I’ve always thought about what would have happened if Amy didn’t keep the baby and also doesn’t tell dan about it with him finding out about it later. It would be interesting to know how Dan would react to a situation like that
Short answer – not well.
The long answer probably needs a bit of unpacking. But, assuming we’re talking about Dan as he is in 6.10, where sleeping with Amy at long last has changed his demeanour so much that he is smiling in every single scene, I think it’s a safe assumption that he’d be quite upset.
There are two different issues at stake, and I’m going to talk about them separately (though of course they aren’t, really).
I don’t think Amy having an abortion would bother Dan necessarily. We know he’s paid for women to have abortions in the past, and I don’t think he would have a problem with giving Amy similar help if it was required. He’s a terrible man to be in a relationship with, but I really don’t think he’s capable of any kind of coercion – if Amy wanted an abortion, then he’d make sure she could get one.
(I feel like the show gave Dan those lines to make him seem dreadful, but it actually…made me like him more. I know of too many men whose response to their partners falling pregnant was to run for the hills – ensuring that a woman isn’t financially crippled by having an abortion is Dan taking at least SOME responsibility).
However, it’s the second part of your suggestion that I think would bother him. Because Dan is emotionally shallow, but he’s very far from being stupid.
Now, I am not someone who thinks that an abortion is something a woman must self-flagellate about. Sometimes it is very clearly and obviously the right choice, and if so, agonising over it seems pointless to me.
That said, I don’t know of anyone who has ever felt particularly good about having to make that choice. You know, even if you are one hundred percent certain in your mind that it’s the right option…it’s never going to be the best day of your life.
And to be so ALONE that it doesn’t feel like there’s anyone who will be supportive of that decision, that’s a shitty situation for anyone to be in.
What every woman – but especially a woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy – needs to hear from her partner is “I will support you no matter what decision you make.”
Amy hasn’t had that of course – she has had to make her decision without any reasonable expectation that Dan will step up and support her and their child – and that is a scary, lonely place for her to be in.
And I am certain Dan would realise that. If he cares about her even a little, he would understand how hard a position that would be for her, and I think he would be distressed (which, as always, would manifest by his acting like a huge dick) by the idea that she preferred to go through it alone. Because Amy having an abortion and not telling him would speak volumes of just how low her expectations of him are.
Even when it’s a clearcut decision, it’s perfectly normal for an abortion to be an emotionally fraught thing to go through. Think of how much Dan dislikes it when Amy is visibly upset in front of him – he leaves his own party to try and calm her down in Storms and Pancakes when she gets upset at peoples’ nasty comments – the thought of Amy putting herself through something potentially much more distressing, because of him, and not telling him, having so little faith in him that she couldn’t trust him to stand by her during a pregnancy he helped create…
Like I said, I think he’d be quite upset, in his way – because he’s smart enough to understand that Amy may actually have NEEDED him, and that if she didn’t come to him it’s because she didn’t think he would care. (All of this applies only to AMY, mind you, because he cares about her – if he found out that Sophie, for example, had had an abortion, I really don’t think he’d have any strong feelings about it).
Put it another way, I think most men would be quite upset at the notion of someone they cared about – even a little – not feeling able to tell them about a pregnancy. Which really doesn’t have anything to do with whether they are pro-choice or not. In my experience, a lot of men both agree wholeheartedly that it should be the woman’s decision and want to be…involved, even if only to hold her hand as she goes through it.
I think Dan may be more normal in that respect than people might expect.