The Forgotten Father
The Last Victim of Abortion ...
I was 15 when I first knew about the
baby ... my baby, that a casual sexual interlude had produced,
and I had no money to help my casual friend in her quest to have an
abortion when she asked me for it. If I had money at the time, I
would have given it to her
to remove that terrible inconvenience to my life
at 15 (and hers at 18).
That was 1965.
I was 17 when I agreed with my next girlfriend to end
the life of the baby in her by abortion.
That was 1967.
Neither of these two women ever married to this day and neither ever
had children. But I did. And no day goes by when I do not think of both
of those children, my children, I had sacrificed to my selfishness
45 years ago.
It is right that so much attention should be given to the frightful
and deliberately hidden consequences of mothers who have chosen, been
induced, persuaded or forced to have an abortion, who have killed their
babies for any reason most especially "convenience". They bore
the child. It moved within them. They were totally present
at the "procedure" that suctioned out the remains of the baby that had
been snipped apart while still in them, limb by limb
while still alive.
The Last Victim
But it seems that no one gives
thought to the child's father and the consequences of his decision
to agree with and even be instrumental in the killing of the child
who would have lived if he really
wanted it to. The baby, after all, was "flesh of his flesh" and as much
his as the mother's. Somehow the father is left out in the cold correctitude
that accompanies every abortion as though his decision and complicity
had nothing to do with this terrible event, an event that would change
him forever, too leaving the unhealed wound that would never become
a scar because it still bleeds. Every day.
Every day I wipe up the blood
of my child, much like Mary did the Blood of her Son Jesus after He
was scourged in the movie, The Passion of the Christ. Remember
that sequence? I wonder what Mary did with that Precious Blood? I do
not even know what I do with it. I try to offer it up
to God as some kind of vicarious atonement in the innocent flesh and
blood of another human being for my sin, for it covers me with unbearable
guilt a guilt that I do not know how any human being
can bear. Yet somehow I do. I must. I cannot make it go away. The towel
is never wrung out, either in my heart or my conscience. Every day I
wipe up that "precious blood" and have no where to put it. It just seeps into
my conscience and sustains my sorrow every bit as much as it would have
sustained my babies' lives.
I have other children now. Children that are alive in this world. I
have never told them of their brothers or sisters brothers or sisters whose lives I had chosen to
end. How can I? How frightened they would be thinking that perhaps
their own lives had also been forfeit, and that by grace or fortune
or fate ... had been spared. How would they look into my eyes?
How would they see me then?
The Dad whom they know would lay
down his life for them ... had once taken the lives of their brothers
or sisters! Is this the real Dad?
How could I explain it to them?
cannot justify it. I cannot
explain away this horrific complicity as merely the result of
"extenuating circumstances", or tell them that I was too young to be
held responsible. I was not! I knew full well what I was doing.
And so does every father who has done murder. Do not be fooled by the
clinically sanitized death rattle of that charnel house called Planned
Parenthood, that would have you believe that they are offering you a
"service" for your benefit (... and for a fee, of course). "Your life
will be better. You will be free to either resume or pursue your own
career, to continue studying, to go back to all the things you were
doing before this terrible "complication" put a bump in the road to
your happiness. That "protrusion" in your life can be easily remedied.
Let us simply remove it, and then you can go on as though it never occurred.
Now, will that be cash or credit ...?"
It is a lie. Your life will never
be as it once was. You cannot simply expunge this horrible episode from
your own time line as though writing revisionist history or a carefully
culled biography. It happened, and you will always know it, always remember
it, always carry that date as an obit in your heart and soul like
a birthday that became a funeral each year. It never goes away. Subsequent
children do not erase it if you have "exercised your right to choose",
and opted for the baby and not the bonus at the end of the year.
Did the dissolute and hallucinogenic
society of the 1960's (even as much as today's) make it "feel" an acceptable
thing to do 45 years ago? Yes. There would be no frowning upon this
avante gard act in keeping with the selfishness of the Sixties.
All the (then "underground") "contacts" were, after all, from the universities.
They were "educated" people. They were more than eager to help. In fact,
the "contacts" center was in a Protestant Church in Boston (the Old
South Church, I think). Surely, it seemed to a young man of 15 or
17, that if they were willing to provide this "underground service"
at a "church", wasn't it an indication that what they were doing was
at least "okay" in a "progressive" society and being located in a "church", acceptable
Did that ease my conscience? Absolutely.
That an "educated class" was allowed, encouraged, to offer their services
through something so benign as a "church" was sufficient to anesthetize
my conscience. After all, at so young an age I was not then "educated"
and they were. They were the best and the
brightest. Why, even a "church" helped them! What more assurance did
I need that what I agreed to do was acceptable ... even a "social
We've Come a Long Way ...
The government at that time still
had some semblance of a collective and historical national conscience
and considered this "service" illegal, because it was deemed murder.
We've come a long way since then. Do you remember the cigarette commercials
of the 1960's, showing a young woman finally free to choose to
smoke with the punch line following her liberation: "you've come
a long way, baby!" And so have I ...
But the way is no easier because the government now holds that murder
pertains only to the adjudicated "guilty" where the plaintiff and the
defendant meet face to face, or at least the remains of the victim can
be produced as evidence of the crime. Our own children are another story.
They can be murdered with impunity even government assistance
as long as no more than 1/4 of their little bodies
remain in their mother. A mere moment longer and it miraculously becomes
a "child" and not just "tissue". Beyond that, the abortionist becomes
a murderer if he plies the ghastly tools of his trade.
But not the
moment before. Life measured in inches, centimeters ... ?
I think about these things.
Simply because "the government" now holds that no crime is committed
in abortion, that murder is not done is absolutely useless to me. It does nothing to
ease my conscience, nothing to attenuate my guilt, nothing to assuage
my sorrow. Increasingly the government tells me that things that I
instinctively feel are wrong even terribly wrong are perfectly okay. Normal. Natural. Even while
everything inside me screams that it is so obviously wrong, not normal,
not natural! For 45 years I feared to open my mouth. Why? Have you
ever stood in prayerful protest outside an abortion "clinic"? One step,
one word out of line, and the police at abortion clinics often incomprehensibly
brutal toward prayerful protestors while on their "paid details" (paid,
of course, by the clinic) will demonstrate why in gratuitously violent terms.
In America, now as never before, you do not "go along to get along",
but too often "go along or go to jail."
So I sit, 45 years later, and fear even to voice my sorrow, openly express
my guilt. It is not "correct". It goes against government policy. It
does not sit well with prevailing opinion (at least what the media tell
me is wide-spread and prevailing opinion, although, strangely, I do
not find it among those with whom I speak) and perversity as policy.
I begin to believe them less, and trust them less. Incredibly, it is
the social "scientist", the lawyer, a government agency, who determines
with the clinical pathos of authority the "viability of life" and the terms under which
alone it is "deemed" a life.
My heart tells me otherwise. It
has told me something quite different for the past 45 years. Somehow
the sorrow, grief, and loss of the father is completely omitted from
that speaks to me every day of my life.
My two children from that time are with God. Perhaps ... perhaps ...
I will one day be, too and when I see my children, what will I say to
What will you say to yours?
The Boston Catholic Journal gratefully acknowledges
the permission granted to publish this article.
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