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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

EXPRESS YOUR REGRET

Do You Regret Your Abortion or Your Lost Fatherhood? By filling in the form below you can add your expression of regret to our list. All information remains confidential and is presented anonymously


 
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Twenty Years Later
John
New Jersey, United States

I have been involved in the abortions of three children that I fathered.  This was 20-25 years ago. 

The first time was with a young woman with whom I was having casual sex, we had no real relationship.  She called me one day and told me she had become pregnant, I was the father and she needed some money to get an abortion.  I immediately gave her the money, no questions asked.  I didn't have any contact with her after that, so I don't know what really happened.  But, I was assuming she had an abortion, in any event, I was certainly willing to go along with it.  I didn't really feel anything at the time, it seemed like a simple decision and I was relieved that she had decided to have the abortion and not have the child.

The second time was about four years later, with a woman who I had been involved with for several years.  She wanted to get married, but I did not.  We continued to see each other off and on for a while, and during one of those times she became pregnant.  She told me she was pregnant and in the same breath told me she was getting an abortion.  I felt immediate relief, a little sadness perhaps, but I knew I did not want to marry this woman.  So, the abortion seemed like the logical choice.  She didn't ask me for any money or any help, her mother took care of it.  Again, I don't believe I saw her again after she had the abortion.

The third time was a few years later.  I was involved with a woman that I had met while attending grad school.  It wasn't serious but, we saw each other on a regular basis.  When she told me she was pregnant, I reacted differently than the first two times.  I told her I wanted her to have the baby and that either I would keep it or we would give it up for adoption.  I was close with a childless couple who I thought would make good parents and I thought they might be interested in adopting my child.  In any event, I was a little older and doing well financially so I was no longer scared of the idea of raising a child.  The mother was not interested in marrying me, we were of different faiths and her parents did not approve of me.  So, I asked her to have the baby and I promised to pay for her support,etc.  But she insisted on having an abortion.  She was afraid of what her parents would think if she had a baby. So, in the end I took her to a clinic and she had an abortion.  I was saddened but also I admit relieved.  I still think I would have kept the child if it had been my choice, but of course it was a frightening thought.  We continued our relationship for a while after that and it seemed like no big deal.  Eventually, we split up and went our separate ways.  We never talked about the abortion, it was just something that had to get done and once it was over we both never spoke of it again.

I didn't give these experiences much thought for 20 years or so.  I became involved with a woman, we got married, and eventually we decided to have a child.  We had a beautiful girl and I was very happy being a first time father.

At some point when my child was an infant I began thinking about the other children I had fathered, who had never come to life.  It began to bother me, just a little at first, then more and more.  I am not a particularly guilt ridden person, in many ways I am a good person, I don't lie, I don't cheat in business, I am faithful to my wife, I don't drink or do drugs, etc.  But, I started feeling guilty about those abortions and it's never really gone away.  I occasionally take my daughter to church and I feel like such a hypocrite.  I was raised Catholic although I don't really participate much anymore, I suppose I could try going to confession, but I am not sure I would feel forgiven.

In the end, all I can say is that the choice to have an abortion may seem very obvious and simple, especially if you are young and scared and don't have anyone to turn to.  And perhaps in some situations it is the right thing to do.  I would never judge anyone's decision.  In my case, the first two times it seemed like a "no brainer", the third time I really wanted to save the child but I was unable to do so.

It never crossed my mind that I might regret these abortions at some time in the future.  But I do, very much, twenty years later.


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