I'm 21, single, a senior in college, and yes, I'm that girl. It happened on my 21st birthday. Most people get to enjoy a few too many drinks, and possibly a bad headache the next day for their 21st birthday. My experience was a little different. I was that girl that got way too drunk, that girl that was insecure, that girl that had a random hookup, that girl that couldn't say no, that girl that got pregnant.
It should be understood that one drunken hook-up did not change my life. The devil had been working through the details for years leading up to this. He had been working the day I had my first illegal drink of alcohol. He was there when I lost my virginity to a guy I hardly knew. He was there when I lost all self-respect and repeatedly got drunk and acted promiscuously. He was there when I searched for guy after guy for security. The devil was there the day after all those miserable hookups, feeding the thoughts of unworthiness and self-hate into my head. The devil was working the whole time.
It's no surprise that on my 21st birthday, I got drunk 'justifiably' because it was my birthday, and had sex with some guy. It was no surprise at all; in fact the devil had this in the works for many years.
Fortunately, God was working this whole time too.
The day I saw those two lines indicating a positive result, my whole world completely turned upside down. I was living every young girl's worst nightmare. I was pregnant. At the time I found out I was pregnant, I was single, alone, and afraid. I literally felt I had no one to turn to. The weight of my own embarrassment, shame, self-hatred, and loss of self-worth was too much to bear and I never told a single soul I was pregnant and scheduled an abortion even though I knew to my very core it was wrong.
The devil works when we are alone, and that's exactly what I was – alone.
Inside I was desperately screaming 'Who could possibly love me?' There was no way I could tell anyone. I was afraid. I was afraid no one would love me if they knew that I had gotten pregnant. Being raised Catholic all of my life I was well versed in Church teaching on abortion. I knew that every aspect of it was wrong; it was emotionally, scientifically, theologically, spiritually, and fundamentally wrong … yet I was still going to do it.
However, God loved me too much to let me off the hook. The days leading up to my abortion, I would attend Mass. I would sit in the very back, by myself, head down the entire time. I would shamefully watch other people receive the Eucharist as I sat there, unworthy of it.
The weekend right before my scheduled abortion God pierced my soul with His unconditional, perfect love. It was as if all the readings and the homily were directed specifically at me. That day at Mass I learned about God's infinite mercy and forgiveness.
I had obviously known intellectually about forgiveness and mercy, but that day was different. That day, God gave me the grace to feel His presence and His mercy and forgiveness in my heart. For the first time I knew with every ounce of my being that God did love me as much as he loved the little life inside of me.
For the first time in over a month of depression and turmoil and shame, I felt loved … in the midst of my brokenness. I realized that God gifted me not only with my life, but also entrusted to me the life growing inside me. In that moment I felt overwhelming peace and the courage to offer my life back to God as a gift and do His will, no matter how scared I was.
By the grace of God alone, I cancelled my abortion.
That day changed me forever. I know His love is real; He has confirmed it to me time and time again. God confirmed His love for me when I finally built up the courage to tell my parents I was pregnant; my parents never condemned me, but instead embraced me and loved me and supported me.
God confirmed His love for me when I finally went to confession and the priest praised me for my choice of life and gave me the grace to forgive myself.
God confirmed His love for me when I told my friends and they not once judged me, but loved me and affirmed me of my worth.
God confirmed His love for me when my doctor never questioned my age or why I didn't have a husband and instead rejoiced in the development of the baby inside me.
God confirmed His love for me every day at mass when I witness His sacrifice for me, so that I, a broken girl, could be forgiven and come to know Him.
I am now proud to say I am 39 weeks pregnant with a beautiful little girl. Any day I will get to hold this beautiful gift of life. I am proud to say that I have given my life back to God as a witness to life as I am one of the few, if not only pregnant girl attending a secular university.
