Values

A would-be father's perspective on Planned Parenthood and loss

In this Jan. 22, 2009, file photo, the shadow of an anti-abortion activist holding a cross can be seen near a Planned Parenthood in Dubuque, Iowa.

In this Jan. 22, 2009, file photo, the shadow of an anti-abortion activist holding a cross can be seen near a Planned Parenthood in Dubuque, Iowa.  (AP)

I lost my child when I was just 19-years-old to abortion. Truthfully, I should rephrase that statement and say that a girl I dated briefly, called me to say that she was pregnant. She asked me for money for an abortion and in an act of cowardice I told her I couldn't help her either way.I washed my hands of the situation. I wanted a clean conscience. After all, I had my future to write. 

A better man would have said, "Let's reconsider. We can find a way to support a baby. There's always adoption." All I could think about was how this child was going to ruin my future, how it was going to rob me of some future success that I couldn't attain with a child in tow.

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Yet deep in my heart I knew, like so many of you quietly know, those of you who have made the same choice, that abortion cuts to the very soul of you.

No amount of success can bring back a life lost. No amount of success can bring back a part of you that will forever be missing.

Flash forward twenty years. I have that future that I always wanted. I'm a person of success, of influence. I do great work, I have great opportunities, freedom -- and I have great regret.

I remained silent and let whatever she was going to do just happen.

How much pain and sorrow exists in the world because of our silent conscience? 

What I would give now to have spoken up then. The mother and I lost touch. It was easier that way. No sense in being reminded constantly of the mistake we made. 

Flash forward twenty years. I have that future that I always wanted. I'm a person of success, of influence. I do great work, I have great opportunities, freedom -- and I have great regret. 

I wonder how much better my child's mother's life would be? I wonder if guilt calls upon her on the darkest of days. Those days and nights when nothing will allow her to forget that our baby would be a young man or young woman right now, enriching our lives. Instead our child met that gruesome fate that so many other precious human beings have faced, a disgarded pile of flesh on the cutting room floor of a Planned Parenthood office.

I let that happen. She let that happen too, but really I should have been the man and offered her help. If I had risen to the occassion she might have made a better choice.

All my friends who have a wonderful life just like me are now having babies. I can't help but imagine what it must feel like to hold a precious wonderful being that came from me in my arms.

I wonder what it must be like to have your own child hold onto your finger with their tiny little hands. How beautiful it would be to see eyes like mine and a smile like hers beaming back up at me.

This summer my son or daughter would be about twenty-one. Who knows maybe she'd have a child, too, by now. But I will never know what could have been, because I didn't have the courage when it mattered.

If you're thinking about having an abortion or if you're the man in a situation that I was once in, believe that God has a purpose for each of us -- and parenthood is among the best things we are capable of achieving.

If you're someone who has had an abortion before, realize that God forgives all those that bend the knee and confess from the heart that we were wrong.

Love triumphs over the darkest of deeds -- even things done on our darkest days.

Ernesto Cullari is a songwriter and former Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s Sixth District. Follow him on Twitter@ErnestoCullari.  

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