The Secret I Buried for 20 Years
In front of 2,200 Baylor University students, I confessed a sin: “Twenty years ago I came to this school to get a Christian education, but what I got was a girl pregnant my first year here.”
Being invited to speak at my alma mater was a great honor. As I thought about how I could challenge these students, it would have been more fun to play up my accomplishments. But I had to admit who I really was and what I had done.
Twenty years ago, I helped pay for my girlfriend’s abortion. My immediate reaction to her news was it was an inconvenience that must be eliminated. I never stopped to think about what I was doing. I never considered that a real life was inside her that I had helped create. I simply thought the doctor was removing some unwanted tissue.
My wife and I struggled with infertility. Once I could create life, but ended it. Now I could do neither. Years later I faced the truth. I had selfishly destroyed a human life because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. My rude awakening was “male post-abortion syndrome,” a flood of guilt, confusion, and denial that often follows an abortion.
Post-abortion syndrome is typically associated with mothers of aborted children, but I’m one of the thousands of abortion fathers who have also gone through this ordeal. In my case, it resulted in 80 ulcers eating at my stomach, intestines, and colon. The pain was excruciating and made worse by the knowledge that it was a result of my secret sin. Accepting God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ was the miracle I needed. Over time the internal physical scars disappeared; subsequent tests revealed no trace of the trauma. The guilt of my secret sin had destroyed my health. However, God restored it.
Shortly after speaking at Baylor, the woman I had gotten pregnant more than two decades earlier called me. She had heard about my talk. It was wonderful to hear that she, too, had experienced God’s healing from that horrible act.
She had only one suggestion: “The next time you tell the story be more honest about what really happened. You didn’t just help pay for the abortion; you pressured me to get it.”
It was true. She never wanted to do it. She wanted to keep the baby. It was my forcefulness that finally led her to do what she didn’t want to do.
I came face-to-face with who I really was – a coward who preyed upon someone else to make my own life easier.
Studies show the most significant factor in a woman’s decision to get an abortion is lack of support from the man to keep the child. As painful as it was hearing it, I was glad this friend from years ago had the courage to confront me.