A Father Discovers Freedom From His Abortion Pain… In A Prison Chapel

September 10th, 2013





The following is an article written by “TJ” an inmate at a Florida Correctional Institution.   The institution is a level 6 maximum security prison… a high percentage of the inmates will call this home for the rest of their lives. 

TJ shares how abortion impacted his life and of his participation in a Rachel’s Vineyard (RV) after abortion program specially adapted for use in prison by the local RV site leader Donna Gardner and Tom Lawlor, Director of Prison Ministry for the Diocese of Palm BeachTJ is half way through his facilitator training and will be part of the Rachel’s Vineyard Team in the prison. 

Over 50 men have participated in this prison outreach bringing reconciliation and peace to those in darkness and a number of Rachel’s Vineyard leaders have emerged from the prison population.  Here’s TJ’s story:   –Kevin Burke, LSW

 Healing a Father’s Heart

By TJ

 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.   He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  (Luke, 4:18)

Rachel’s Vineyard is a ten-week seminar offered here at the Correctional Institution on Wednesday mornings in the Chapel.  The service it provides for those who attend is immeasurable.  However, few really know what it is about.  In order to understand what this program offers, one must first become aware of the scourge of abortion.

I’m writing this article…to share with you a real-life experience that kept me in the deepest and darkest misery for twenty-seven years.  My hope is, if you were involved in a similar situation, that you may find help.

Twenty-seven years ago, as a teenager, I was involved in two abortions because I lived as an irresponsible, arrogant, prideful, selfish, self-centered human being.  Those abortions lead me down a road of drugs, alcohol, irresponsible sex, crime and so many other destructive things.

How could abortion lead to all that? Because it produces guilt, whether the person realizes it or not, which turns to bad decisions, self-hatred, anger towards others, violence and all kinds of other messed up emotions.  While these are taking place the person is in denial, refusing to recognize there is a problem.  Or, if he or she does admit to a problem, they don’t know that it is rooted in an abortion that may have taken place years ago.  At the time of my abortion experiences I knew none of this.

I was told that an abortion is simply getting rid of a glob of cells or tissue, that it was not killing a baby.

Let’s look at some facts.  Day one: the sperm fertilizes the egg in the fallopian tube; forty-six chromosomes combine which predetermines all of the person’s characteristics.  By day eighteen there is a heartbeat.  At eight weeks all the body systems are present.  The baby is rapidly growing.  The genital organs are clearly differentiated in sixteen weeks and the baby grasps with hands, kicks, and turns.  This is not a blob of tissue, but clearly a little human being.

Abortion has been a divisive topic long before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade made it legal.  Two of the biggest arguing points are a mother’s “right to choose” and the baby’s “right to life.”  Rarely does the father even get a say in the argument even though twenty-three of those chromosomes are his and the rest of his life is affected by the decision.

Every day 4,300 babies are killed by abortion.  It is said that one in every three adults has been involved in an abortion.  If you’re one of them, and if you’re like I was, maybe you hate yourself or your spouse or girlfriend or even your parents.  Perhaps you’re mad at the doctor or God or experiencing every messed up emotion that could entangle a person’s life.  I was.

Humans are not designed to carry burdens alone, and we don’t have to.  There is hope, and there is help to heal from the brutality of abortion.  That’s what Rachel’s Vineyard does.  It is led by Donna Gardner and Tom Lawlor, two of the most awesome people I’ve ever met.  They have love and a great passion for what they do and for the men and women inside and outside who have experienced the devastating tragedy of abortion.  They can help mend the affects of years of wrong choices and destructive behavior.

Even if you don’t fully understand some of what I’ve said and how an abortion years ago could be responsible for so much destructive behavior – come and check it out and learn.  Take a step forward and give yourself a new beginning.  Sign up now by sending a request to the chapel.  It will be a life changing experience for the good.

************

Donna Gardner M.S. is the Coordinator of the Healing Ministries Rachel’s Vineyard/Lifeforce  for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach 100 West 20th Street Riviera Beach, Florida 33404

561.602.4778

 

 

 

 

Jason Baier – Pioneer In Outreach to Men After Abortion

September 4th, 2013





Fatherhood Forever

Jason Baier is featured in one of the chapters of my book on men and abortion entitled Redeeming a Father’s Heart. Jason’s story is a harrowing account of his experience of learning the exciting news that his longtime partner was pregnant… Read more…

 

Technical Foul! NBA’s J.J. Redick Coerces Pregnant Girlfriend to Abort

July 26th, 2013





Redick

Jill Stanek breaks  story:

BREAKING: Documents show NBA player coerced pregnant girlfriend to abort

-Redick is denying paternity on Twitter:

JJ Redick         @JJRedick   

 Ms. Lopez did not and has never terminated a pregnancy of a child fathered by me.-

The documents clearly indicate a contract signed by Lopez and Redick that required pregnancy termination in order for Redick to continue in a relationship with her and he agrees to pay her 25 grand if he ends the relationship prior to one year (weird)….but he is not the dad.  As Stanek’s blog reveals, Lopez has a history and its not pretty and futher complicates understanding exactly what happened to these two young adults in 2007.

