Abortion – One man’s pain

Seth Drayer

Seth Drayer

We are indebted to CBR’s Seth Drayer for sharing this encounter with a student at Florida State University.

“She called me up and told me she was pregnant, that she was going to keep the baby. Two weeks later, she called and told me she’d gotten rid of it.”

I looked at the young man standing before me. “How do you feel?” I asked.

“Oh, man . . . I don’t want anyone to feel what I feel.”

Moments before, I had withdrawn from GAP to catch my breath. The verbally violent protestors, the student playing the accordion loudly in front of me to stifle conversation: all of it was choking my love for the students at Florida State University.

After reflection and prayer, I returned to the display. And then I met Chris.

“Do you have pictures of an 18 week-old?” he asked.

Immediately, I knew why he was asking. “Yeah, follow me.” I led him to our prenatal development sign and pointed to the 18 week image: a close up of the baby’s face. “Is that how old your baby was?” I asked cautiously.

Chris nodded. His eyes began to water. “It’s not right,” he said. “I’m the kind of guy who always protects. And here, the one person I was supposed to . . .”

And then he asked me a question I did not want to answer: “Did he feel it?”

I wanted to tell Chris that the baby felt no pain during the abortion, to mask the barbarity of it and lessen Chris’s own suffering. But, he needed the truth. When I shared it with him, he could only shake his head in defeat.

Then, I told him that I know what it feels like to be a father stripped of his duty. I shared with him the empty powerlessness I had felt when Aubrie and I lost our own child by miscarriage. Fathers are meant to protect their children—yet neither Chris nor I had been able to do so.

“Remember this, Chris,” I told him, “you are and always will be a father.”

Chris returned the next day. His countenance had changed completely. He told me he had accepted the reality of his pain. He had brought a friend to show him the picture of “his” 18 week baby. He was even smiling.

Chris had needed someone to validate his pain. I had needed someone to remind me why I was there. I praise God for allowing us to meet.

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