Tears and Roses

By the time Greg reached the front of the room, he was crying. The two roses he carried in his hand trembled. Greg turned to face the crowd and explained in a soft voice that the roses were in memory of his two sons—who were dead. Greg wasn't the only one in tears that day. A hundred men and women had gathered, most of them to mourn the deaths of their own children—children who had died through abortion. Abortion is touted as the safe, easy, efficient solution to a problem pregnancy. But today the evidence is mounting that abortion is often traumatic and distressing. A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times found that more than half the women who had an abortion feel "a sense of guilt." More than a quarter say they "mostly regret the abortion." But amazingly, the survey found that fathers of aborted children felt even worse. Two-thirds of the fathers said they felt guilt over the abortion; more than a third reported feelings of regret. Abortion has been exclusively defined as a women's issue, and we often forget that every abortion involves a man as well. In his book Men and Abortion, Wayne Brauning describes a survey finding that fathers experience the same negative reactions after an abortion that women do: anger, depression, guilt, and broken relationships. Even a man who pressured the woman into abortion, who drove her to the clinic, can wake up months or years later and suddenly realize he has delivered his own child over to death. It can be a terrible blow. One of the men interviewed for the book—we'll call him George—says he now realizes he was just "too insecure and wimpy" to stand against his girlfriend's abortion. Another interviewee, Jack, says men who stand by while their own children are aborted are "spineless and gutless." Jack knows. He did the same thing himself. These days when one of his friends considers abortion, Jack tells him to stop and think: "Imagine saying to your child, 'I'm footloose and fancy free and I know they're going to kill you but, hey, don't slow me down.' What kind of father would say that?" Jack demands. "Not a real man. Being a man means you assume responsibility." The men we meet in this book are troubled not only by their dead children but also by a crumbling sense of their own manhood. Is a father a noble protector and provider? Is he courageous and strong—unafraid of self-sacrifice? Is he fulfilling his duty toward those who depend on him? No matter how you look at it, a man who pushes a woman into an abortion knows he's taking the coward's way out. As Christians we ought to be on the front line not only fighting against abortion but also fighting for a rich, vibrant commitment to fatherhood. This weekend on Father's Day, let's remind each other that human fathers caring for their children are God's best object lesson for teaching the next generation about the Fatherhood of God.


Chuck Colson



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