I also have a new found passion for helping the broken women found in an unplanned pregnancy as a volunteer advisor at our local Pregnancy Resource Center. Finally, I share my story with anyone and everyone, with just the small hope that another broken person can feel loved and know his/her life is truly a gift and that they are valued as a child of God. Life truly is a precious gift, and I'm so blessed that God gave me the grace to understand that, even in the midst of brokenness.
This blog was originally published by Focus on focus.org and was used with permission.
Editor’s Note: This article is from 1Flesh.org. Wait . . . have you not heard of that site? Go check it out before you’re the last to know about the awesomeness within it! The site is run by a group of young people committed to letting the world know how harmful contraception is, and how freeing and empowering Natural Family Planning is.
It's common knowledge that hormonal contraception is detrimental to a woman's physical health, but there's little discussion regarding how the same drugs affect the health of her romantic relationships. Hormonal contraception changes a woman's romantic chemistry. How?
First, by suppressing ovulation. While this is obviously the intended end for a woman seeking to avoid pregnancy, the suppression of ovulation unintentionally suppresses the wonderful changes a woman's body goes through that indicate her fertility to men, and help her to attract a mate.
These changes are still being discovered and compiled by researchers, but we know that fertility generally makes a woman more beautiful.
According to findings published in Royal Society Biology Letters, fertile women's lips become bigger and brighter, her pupils dilate, and her ears, fingers, breasts and other soft tissue areas become more symmetrical, to the point that men and women rated fertile women to be more beautiful than infertile women approximately 51-59 percent of the time. Similarly, scientists at the University of Texas found that women's 'waists shrank by about half an inch, giving them a more curvaceous and shapely silhouette.'
Fertile women also develop what is colloquially referred to as 'gaydar.' A study by psychologists at the University of Toronto and Tufts University showed women pictures of 80 men, 40 self-proclaimed as homosexual, 40 self-proclaimed as heterosexual. The nearer women were to peak ovulation, the more accurate they were at judging each man's sexual orientation. During her fertile period, a woman becomes brilliant at discriminating between men who are a good match for her and men who aren't.
Fertile women have increased sex drives and more attractive voices. They smell better, and dress sexier. They even feel better: '[Fertile] women felt less stressed than at other times of the month, had fewer headaches and could detect a more ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏpositive mood' about themselves,' according to scientists at the University of Texas. As if all that weren't enough, in a study led by Belinda Pletzer of the University of Salzburg Austria, it was found that fertile women had increased gray matter volume in the parts of the brain involved in spatial location and face recognition. While this could be particularly useful information to female students taking exams in any visual type of study ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù art, film, engineering, etc. ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù it is primarily associated with a more accurate appraisal of potential mates.
Hormonal contraception suppresses fertility, and thereby suppresses these natural changes that make it easier for a woman to find and to attract a mate. Obviously, women on hormonal contraception ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù being women, and thus awesome ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù can easily work around some of these difficulties. But there are other issues:
In a 2011 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, ethinyl estradiol, the active chemical in most birth control pills, was shown to increase relational jealousy in women.
According to another 2011 study, 'Relationship satisfaction and outcome in women who meet their partner while using oral contraception,' women 'who used OC scored lower on measures of sexual satisfaction and partner attraction, experienced increasing sexual dissatisfaction during the relationship, and were more likely to be the one to initiate an eventual separation if it occurred.' Why? A woman's body contains testosterone, an essential element when it comes to things like arousal and attraction. When a woman is on birth control pills, her testosterone levels are lowered, causing her to be less sexually inclined, and more attracted to low-testosterone men.
The study did note that women on hormonal contraception tended to be happier with some of the non-sexual aspects of their relationship, as low-testosterone men are less likely to stray, 'and thus had longer relationships and were less likely to separate.' It is important to recognize, however, that this benefit only applies to women as long as they remain on hormonal contraception. When a woman goes off hormonal contraception, her bodily chemistry returns to normal, increasing her testosterone levels. This could cause her to change her attitudes toward sex, and alter how she feels toward her partner.
