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Lost Fatherhood

I grew up a minister’s son in small town America. I’d always been taught right from wrong and had done my best to be a good son. By the time I had entered my early teenage years, the MTV and Hollywood messages of rebellion and moral relativism had invaded my thought processes and affected my behavior negatively. I had gotten into trouble on more than one occasion and I began to think the world was out to get me.
 
All the while, I had somehow managed to remain a virgin, and if I am honest about it, it wasn’t necessarily by choice. When my father accepted a new ministry position I had to make some adjustments just before my senior year of High School, but everything seemed to get better when I met a girl at the new school and fell in puppy love. After a couple of months the young woman began asking me if I was interested in going all the way. This, actually, is one of the worst decisions of my story. I actually had time to think it through and decided in favor of it.
 
The next terrible decision I made involved a discussion of the results of such behavior. I distinctly remember that, during a minor argument, I had suggested that if pregnancy resulted from our actions, I preferred abortion over our other options. To this day I don’t know why I said that. Although most likely is that I was lashing out in an attempt to hurt her feelings. What a terrible, unthoughtful, miserable mistake that would turn out to be because just a few short weeks later that would become a statement that I could not rescind.
 
She had become pregnant and she had come to me to inform me. I was in such shock that I just told her to take another test because the first one was probably wrong. We milled it over separately for a couple of days, meanwhile, as I found out, her two older sisters had persuaded her to tell her parents and to tell them she wanted an abortion. Her parents agreed under one condition, that I never know about the pregnancy.
 

When I heard this news God led me to do everything in my power to stop this from happening. I made promises of fulfilling my fatherly duties. I begged and pleaded with her to wait so we could at least talk about it. I even called two friends of ours to visit her late the night before to ask her to delay this decision, but even though she had given them that impression it was too late. She and her family had already made the choice and I was powerless to stop it.
 
She called me several days later to tell me she had miscarried a “blood clot.” I knew in my heart that this was not true. Today the phrase “blood clot” rings eerily similar to the lie that abortionists tell women before the procedure. Needless to say, we parted ways for good after that phone call.
 
Thus began my spiral into darkness, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression. For a time I thought if I only knew the truth the pain would subside, but a year or so later when a chance encounter had given me that definitive truth of the abortion, my life and mentality did not improve. I had no interest in love or relationships for a very long time. The relationships I did get involved in later would be doomed from the start.
 
For this story to make sense you must understand that I did have hate in my heart for a time, but being able to forgive her was not the difficult part. I was and am responsible for the death of my child, and it was myself I could not forgive. As a person of faith I should have known better than to involve myself in the sexual immorality of premarital sex, and most certainly should have demanded full protection of any child that was to be conceived from our bad decision making. However, I was too far away by this point, and could have stopped it if I’d only spoken up sooner. My indecision and bad timing had caused my loss of fatherhood and help in the theft of my child’s right to life.
 
I would spend several years in the darkness hiding from my guilt and shame. It was not until I reunited with an old friend and my future wife that I realized I could be loved. She too is an abortion survivor, although in her case this choice was not considered, she was at risk, having been born to a sixteen year old mother after the decriminalization of abortion. Her friendship, support, and understanding pulled me through and got me back on the path… I stand here before you several years [later], the father to three children, one born, one pre-born, and one I will never know. There was a time we thought perhaps that we would never be parents, but [we have been blessed] despite our doubts.
 
I also now direct a chapter of a youth outreach pro-life organization and I have dedicated the rest of my life to this cause of trying to make sure no one else has to go through this tragedy. I stand firm in my resolve that the option of abortion not be available because people are regrettable participants in an action that is self-destructive, demoralizing, murderous, heinous, and certainly contrary to natural law.
 
My story, I believe, is also one that sheds light on the lie that is abortion. Pro-choicers, feminists, and abortionists would have women believe that “abortion rights” or having a choice in the matters of life and death somehow helps women achieve equality. You will hear them say things like, “It is men’s oppression and denial of ‘reproductive rights’ that keeps women from pursuing careers or lifestyle choices and forces women into the role of motherhood,” or “Women are the ones who give birth so it is our body, our choice alone.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
 
It is not the denial of access to abortion, but promiscuity that is the cause of unplanned pregnancy and it is promiscuous behavior that is the sole decision one makes regarding what direction your life will take in these matters.
 
There is not one body involved in the abortion procedure, but two, and another who is involved emotionally.

And listen closely, feminists: aborting children DOES NOT make you equal to men, it has catapulted you to the position of dominance over the lives of at least two other groups of people, men and children. You preach equality, but where were my rights as a father and where do the first rights to life for pre-born people fit in with your scheme of women’s liberation?
 
One abortion destroys three lives, and that is why I have decided to be silent no more.

[Rock for Life Report 03.30.07, www.rockforlife.org; posted by K. Ashley on 2/07]