I want to share an email sent to my personal email this morning with the subject reading "Thank you so much for letting me know I'm not alone". Although he gave me permission to post the content of his email message I will only identify his first name as Ted.
His email about abortion said, in part,
"It was with great interest that I read your article, reprinted on National Right to Life News. ... I insisted that the girl (not even my “girlfriend,” really, but a very good-hearted Catholic girl who did not deserve the callous disregard I showed her) abort our child, because I was a sophomore in college, where everyone tells you that a baby will “ruin your life.” I believed it, and I ran from it as hard and as far as I could. Needless to say, the instant my first child was born, the horror of what I had done clamped down and suffocated me, like going through life trying to breathe through a giant wet towel. God has seen fit to bless/curse me with two children who are more wonderfully sweet than I ever could have imagined, which somehow seems to make it even worse in a way, because now I know how great the other one would have been. I have tried to find peace by talking with priests and other ministers, volunteering, writing…I even thought that I had “laid it at the foot of the Cross” a few times, but maybe I keep snatching it back, who knows? I have always just accepted it as my penance. I was glad to learn from the article that you had managed to lay yours there successfully, because that tells me that it is possible. I suppose the point is to keep trying.
I am writing about men like Ted who have the hearts of fathers and grieve lost fatherhood from abortion --that may have occurred years or even decades earlier. Their regrets (like Ted's regret and mine) may not come immediately when they are young, self-centred and immature. The regret and grief may surface later with the births of subsequent children, or some other trigger.
I believe there are many, many men who are just like Ted and me. They need to know they can be forgiven, and forgive themselves.
This is where pro-Life organizations, in partnership with local churches or men's ministries, can reach out in a spirit of understanding to men hurt by abortion -- just like ministries such as Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More reach out to women.
Abortion has caused so much pain to so many people throughout the past 40 years in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. We need to foster healing to all people hurt by abortion. And we need to encourage a repudiation of killing unborn children to supposedly solve the social problems of unwanted pregnancies. Abortion only creates new problems.
Our nations desperately need healing and spiritual revival. The good news is that God wants to heal us as individuals and as nations that once recognized Him as the ultimate source of enlightenment.
Mark Davis Pickup