However, according to a 2008 study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, women using oral contraceptives show the opposite tendency. They prefer men with a genetic makeup similar to their own. Their romantic chemistry has been altered. The problem with this is the same ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù once women stops using hormonal contraception, they may find their chosen partner less desirable.
All this has lead to serious concerns within the sexual health community. Sexual counselor Ian Kerner's write-up on the issue, 'Birth control may affect long-term relationships,' expresses this. He cites sexual health expert Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, who argues that 'some of these side effects are so serious that I now urge young women to consider just using condoms and leaving the birth control pills behind.' He cites the advice of Dr. Craig Roberts ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù who lead both of the Biological Sciences studies … recommending 'women who met their partner while taking hormonal birth control should consider switching to another method several months in advance of tying the knot in order to assess whether their feelings for their partner will change or stay the same.'
Of course, it would be absurd to base the success of romantic relationships on biology alone. But it would be similarly absurd to ignore the reality that much of the crazy world of love, romance and sex is fueled by our chemistry, our genetics, and ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù yes ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù our smell. We've been sold the idea that contraception exists for the empowerment of women. Maybe it's time to rethink, and to begin appreciating the value of a natural way.
Sitting in the college dorm my sophomore year, I heard the words I never thought I would hear: 'I'm Pregnant.' Tears started falling down Jessica's cheeks as she told me the news.
'What?' I replied. 'I'm pregnant,' she repeated while cupping her face in disbelief. I paused for a few moments to digest what she was telling me. I pulled Jessica to me, and said the only thing I could think of: 'It's going to be okay.'
But, honesty . . . I didn't know if it was going to be okay.
I was scared. Scared for her. Scared for the baby . . .
A Flood of Emotions
What were we going to do? Her parents were going to FLIP-OUT! Jason, her boyfriend, did he know? How were they going to support a baby? (Jessica worked for minimum wage at the Rec Plex, the campus gym!?) And what about her Sophomore year? Her life? Her plans for the future?
I never thought this moment would ever happen to someone in my life. This seemed to be something you see only in some 'After-School Special' or some reality tv show – not to my friend. Not to me! But here it was.
It seemed like in one moment, our sophomore year, (our whole life) was changed forever. Two minutes ago we were thinking about cute boys, classes, and our plans for spring break. Now I had to think about baby diapers, stretch marks, and helping Jessica face the possible ridicule and judgment of our peers.
How was I supposed to love and support her? The selfish part of me didn't want to face this. But the only thing I knew was that my Catholic faith asked me to take courage and stand beside my friend, to believe that God would work it out, and to hope in His promises . . . But sometimes things don't end as you think it should.
A Choice. A Life. A Moment.
The moment I heard that Jessica was on her way to an abortion clinic, my stomach sank. 'Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with you . . .' My roommate and I sat on our bunk beds storming heaven in prayer – 'Please God don't let her go through with this. Please help her.” But it was too late. Jessica had terminated the pregnancy.
Conflicted by the whole event, Jessica asked us not to talk about it. Knowing our strong Christian beliefs, she didn't want us to judge her. It seemed easier for her to just not think about it, to act like it didn't happen. Being a good friend, I wanted to respect her wishes. But if I could go back to me at nineteen years old, this is what I wish I would have done for my friend:
How to Support a Friend Considering Abortion
Encourage them to seek help. Jessica was too ashamed and afraid to tell her parents. But even with the support of college friends, it wasn’t enough. We are not called to carry our crosses alone. Even Christ had Simon to carry the cross for Him when He couldn't. Encourage your friend to reach out to a parent, youth minister, or trusted adult. There are so many people who want to love and help them.
Shame and fear: Satan's powerful tools. Satan is known in scriptures as the liar and the accuser. He deceives us into believing that we have messed up so bad that their is no hope. For Jessica, terminating the pregnancy seemed like the only option. Remind your friend that 'Love covers a multitude of sins.' (1 Peter 4) In Christ, there is no fear . . . Love casts out all fear. Our Lord is waiting and wants to be with them through this. He loves them, and He wants nothing but their well-being.
