1

When she tells Michael she’s leaving him, and he refuses to accept this move, Kay drops the bomb:

Oh, Michael. Michael, you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. An abortion, Michael. Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something that's unholy and evil. I didn't want your son, Michael! I wouldn't bring another one of you sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son Michael! A son! And I had it killed because this must all end! I know now that it's over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael... no way you could ever forgive me not with this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2,000 years.

But is she bluffing?

1

Maybe.

  1. During the period where she either miscarried or aborted, Kay was under virtual house arrest under Tom Hagan’s supervision. Tom was ferociously loyal to Michael and would never have permitted Kay to go out for such an errand, nor given the necessary parameters would she have been likely to slip it past him (see point 2).
  2. Abortion was illegal in Nevada in 1958-59, without exceptions. It would have taken a substantial bribe either to a street lady or an even more substantial one to a licensed medical practitioner in a very discrete location to make one happen.
  3. It’s not clear how much time passes between Michael’s return from the a East Coast and Cuba and his subpoena in D.C., but if Kay had actually aborted intending to leave Michael, wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to leave as soon as he got back? (Unless of course she feared physical restraint - not unreasonable given the house arrest - and D.C. was her first “window of flight.”)
  4. Murdering one’s own child to blunt and escape a cold-blooded Machiavellian tyrant is pretty cold-blooded and Machiavellian in its own right. Merely saying that it had happened seems to be a good tactic to provoke a schism, which it did, but I don’t think Kay is anywhere near as cold-heartedly Machiavellian as Michael and evening he wouldn’t directly murder one of his own children on such grounds.
  5. Further to point 4. her tone and demeanor when she tells the tale ring false, a hint that not only is she lying but also that she’s a less Machiavellian person than Michael and a less convincing liar.
  6. I’ve not read any of the books, but I’m told that in one of them Michael had the family doctor killed believing it was he who had performed the abortion and Kay, horrified, confessed remorsefully that she had in fact miscarried but she had feigned having an abortion to hurt Michael. I realize the books are not film-canon and I also understand Kay evolves somewhat differently in the novels versus the films but given the close collaboration between Puzo and Coppola plus the above evidence this has to be at least a hint as to the narrative intention.
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  • Be aware that Godather 2 is not based on any book so they can't be considered canon. – Paulie_D Aug 30 at 10:41
  • Yes, I agree the books are not canon, especially for Part II and beyond, but they do give hints as to the spirit of what went into character and narrative development. They obviously never have any definitive word but I did think the point was worth citing at least for mental stimulation on the topic. Maybe not by much, but surely citing them is not as bad as citing Internet fan fiction. – rpmth Aug 30 at 10:48

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