Abortion is often discussed in a way which completely marginalises or misrepresents the role of the man in the decision. More often than not you will hear that the man did not support his partner, or said he would leave if she continued with the pregnancy. Sadly such situations are very real but it is absolutely unjust to categorise all men in this way.
We hear often from men who have suffered following abortion experiences, which frequently occurred without them even knowing that their child’s live was going to be terminated, or despite their offer to provide all possible help to ensure that the pregnancy continued. These paternal testimonies are extremely heart-rending. The injustice of not even being allowed to register objection to the abortion going ahead, or to have a voice in the sensitive handling of the remains of their child, is something we should all acknowledge.
With permission from one such father we are publishing his account of how he has suffered following the abortion of his child. If there are other men who would like to tell their stories for our website we will be happy to put them up (email to: email@example.com). It is an opportunity to testify that you as a father did love your unborn child.
Is it rational to miss somebody you never had the opportunity to meet? This question has by far been the most testing in a litany of self-interrogation that no amount of supplication or intellectualisation has answered.
My last six months have been a self inflicted hell. I take my share of blame for not reining in my emotions for the mother of my child in a whirlwind affair; I castigate myself for allowing passions to override sense when it came to contraception. I despair at the break-up of what could have been an amazing relationship. I regret not pleading for the life of our child when I sensed the mother had doubts. My heart breaks at the turmoil she must have felt when she came to her decision alone. The only anger I feel is at not having had any power to protect our child, no legal recourse, no chance to plead the alternatives with the mother of the child who I will always love and never judge.
No, it’s not rational to miss somebody I have never met. Neither is it rational to deny the father any stake in the decision to decide the fate of somebody so precious and vulnerable. I call her Maggie; she is ballsy and inquisitive like her mother, beautiful because of those qualities, not just because she looks like her. She got her height, great hand –eye co-ordination and egregious dance moves from me. Well it’s something. I love you Maggie, more than I can take x