Compassion and Truth. Pope Benedict XVI once said: 'Truth without love is blind. But love without truth is empty.' We must cling to both with our friends. Jessica needed a group of cheerleaders in her corner to love and support her. But she needed truth too. I knew in my gut that Jessica was thinking about an abortion, but I never had the courage to talk to her about it. I simply thought it was 'her life.' But as Catholics, we are called to love our friends enough to lead them to truth, to encourage them to choose life. Do not be afraid to tell your friend there are more options. Pray for courage in these times to speak truth with love.
Turn to prayer. The best way we can support our friends is to stand in the gap and pray. There is great power in prayer. Recently, I received a text from a youth minister who shared that one of her youth was thinking of an abortion. There were Catholic friends all around the U.S. praying for this girl without her knowing it . . . She ended up keeping the baby. Pray is powerful.
Hope. Cling to hope and remember your faith. No matter how bad things seem or how scared we are, we have a God who entered into sin, pain, fear, and death – and overcame them. Our Lord will always triumph. There is always hope. There is always new life even in the suffering. We as Catholics, have to be a witness to hope for our friends. I have two friends who had a child out of marriage and kept the baby. Neither say it was easy, but both see how God brought good out of that time.
More Than an Issue
For many, the Pro-life and Pro-choice debate is limited to a political issue or social concern. But for those of us who know a person who has suffered an abortion, it is a personal trauma, a deep loss that will effect these women's lives forever.
My roommate and I named Jessica's baby for her, Kenneth Michael. We spent the whole year praying for Kenneth. Because regardless of what Jessica knows, she has a saint in heaven praying for her.
Let’s join Kenneth Michael to pray for the wisdom and courage to stand by our friends in their need, walking with them in compassion (even through fear and suffering), to choose life.
Editor’s Note: When I first read Karina’s story, I knew I had to share it with you all. It’s so easy to take the easy route to escape pain instead of digging deeper and finding healing. I hope you’re as inspired as I was by Karina’s witness and honesty. She kindly agreed to share her story with us, which was first published on her blog Pretty Bones.
I have had medical issues with my cycles since they started at the age of 12. For a year I was too embarrassed to tell my mom, or anyone outside of my journal, that just about everything was wrong with them. You name it; I probably experienced it.
So when the time came for me to go to the doctor because I was literally miserable, the pill was my miracle. Instantly everything was resolved. At the age of 13, I wasn't thinking about sex, so this was solely medical in nature.
My First Concern
I was on the pill for five years before I sat down with my doctor and talked about the side effects – namely if it caused abortions. I was beginning to come into my faith at that point and had begun hearing how the Church denounced the use of birth control. I never really got an answer as to why, except I had heard somewhere that it caused abortions.
Now, I wasn't having sex, but I was in a relationship I knew was headed for marriage and that the day for that life-giving embrace was coming. So I asked my doctor, 'Does this cause abortions?' She said no.
How was I supposed to know that my medical professional used a different definition for when life began than I did? I had told her my concerns were religiously based, but either she didn't know her definition of life (implantation: when embryo imbeds in uterine lining) and mine (fertilization: when egg and sperm meet) were different, or didn't think it was relevant.
Regardless, I felt that it was time to stop using the pill because I had been on it for five years. There's just something that feels wrong about taking medication like that for too long and that feeling had no religious basis for me.
Nevermind, I need it!
I was off the pill for about three months when my cycles went crazy again (because the pill doesn't cure anything, just masks it), and this time the pain was unbearable. I went racing back to my miracle pill for the next few years.
In our junior year of college, my boyfriend asked me to marry him. I of course said yes! I had only been waiting three and a half years! We set the date for two weeks after graduation – a year-and-a-half engagement (a.k.a. forever).
