic Pregnancy Euphemism

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Basic Trope: A young woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock, and her family sends her away (either to have the baby, or have an abortion), with a convenient excuse.

  • Straight: 16-year-old Alice becomes pregnant. When she begins to show, her parents send her away to a special "home" for unwed mothers, telling everyone that she's going to stay with her aunt.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Ever since puberty, Alice has not been home more than a few weeks at a time, because she keeps getting pregnant and getting sent away.
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    • Alice is never allowed to return home. Her parents have disowned her.
  • Downplayed: Alice is going to have an abortion, and her parents tell everyone that she's on a Bible retreat.
  • Justified:
    • In Alice's society, being an unwed mother is seen as shameful. To avoid shame and stigma, the family has sent Alice away (either to have an abortion or have the baby).
    • Alice herself chose to go away, in order to escape the possibility of Honor-Related Abuse.
  • Inverted: While studying abroad, Alice becomes pregnant, and informs her parents via Skype/a phone call/a letter. They beg her to come home ASAP.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is being sent to a school or camp for wayward teenagers, but nothing is mentioned about her being pregnant.
    • Just as Alice is packing to leave, she notices blood running down her leg. She goes to the emergency room (or calls the local midwife), and it's revealed or implied that she had a miscarriage.
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    • Alice is going out of town to have an abortion.
    • Alice is having a Shotgun Wedding to Bob, her baby's father.
    • Alice is a princess, and she's being sent off to get married for the sake of Altar Diplomacy.
    • Alice lives in a society where out-of-wedlock sex and pregnancy are not seen as The End of the World as We Know It. It's not going to jeopardize Alice's social standing, or her Family Honor, or her ability to get married at a later date. And in fact, lots of girls and women have children before marriage (or without ever getting married.)
    • Alice really is going to be living with her aunt for a few months.
    • Alice is not being kicked out of the house for getting pregnant or not being a virgin anymore, but because she's a lesbian. Fortunately, she has a sympathetic aunt in the country that she was able to get in contact with.
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    • Alice is killed by her father when her parents find out she's pregnant.
    • Alice becomes a Hikikomori, refusing to leave the house.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The last straw was when Alice became pregnant, and though she either miscarried or had an abortion, her parents want to get her back on the straight and narrow.
    • She is never allowed to discuss what happened to her. And she is still sent away while she recovers.
    • Since her father is the pastor at the Church of Saint Genericus, the family naturally doesn't want that piece of information getting out. So while she has the procedure and recovers, she's going to be staying with her aunt in the country, and the family is either going to tell people that (without saying why), or tell people that she's on a Bible retreat.
    • Because of the laws where they live, or simply the stigma of Alice being a pregnant bride, Alice and Bob are having an Elopement across state lines or overseas.
    • She had sex with Prince Bob, and got pregnant. It's only being passed off as an ordinary political marriage so people won't know.
    • However, Alice is the first-generation child of immigrant parents, and in their culture, if a girl or woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is sent away with an excuse.
    • She's pregnant, and her parents have sent her away until either she gives birth, or they know how they're going to handle the situation.
    • Her parents, rather than tell people the real reason they sent her away, always have some excuse: she's studying abroad, she's away at boarding school or college, she's on a mission trip with their church, she's joined the Peace Corps, etc.
    • Her parents tell people she "died in a kitchen fire."
    • The reason she became a recluse is that she was raped and didn't want to get hurt again. The rape resulted in pregnancy, and since both being a Hikikomori and having a baby out of wedlock are seen as shameful, Alice's parents tell people she's studying abroad.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice does not become pregnant.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: Alice becomes pregnant, in a society with a great stigma towards out-of-wedlock sex and pregnancy.
  • Exploited: "Schools for Wayward Girls" open up, and encourage parents who send their daughters there to keep it secret.
  • Defied: Alice's parents decide they're going to help her in any way they can, no matter what the neighbors might think.
  • Implied: Alice goes away for a few months, with the excuse that she's going to see her aunt. When she comes back, she has a baby with her, although she tells people it's her younger brother.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice feels very bitter about her family for sending her away.
  • Reconstructed: Alice resents her family for a while, but after a serious heart-to-heart, she forgives them.

Back to Stigmatic Pregnancy Euphemism.

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