Even if he is not the father of this unborn child, the contract between Redick and Lopez seems to clearly indicates that he is an accomplice in the child’s dismemberment in a D&E procedure when Lopez was over 3 months pregnant.

My plea to Mr. Redick as a fellow sinner and brother in the Lord:

If the legal documents are accurate and since the event is now public,  admit you participated in the death of this unborn child with a degree of coercion given the circumstances.  Forget the public denials…embrace the painful but liberating grace of humility!

The mother experienced symptoms of post abortion trauma after the procedure.  Publicly apologize to Lopez, pray she find healing of her loss and embrace the forgiveness and mercy of the Lord. 

 I encourage you to Attend a healing program because whether you know it or not, your participation in this abortion has also hurt you deeply, emotionally and spiritually as a man.  Don’t be afraid and have hope.  You can recover from this injury to your manhood and fatherhood and develop a spiritual relationship with this child lost to abortion.  Even if you are not the father, you can spiritually adopt this child and embrace the one that you abandoned to death. 

As Jesus said, “Behold, I make all things New!” (Revelation 21:1)

With healing you can become the best man and father you can be…with God’s help.  Use this as an opportunity to reject the abortion culture of death, and call other men to healing

The media’s agenda is often to sensationalize and humiliate celebrities with the emphasis on scandal and gossip.  Take the high road Mr. Redick, and bring healing and resurrection out of this very painful situation.

Your Brother in Christ

Kevin Burke, LSW

Planned Parenthood’s Orwellian “Family Planning”: Two Children Dead…Mother and Father In Critical Condition

July 17th, 2013





1984

Be prepared to cry and get really ticked off when you read this powerful piece from Live Action News  featuring the story of a father trying desperately to stop the abortion of his twin babies.  Roe V Wade and that tax payer funded abomination with the perfectly Orwellian name of “Planned Parenthood” offered a “choice” to this couple that they will regret the rest of their lives.  Please pray to God they both survive this emotionally and find healing.

Think it’s time to Recall Abortion?

 

Exhale After Abortion Groups: Emasculation by Reproductive Choice

July 9th, 2013





the-truth-shall-make-you-free-ricardo-colon

Two articles were published in June 2013 on men and abortion loss from The Atlantic and Fox News.  The authors explore the topic from a fundamentally different perspective.

This provides an excellent opportunity to explore some important issues they raise (especially the Atlantic piece) around the concept of “reproductive choice”, the roles and responsibilities of men in abortion decisions, and pro-choice after abortion men’s groups like Exhale.

The first article from Foxnews.com by Bryan Fisher strongly emphasizes that abortion attacks an innate male/fatherly instinct to protect the life of one’s offspring…and that this fatherly responsibility begins as the child forms in its mother’s womb:

We are willfully taking the lives of those we are wired to protect…Men…have traded their innate sense of responsibility for a perceived freedom that is not worth the cost…a man’s fundamental calling to defend those who are dependent on him, including the unborn, is squashed by the abortion mentality.

The Second piece from The Atlantic is a thoughtful reflection by Hugo Schwyzer about his abortion decision at age 17.  The author reveals a very different perspective arising from his personal experience of abortion loss and the powerful influence of his mother’s pro abortion feminism in the decision making process.  She strongly impressed upon her son that the guiding principle for any man in an abortion decision is not a father’s protection of his unborn child, as emphasized by Bryan Fisher.  Rather, the only role of the father is to be careful that the mother of his child does not experience any “pressure” during her decision making process so she is free to make her personal “choice”:

The son of a feminist mom, I’d been raised with a deep respect for women’s sovereignty, particularly as it applied to their reproductive lives. I was close to my mom….I couldn’t pressure April to do something she didn’t want to do (whether that was have an abortion or carry a child to term). I couldn’t walk away, denying any responsibility. The third thing I shouldn’t do…was to burden April with my feelings. “She’s in a very difficult position,” my mother said. “Don’t make her feel like she has to take care of you too.”