Near the end of eternity we went to our pre-cana (pre-marriage) class. When the subject of birth control came up, I clammed up. I didn't want to hear what they had to say. I had medical reasons for being on the pill. I wasn't hurting anyone by being on the pill, and we were so not ready for kids. But I did hear one important thing. There was another option, NFP … Natural Family Planning. I had never heard of it before this class, but it was enough of a seed for later down the road.
What if there was another option?
At the age of 24, I had been on the pill for a total of 10 years, one and a half of which as a married woman. One time, my new group of young adult, Catholic friends started talking about birth control like it was evil. I wanted to throw up the I-have-medical-reasons-for-the-pill card, but didn't. This was partially because I didn't want to look like a 'bad' Catholic, but also because this group had already tested my faith tremendously and I had grown because of it. Maybe this was another test.
It took a few months, but I eventually went online and found a website about Natural Family Planning by the Couple to Couple League. I watched their YouTube videos and started crying. I've never felt God so clearly ask me to change as I did in that moment.
That night I went to my husband Ben with my concerns. Being the truly amazing man that he is, he said, 'Let's learn more.' There was no hesitation. He wanted me to feel comfortable with the medication I was taking because it was my body.
Freedom in God’s Plan
Following that first class and continued research, my husband and I learned many things about how our bodies work naturally, about our marriage, and about God's incredible love for us.
We learned a deeper and more profound respect for the body and subsequently for human beings in general. We also became open to the possibility of children. My view of children as gross, scary, time-consuming little monsters changed to how God wanted me to see them: gifts and a perfect reflection of not only His love, but my husband's and my love for each other.
I also learned I have hypothyroidism, or a thyroid that produces necessary hormones too slowly. This is a cause for infertility, and my charts have shown me I will have issues conceiving. But now I have the tools and the knowledge to attempt to fix that before Ben and I are ready for children. I learned through NFP that vitamins, diet, and exercise can greatly improve my health and in conjunction, my fertility.
No more crazy cycles, and my new miracle pill is a vitamin.
I have also learned that my risk for cancer, especially breast cancer, is significantly higher due to my prolonged usage of hormonal birth control. As such, I know I need to be mindful of screenings and taking every necessary precaution to prevent that from happening or catch it as soon as it does.
Now, this story is not a description of my 'out' for using birth control for as long as I did. I could have, at any time, dug deeper and asked more people what was right and wrong, or healthy and unhealthy. I chose to listen only to what I wanted to hear.
It wasn't until God sent people who spoke directly to my face that I finally listened. We need more of those people! We need more people that love us enough to tell us the hard truths and steer us toward a happiness worth working for.
My husband and I want to be some of those people so we're continuing to educate ourselves to tell other people what we believed to be true and healthy. Natural Family Planning offers a window to the body and its health, but also to total love and life.
Alright ladies, pour yourself a latte, cause Auntie Alison wants to chat with you about something important.
A confession: I turned 30 this year. I know, right? I don't look a day past . . . Well, let's not go there. Turning 30 gets a lot of hype, but I think you're only as old as your middle school youth group makes you feel when they're still chattering away at 4:17 a.m. at a lock-in.
When I was 20, 4:17 was just a kind of late night for me. I would slug gallons of vanilla coke and coffee and regularly function on minimal sleep, cranking out term papers AFTER my Resident Assistant shift ended at 1:00 a.m. Over the years, however, I've stopped drinking soda and I try to limit my coffee consumption to the morning. I'm hardly a health nut, but being a good steward of my body is one way I honor God.
I think this is a pretty normal trend ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù with maturity comes better decisions about our health. We realize fruit and granola makes a better breakfast than doughnuts and mountain dew and preservatives that enable food products to last until the year 3000 (I'm looking at you, Twinkies) should probably be consumed in moderation.
