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 agreed with my next girlfriend to end the life of the baby
in her by abortion.
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
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
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.
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'
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
whom they know would lay down his life for them ... had once taken
the lives of their brothers or sisters! Is this the real
How could I explain it to them?
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).
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
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
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 to God?
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 an
“church” helped them! What more assurance did I need that what I
agreed to do was acceptable ... even a “social service”?
We've Come a Long Way ... Baby
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 ... ?
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.
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 the narrative — 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 them?
What will you say to yours?
The Boston Catholic Journal gratefully acknowledges
the permission granted to publish this article.
Printable PDF Version