This man internalized some powerful rules set down by his mother to submit to “women’s sovereignty particularly as it applied to their reproductive lives.”  This served as an impenetrable protective barrier around his partner’s “choice” during the critical decision making process.

Note how the mother trivialized any conflictual or painful feelings her son might naturally have about the matter…even shaming him with her comments:

 “Don’t make her feel like she has to take care of you too.”

In other words, “Don’t be a baby…suck it up…stay out of the way until she decides what she wants and then support whatever her decision is.”

The word Emasculate comes to mind.

 e·mas·cu·late (Verb)

  1.   Make a person weaker or less effective.
  2.   Deprive      (a man) of his male role or identity

He faithfully followed his mom’s rules and stuffed his feelings:

 I kept my own confusion tucked deep inside. As is so often the case, our relationship was never quite the same, and we broke up within a few monthsWhen we’d gone together to see the doctor for a pre-abortion appointment, he told us the approximate due date: February 7, 1986. At the time I filed it away as the most useless of facts. But when that date rolled around, I was stunned by how heartsick I was. April and I were no longer speaking by that point, and I was off at university. I cried on that due date and for days after, stunned and bewildered by my own delayed reaction to loss. Though my wife and I now have wonderful two kids of our own, not a February goes by that I don’t think about a child who would now be 27

There is a dilemma for such a man, loyal to the pro abortion ideology of his mother, but like many men experiencing some complicated and painful emotions after the procedure.  We see this conflict as Mr Schwytzer ends the very honest sharing about his abortion loss to make clear to his Atlantic readers that just because he grieves in a special way for his son or daughter each February 7 since 1986… this is in no way a threat to reproductive choice.

In fact the real danger is those scary pro lifers:

One danger is political: Anti-abortion advocates are all too willing to politicize any sign of grief or confusion after an abortion as evidence that the procedure is harmful and ought to be banned. Anti-abortion groups often frame the issue as one of father’s rights: the more evidence of men’s post-abortion grief or anger, the more potential fuel for the pro-life cause.

Mr. Schwytzer seems to me a kind and sensitive father who loves his child aborted many years ago.  The public expression of that grief in The Atlantic clearly points to the fact that he is not grieving what pro abortion apologists would describe as a “clump of cells” or a “de-personalized fetus.”  His powerful feelings are not for some “potential child.”  This father is connected in a powerful way to that fateful day when he took the mother of his unborn baby to the abortion center and paid the abortionist to end the child’s life…and even more so, to the babies due date.

Mr. Schwytzer is clearly a father grieving a child lost to abortion.  It is not pro lifers who have convicted him of this biological and relational truth.  It is the undeniable and powerful feelings of love and grief and a natural hunger as a father to reconnect with that lost child.

However, to fully grieve this loss and find a deeper peace, he would need to get in touch with some healthy anger at his mother, and the ideology of “reproductive choice” which tragically led him to be an emasculated accomplice in the death of his unborn child.   Instead he displaces his abortion related anger on Pro-lifers.

Pro-lifers are always a good target for unresolved grief, anger, depression and anxiety after abortion.   (The vast majority of Pro lifers pray peacefully outside abortion centers offering free abortion alternatives/pregnancy assistance and non judgmental after abortion recovery programs.)

Just as his story gets to the point where he clearly acknowledges what was lost, and on the precipice of a deeper understanding his role and responsibility in the death of his child, he must retreat behind the ideology of choice…loyal once again to his mother’s pro choice feminism.

Exhale…or Inhale?

Mr. Schwytzer is involved with the pro abortion group Exhale, which allows expression of post abortion feelings, but only within a context where “reproductive choice” is the supreme value that can never be compromised.   Exhale is telling men you are free to express your feelings after her decision, as long as it does not violate any of the sacred tenets of reproductive choice.  Here once again we hear the voice of his mother and pro abortion feminism.

It took courage for Mr Schwyzer to honestly share his feelings in The Atlantic about his abortion experience.  However, I would respectfully encourage him to consider that groups like Exhale limit the full expression of the feelings and experience of men after abortion.  Most importantly, sharing feelings in this restricted context can never lead to a deeper healing of this loss.  This is especially true for those men who are powerless to stop an abortion they do not want.  How can groups like Exhale (where a woman’s right to choose is sacrosanct) ever acknowledge the rage, powerlessness and devastating grief of such fathers?

For Mr Schwyzer to fully grieve and reconcile this loss it will take more than sharing feelings with other men in groups like Exhale.  Men can Exhale some of their painful feelings after abortion and this is of course important and can be a good first step in ending the isolation and bring a welcome outlet for some painful feelings.  But in groups where reproductive choice reigns supreme and always has the last word, you can never find the depth of healing where you are free after exhaling the pain to Inhale the powerful grace and mercy of God.