A glaring exception to this is our culture's enthusiasm for hormonal contraceptives, or 'the Pill' as it's known on the streets. If you're like me, you hear 'pill' and think something that's good for you and will help you feel better, like Aleve for a headache or Nyquil for a cold. Hormonal contraception, however, contain hormones that prevent a woman's body from releasing an egg (ovulation) and — without getting into too many details — make her cervix and uterine wall hostile to sperm and implantation.
This is in case ovulation occurs (in spite of the hormones telling your body not to) and the egg is fertilized. In this case, the five to seven day old baby won't be able to attach to the wall of the uterus, causing a chemical abortion. (For a more thorough explanation of this, visit thepillkills.com)
The Cancer-causing Pill
The Catholic Church is opposed to contraception as a means to prevent pregnancy because of the barrier it creates between husband and wife and because it can cause chemical abortions. But you should know that the Catholic Church isn't the only one with strong feelings about this. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (these are guys in lab coats, not church people) 'lists combined oral contraceptives as Group 1 carcinogens. ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏGroup 1' includes carcinogens in which ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏthe agent (mixture) is definitely carcinogenic to humans'' (taken from www.1flesh.org).
Other items on this 33 page list (that you can read here) may be things you've heard of – Asbestos, mustard gas, plutonium, lead-based paint, radium, and gamma radiation to name a few. Think about it ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù any chemical strong enough to override the already powerful hormones that occur naturally in our bodies would have to have side effects. One of them appears to be cancer. You don't need to go to the Vatican's website to learn this, either. Pick up any magazine with advertisements for contraception and flip to the next page ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù the part with all the warnings.
And then there’s the mutant fish
Yeah. That’s right – mutant. The University of Pittsburgh's Cancer institute Center for Environmental Ecology discovered that hormones ingested in oral contraceptives are making their way back into public water supplies. Fish that are exposed to these chemicals are developing 'intersex characteristics' ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù sexual mutations. These chemicals are not eco-friendly, but I'm still waiting for an infomercial with a Sarah McLaughlin soundtrack to share this alarming information with the general public.
These are actually just two examples of how hormonal contraception is basically the opposite of anything you would want to do to your body. There are many other ways that hormonal contraception is wreaking havoc on the bodies of women, our society and our environment. Check out www.1flesh.org for more information.
You deserve better
What if your doctor suggests that you take hormonal contraception for acne or painful menstrual cycles? While it's not sinful for girls to take these hormones to treat these or similar conditions, every year we're learning more about just how powerful the pill is. Don't hesitate to find a second opinion with another physician (see a list of physicians who don't prescribe the pill here).
To summarize: Twinkies, doughnuts and mountain dew in moderation. Carcinogens should be avoided completely.
If a doctor disagrees, show them the side effects of what they're trying to prescribe and explain that you'd like to reach 30 — and beyond — without adding the drama of an increased risk for cancer, blood clots, nausea, weight gain, or mood swings (to name just a few).
When you hear the word “abortion” you think of a woman. And rightly so. A woman is the one who carries the child, undergoes the procedure, and loses her motherhood. But men are not numb to what is happening. Just as many men are stripped of their fatherhood by this horror. Those who haven’t experienced an abortion, are still passionate about protecting women and children and are saddened by abortion.
I asked a handful of men some questions about abortion and I was deeply moved by their answers. It convinced me that it’s not just women who are hurt by abortion. Men have strong feelings about it and want to stand up for life. They are affected too.
To me abortion is one of the saddest things that happens in our world. It breaks my heart that we live in a society and in a world where we feel like we can take life away. I think I've gained a new appreciation for what it means to have life beginning at conception now that I have a child on the way. – Eric Porteous
I was a public school student and I can remember in 5th grade in 'sex ed' I was taught that abortion was one of three equally appropriate actions to take when a child was conceived. Since that's what I was taught, I thought it was right. Praise God for the gift of my faith and the grace to learn what is true. Especially as an adopted child, I value the gift of life. It would have been easy for my birth mother to 'terminate her pregnancy' but she chose to give me life. – Scott Williams
Are men affected by this issue? How?
