‘Love Is Blind’: Nancy & Bartise Reflect on Their Emotional Abortion Debate

Bartise Bowden and Nancy Rodriguez in 'Love Is Blind'
Spoiler Alert
Netflix

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Love Is Blind Season 3 Episodes 5-7.]

The second batch of episodes of Love Is Blind Season 3 dropped on October 26 on Netflix, and Episodes 6 and 7 contain a timely but discomforting conversation about abortion between Nancy Rodriguez and Bartise Bowden.

Nancy was 31 at the time of filming, and Bartise was 25. Kids were a frequent topic between the pair in the pods. They bonded over wanting a bunch of kids, with Nancy saying she ideally wants 10 and Bartise loving that prospect, even saying: “I’m going to pump a bunch of kids into you.” [Editor’s Note: Ew.]

During one pod date, Nancy revealed she was a multiple-time egg donor and may already be the biological mother to over 100 children as a result. She signed forms consenting to allow these children to have access to information about her in the future, should they desire to meet their biological mother one day. Given her time as a speech pathologist working with children and her reproductive healthcare experiences, it’s clear Nancy has put serious long-term thought and care into her opinions on family planning.

Bartise, on the other hand, reveals that until this conversation, he wasn’t aware that women in their late 30s run a higher risk of having children born with birth defects.

Nancy told Bartise that if she learned during pregnancy that her child would be born with serious birth defects that could lead to long-term pain for the child, she would choose to have an abortion. She has seen firsthand what difficulties the children and their families can face through her work, and she’d rather not put a child through that. She mentioned that she has seen fathers reject their children with defects and seen families fall apart.

Bartise disagreed with her stance, saying he’d want his partner to continue the pregnancy, which is his opinion to have. But he also took Nancy’s comments to mean that she would abort any child with any disability (which is not what she said). He seemed to be missing the nuance here.

He made his ignorance clear when he said he’d want to keep the child whether they were a boy, girl, transgender, or came out “with three legs,” seemingly equating being trans or having a disability with serious birth defects. Nancy then asked about unplanned pregnancies, and Bartise said any child of his who had an unplanned pregnancy would be allowed one abortion “pass, but you can’t do it again,” with an exception for sexual assault. That said, he doesn’t see Plan B as abortion.

Bartise Bowden and his mother in 'Love Is Blind' Season 3 Episode 7

Netflix

“I think I have no say in anyone’s body,” Nancy said. “If you need to have an abortion for any X, Y, Z reason, have it.” To which Bartise responded, “That’s f***ing deep.” Nancy then shared she wished her parents were more open to discussing sex when she was younger, and Bartise revealed his parents never had any kind of “birds and the bees” talk with him. They ended the conversation on different terms, but it wasn’t necessarily a fight.

But in Episode 7, Bartise unexpectedly threw Nancy under the bus when meeting his family for the first time. After his sister asked Nancy to describe herself to them, Bartise interrupted and brought up their “fights” about debt and abortion, summarizing (poorly) that Nancy would abort any child with a disability. His sister cried, his mother disagreed but respected Nancy’s perspective after she explained it further, and his father was silent. In a confessional afterward, Bartise implied the moment was unexpected and not deliberately brought up by him.

We asked Nancy and Bartise about this moment in separate interviews about Season 3, and Bartise doubled down on this framing.

“They edited the short version. I think they did a good job of displaying both of those conversations,” he tells TV Insider when asked if there were any moments viewers didn’t see. “Yes, the original conversation with me and Nancy alone did end on a good note, however, the idea of the abortion was not the crux of the conversation. The idea was the child that we planned on having was going to be terminated because it would be a problem for us. It’s like a way of taking the easy way out. And for my sister, who went to college and was in a program that was specifically geared to tending to special needs children, I knew it was going to be a problem if it got brought up at the dinner table, which it did. It was accurately depicted there.”

Yes, it was brought up — but by him. He continues: “I will say it wasn’t a dealbreaker for my family, it was just more of a ‘Watch out for this, Bartise. This is not in line with what we think.’” As for Nancy, she says she knew the abortion topic would be a sticking point in their relationship.

Nancy Rodriguez in 'Love Is Blind' Season 3 Episode 7

Netflix

“My opinions are my opinions. I will own them,” she tells us. “Leading up to that conversation, age was the conversation, like the older you are the more likely you are of having a riskier pregnancy, so it led into a what happens if we have a risky pregnancy, and then that led to the conversation of abortion.”

As for him blindsiding her with his family, she continues: “I do feel that Bartise used my opinion against me. I didn’t think that was fair, because opinions are meant to be opinions for a reason, and it’s almost as though he wanted to find reasons” to be upset. “It was inappropriate for him to bring that up in front of his parents within the first couple of minutes of meeting them, again just feeling like he wasn’t having my back on that. He was using it against me.”

Nancy and Bartise are still together as of Episode 7, but the cracks are getting deeper. The end of the episode featured Bartise continuing his harsh complaints that Nancy isn’t hot enough for him, and he said her beliefs on abortion and other perceived slights were painful things she was “putting him” through. Have we found this season’s villain?

Love Is Blind, New Episodes, Wednesdays, Netflix