The following is a short / adapted version of words I’d been writing for myself. With the recent fuckery of American politics, and some new, brave initiatives to combat the shame surrounding this issue, I’ve decided to share some of my experience in a small attempt to stand with the women this culture war is effecting.
I recall placing my hand on my girlfriend’s lower belly. Trying to feel what can’t be felt. Simply imagining it. Our child was about six weeks along… just a lump of cells aspiring to be more. I centered my mind. Cleared away all fear, all worry. Just me and this potential of life. I found I wasn’t scared of it. Wasn’t scared of the responsibility of the child. I was slightly scared of working full time for the next 18 years, but I took a breath and let that go.
What scared me wasn’t the child. It was of my own life, and how that would effect the child. It was my relationship with the mother. It was the fact that we hardly knew each other. That we were barely friends. That as of yet, we did not see eye to eye on many things, and that the relationship had weighed heavily on both of us. That we’d been broken up already at the time of finding out. That due to a multitude of reasons there was a good chance we ultimately wouldn’t live in the same geographic region, leaving us both with the terrible choice of relocating from the places we love or not participating in the child’s life. I pictured the unhappiness of us both. I imagined all the potential threads of possibilities from this starting point. And I knew that my decision was made. It was a troubled decision within my worldview of promoting all life, but I knew the situation would likely limit my reach with how I’d like to promote a child’s life. My vote (knowing it ultimately meant little compared to the mother’s will) was to abort.
I held back tears as I wordlessly whispered, “I’m sorry”. An imaginary voice in my head replied, “It’s OK daddy, I love you anyways.”