Absolutely, and I speak from personal experience. 11 years ago my girlfriend at the time told me she was pregnant, but because she already had one fatherless child and I was a drunk and an addict she told me she was going to abort the baby. I was not practicing my faith back then but I knew it was wrong. I fought for her to keep the baby but in the end I gave up.
Eventually we split up, I went to rehab and straightened out my life and found myself working in youth ministry, all by God's grace. I thought my life was pretty good. But there was something missing. Although I had a lot of joy in my life I felt like there was an emptiness in me that I couldn't fill.
A few years ago I was driving home, listening to our local Catholic radio station and there was a man talking about abortion. I can't remember his name or much of what he said, but the one thing I can remember was that he spoke about how men suffer from abortion too. At that moment I realized what the emptiness in my own life had been, it was the loss of my child, the child I gave up on years before.
I had to stop the car and pull into a parking lot. I sat there and thought about all the times certain T.V. commercials brought me to tears unexplainably, how I was never able to talk about that incident and I could go on and on about all the other bad choices I had made. I tried to forget the part I played in the abortion of my child and it was tearing me up inside.
A few months later I heard about a Rachel’s Way retreat for women and men suffering from the loss of their children. It was there that I learned more about how and why women and men suffer from abortion and how to deal with it. I was also given a special grace from God. As we watched a video of men and women sharing their stories, I heard a small voice. It was the voice of little boy. I heard it clear as a bell, he said 'Joshua, Joshua, my name is Joshua.' I knew it was my son and that God had allowed me to hear him so that I could grieve his death and begin the process of healing.
Today I still regret my lost fatherhood, but I'm able to share that with others. I still cry when I think about Joshua, but I pray for him and ask that he prays for me. The hurt is still there, but the emptiness is gone. – Bert Hernandez
When one hurts, we all hurt. If a woman is hurt, that is our mother, sister, daughter, or friend that is hurt. God has a plan for us all. We can’t pretend that if one life is gone, the world will be the same. – Michael Grothem
As a man, I want to be able to support the woman I love as much as I can. That means that when a woman becomes pregnant, the father needs to be there just as God is there for his bride, the Church. Just as Joseph was there for Mary. Men are affected by this issue because having children means accepting responsibility. Agreeing for a woman to have an abortion is saying no to the responsibility that has been given to the man. … Andrew Jones
Absolutely. We've lost a whole generation of children. That affects us whether we're men or women. It breaks my heart personally because life is something that should be treasured and sacred. We've lost millions of people that could be doing amazing things in this world and we'll never know. Suppose one of those babies could've come up with a cure for cancer, suppose they could've been a great priest, or the next pope, we'll never know. And that has an impact on all of us.ÌâåÊ- Eric Porteous
Men are certainly affected by abortion. Some men don't outwardly show their emotions, making it hard to spot or it is often quickly dismissed because it's 'not their body' and shouldn't concern them. While walking across the country, promoting the pro-life movement a man came up after we did a speech at mass with tears rolling down his face telling us a woman he conceived a child with had an abortion without him knowing. He pleaded with us never to let someone go through the same misery he has. He still suffers the loss of his child to this day. – Scott Williams
What would you say to a woman who’s about to have an abortion?
You are beautiful and loved. You matter. God has chosen you to be a mother, to bring a life into this world. You can do this. God has trusted you with this child. He gave you this child for a reason. You can change the world. – Michael Grothem
Clearly, this is a decision that weighs heavily on any person. When people are faced with such dire decisions, meeting these with anger and legalism doesn't change hearts or minds. Explaining that there are options like adoption, and programs, both Church supported and secular to support mothers who need help can create an environment of love where fear is trying to take hold. Replace fear and doubt with love and support. – Adam Eichelberger
I'd talk to her about the life inside her and the beauty of parenthood, but more than anything else I would try to convince her that she's not alone. I believe a large percentage of women who get abortions have been convinced by the industry that they can't do it; that they can't give their child a good life. I think many just need to be told that they can do it. That there are people who can and will help them be great parents. … Rey Guevara
Why do you care what a woman does with her body?
