My recollections of an abortion

There are few subjects that I shy away from discussing.  Getting my girlfriend pregnant many years ago and her having an abortion is one of them.  But I figure if I write against abortion after I got a girl pregnant and she had an abortion, then I'd better 'fess up' pretty fast.

I discussed this with my wife, and she brought up the point that many critics of CARM may see this both as hypocrisy and as an opportunity to attack my character. That is a chance I'll take. It is not hypocrisy to admit I did something in the past that I now believe is wrong and to urge others not do it as well. As far as the attack on my character goes, well, there is plenty to attack about me even without my past. Besides, I'm used to the attacks. CARM is a magnet for critics. Nevertheless, I am not afraid of truth, and what follows is true. One last comment: this is not a lesson in self-atonement through public confession. I simply hope to display my own weaknesses and failures in life, which are the same as anyone else's.

In the late 70's, I was living with Ann (not her real name). She was a good-looking and kind-hearted young woman. We were both working, not making much, and trying to stretch our money which was very difficult. We decided to move in together because it would be easier financially--and besides, we'd be able to enjoy certain "fringe benefits."

Getting her pregnant wasn't something I particularly worried about, but paying the bills was--along with getting what I wanted from her physically. I was basically a self-centered young man. The baby thing was more her concern than mine. In addition, the freedom of living together without a "god" looking over my shoulder and condemning me for having fun was pretty neat. I was able to indulge all I wanted, and we did, without guilty feelings . . . until she got pregnant.

I was shocked. Being careful about getting pregnant hadn't been good enough. Her pregnancy was a strong slap in the face. Suddenly, my life stopped. Everything I wanted to do was in jeopardy. My school plans and my relationship with her were permanently changed, and my whole life suddenly stretched before me as being possibly ruined by having a child and the responsibilities that go with it. It scared me to death. She asked me what to do. I told her I had to think and think I did. My options were: bail on her, marry her, urge her to get an abortion, or ignore the situation.

Ignoring the situation for a few days was about all I could muster. I simply did not know what to do and was very upset by the whole thing. She moved in with some friends. She wanted the baby but wanted me to marry her. That wasn't something I wanted to do, so I didn't recommend anything to her. I just tried to avoid the whole subject even though I knew I couldn't.

Finally, a few days later, I found out that she was scheduled for an abortion. Upon hearing the news, my heart sank. Guilt washed over me. I didn't have the guts to say no because I was too much of an irresponsible coward. I abdicated my responsibility and left it up to her. I failed.

I felt very guilty for what was going to happen. It was a sobering and hurtful time. There was nothing I could do to ease the pain in my heart, so I just swallowed it and kept going. It was horrible. Then, the day of the abortion arrived. I don't know why, but I wanted to be there. Maybe it was a feeble way of showing support--feeble is right. Anyway, I waited in the waiting room with a bunch of other people whose friends, girlfriends, or daughters were there for the same procedure. I can still remember seeing their faces as they looked at me. I knew when they looked at me, they knew I was the father of a child that was going to be aborted. I felt like crap. I still remember their eyes. It hurt not only because of their stares but also because I knew what was happening was wrong, and I was too big a coward to try to do anything about it. Oh, a few days earlier I had uttered a weak "I don't want you to get an abortion" statement that had no commitment behind it. I think it was to try to make myself feel less guilty. It didn't work. I felt so bad. While sitting there in the waiting room, I wept. I remember wondering why no one else was crying at what was happening.

It didn't take long for the abortion. Ann came out of the room and left with her friends. I went home. None of my family knew about this.

Several years later, I committed my life to the Lord Jesus. It was a wonderful time with the Lord--experiencing His grace and love. I remember it so fondly. But every time I thought about the abortion, I felt a wave of guilt come over me; and I simply could not let it go or get out from under it. I was punishing myself with guilt. Then my girlfriend's (now my wife) roommate, who was a Christian, took me aside and for two long hours repeatedly taught me about the grace of God and forgiveness in Christ, and that I needed to completely trust Him for it. It was hard to let the guilty feelings go, but I did. I finally gave it to the Lord and fully confessed my sin before Him. He forgave me, and I am so grateful.

You, too, can have the freedom and forgiveness that comes through Jesus.

My hope in writing this is that those people who have gone through similar experiences might also come to know the forgiveness of Christ. Whether you are male or female, the feelings left by an abortion can be profound and last a long time. You need to find forgiveness in Jesus.

Final note

Writing this paper was not easy emotionally. It brought back a lot of feelings. Even though it has been many years since the abortion, there is still pain associated with it. But, I know I'm forgiven even though I still feel shame for what I have done. However, by faith, I simply trust in the mercy and grace of Christ and His wondrous forgiveness. I certainly do not deserve it, but by faith I receive it. Though I deserve judgment, I have found forgiveness.

Praise be to my Lord and Savior, Jesus.