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Life Stories

Upside Down

A father's post-abortion testimony:

I shall never know in this life whether my child was a boy or a girl. My former girlfriend, the mother of my child, only told me a number of weeks later that she had been pregnant and that she had had an abortion.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. I have told only four persons, two of whom live far away and the other two can be relied upon to keep it secret. One of the latter, a close friend, suspected that something serious was wrong and pried the truth from me by degrees. The first big clue was when I went with her to a hospital maternity ward to visit her sister and new niece. When a nurse held the infant up in the nursery, I turned sheet-white.

I still have violent emotional reactions. For instance, a television news program recently showed a woman strapped to an operating table awaiting her "procedure." Some ghastly older woman came in and smiled at her a phony "everything will be just fine soon, Deary" smile. In the few seconds it took me to leap out of the chair and turn off the TV I thought, "I'd like to wipe that smile off her face with a baseball bat."

My trust in women and in people in general has been rocked. I have not been able to sustain any kind of relationship with a woman since and doubt that I shall ever be able to trust a woman enough to marry her. I doubt, too, whether my own reaction to marriage and children will be adequate. Don't I already have a first child?

There is so much more I could say - the strange reactions one gets to news of friends getting married and having children. The sensation of looking at an infant nephew and wondering, "Would my son have looked like this?" My girlfriend's abortion turned the world upside down and there has been no justice to turn it right side up.

The abortion of a man's child interrupts this sequence and damages these key elements of his instincts, resulting in frustration, anger, and confusion.

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