The claim of pro-choice goes beyond a woman's right to do what she wants with her body. When the leading atrocity being executed in our country and across the world is played out from our very own hands it's not a claim of rights or choice for the mother. It's a claim of liberty for the beating heart in the depths of her womb that is being silenced beyond it's already limited stature. Our voices must rise in resounding shouts of love in defense of the very breath we take for granted each second. – Cristopher Matthews
Blessed JPII said that every man has the duty to uphold the dignity of every woman. Unfortunately too many men think more about what a woman can give him than what he should be providing for them. Men are built to protect, it part of our nature. – Bert Hernandez
I care because she is a daughter of God and deserves the truth when all she's been hearing are lies. I care because she is my sister in Christ and I care a great deal about my sisters and want only the best for them, and the best is God's will. – Bryan Kujawa
Because she is a child of God. As a servant of God, I have the right to stand up for God's creation. This stands for both the child in the womb and the woman who carries that child. – Andrew Jones
What can men do to stand up and fight against abortion?
Men can do a lot to fight against abortion and stand up for women and unborn children. They can start by living lives of holiness and virtue. They can start by truly seeking to honor women in all of their interactions with them. They can show women that they genuinely care about them. They can realize that their actions have consequences and think about these consequences before doing anything. They can seek the truth and educate themselves so they may be better informed when asked about tough topics. They can live holy and chaste lives. … Bryan Kujawa
First, understand what being a man really is. Realize that the gift of creating life is set aside for the bond of marriage between a wife and husband. When we choose to pursue selfish pleasure rather than the true embodiment of love, we become the problem. So much of the problem that we have made when it comes to women feeling cornered into ending life, if we respected life as men and honored women with true, selfless love, there would be no need for abortion.
Second, stand for life. Be unafraid to lovingly stand for life. Don't engage those who are facing such a hard choice with anger or frustration. Remind them of the power of love by being an example of love. Show love not only in how you speak, but how you act. Invest time, be kind, realize how vulnerable and conflicted women who face abortion are. … Adam Eichelberger
Why do you think men sometimes pressure women to have an abortion?
Fear and misunderstanding. There is a generation of men who grew up without someone to tach them what a it means to be a man, so men have misunderstandings about the role of the man. Society has portrayed men as either womanizing playboys or incompetent dolts. So naturally, thats what most men have become. When a man find out he is going to be a father they fear the responsibility that comes with a child. They are afraid of their inability to provide for the child or afraid of change of lifestyle that happens when you have a child. … Bert Hernandez
Because it’s so easy. It’s not our body. It’s not our choice. It’s not our life on the line. And yet this is the argument the pro-choice people use as well. It’s not our body, it’s not our choice. We, as men, have to act like the men God wanted us to be. Protectors. Redeemers. Counselors. And yet so many of us panic. We freeze, like Adam froze in the Garden. We blame it on Eve. When ultimately it is our fear that outweighs our responsibility to protect the new life that God has breathed into the wombs of our women. … Steve Gonzales
Men don't pressure women to have an abortion. If a male pressures a woman to have an abortion, he doesn't deserve the right to be called a man. A man's role is to love, protect, provide, and grow chest hair. When males pressure women to have an abortion, it is because unfortunately, they lack what it takes to be a man, to be a father. … Scott Williams
When faced with fear people tend to act courageously or cowardly. That's not to say there isn't a time for the fight or flight instinct, but it would seem in the case of a man faced with an unplanned pregnancy he's reaction is either one of courageous nobility or cowardly fear. Thus, the latter results in seeking to eliminate the inconvenience in order to remove the internal angst. – Cristopher Matthews