This can only be found in after abortion healing programs that permit the full expression of post abortion emotions and offer the reconciliation and peace with the right combination of emotional and spiritual healing.

These time-tested programs provide participants an opportunity to safely and honestly assess their participation in the abortion so they can fully repent and grieve of their role in that child’s death.  It is only in this truth that a father suffering after abortion loss can be truly set free to open his heart and soul to the Creator of all life, who will reveal to him a new and intimate spiritual relationship with his child, and a deep peace that the ideology of reproductive choice can never provide.

**************

I wonder how the mother of his child fared after the procedure and the breakup of their relationship.  You can find here some common examples of what her post abortion journey may have been like and read here of the physical and emotional aftermath of the procedure. 

Sex After Christianity:Gay Marriage is not just a Social Revolution but a Cosmological One

July 1st, 2013





060905-171459-michelangelos

From Rod Dreher at American Conservative an important article that helps us step back from this highly charged moral/political debate and look at the radical shift in our religious and cultural cosmology.

Excerpt:

…Though he might not have put it quite that way, the eminent sociologist Philip Rieff would probably have said yes. Rieff’s landmark 1966 book The Triumph Of the Therapeutic analyzes what he calls the “deconversion” of the West from Christianity. Nearly everyone recognizes that this process has been underway since the Enlightenment, but Rieff showed that it had reached a more advanced stage than most people—least of all Christians—recognized.

Rieff, who died in 2006, was an unbeliever, but he understood that religion is the key to understanding any culture. For Rieff, the essence of any and every culture can be identified by what it forbids. Each imposes a series of moral demands on its members, for the sake of serving communal purposes, and helps them cope with these demands. A culture requires a cultus—a sense of sacred order, a cosmology that roots these moral demands within a metaphysical framework.

Read The Rest

Rapper’s Heartbreaking Video on Regretting Abortion Has 6+million views

June 26th, 2013





Flipsyde-HappyBirthday

An article by Christina Martin from LifeSiteNews touches on a rap song with over 6 million views that reveals the pain and regret of a father after abortion. 

Tue Jun 25 11:04 AM EST

Jun3 25, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - Flypside is a band that’s birthed out of Oakland, California. Featuring Piper (MC), Steve Knight (vocals, acoustic guitar), and Dave Lopez (lead guitar)…Another single from their debut album called “Happy Birthday” became a top-3 hit in Germany….What causes this song to continually draw in viewers?

Read the rest of this LifeSiteNews article

Have you noticed a slow but encouraging increase in articles/media/music that  touches on what has for a long time been a silent pain?  I was very grateful for  the author sharing a link to the Silent No More Awareness Fatherhood Forever page as we work together to raise awareness, share resources for healing, provide a place where men can share their abortion regret and after a healing program to join other men in speaking publicly about their abortion regret.

Fathers and Abortion: NRTL News

June 19th, 2013





black-couple-at-odds

…A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction found that pregnant women who felt they lacked support from the child’s father were more likely to choose abortion.

Read Full Article

 

A Must Read: Dr Alveda King Father’s Day Reflection

June 17th, 2013





Martin Luther King Jr,   Alfred Daniel  King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (left) is pictured with his brother, the Rev. Alfred Daniel King (father of Dr. Alveda King.) (AP)
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of  African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries.  Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church  office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing  movement.

Check out this great piece from Alveda at Newsmax.  Here’s an excerpt:

…God gives us many blessings in life. Among the countless blessings experienced  in my now 61 years of life on earth are the lessons learned from my four  favorite mentors. Three of them are elders from my bloodline, and from them I  learned to receive God’s miracles, to have a compassionate heart and that love  never fails.

  Read the rest here

Beautiful Father’s Day Song for Men Who Lost Children to Abortion

June 14th, 2013





dad&son2

A Silent Cry

Here is the Song. 

Some background on the composer and the inspiration for the piece: 

My Name is Paul O’Shea. A few years ago Rachael’s vineyard came to Cork, Ireland, and did a presentation on abortion trauma and healing. My wife and her mom went…. I was not present myself but the following week a conversation was struck up about the Rachael’s Vineyard talk.     I listened.
What struck me was when they spoke of a presentation by Kevin Burke about the sadness men can feel after losing a child to abortion. I never really thought about the father in abortion before that….The following week… I sat down for breakfast and suddenly got an overwhelming urge to write a song about the father perspective of an abortion.

I should say that I have not been affected by abortion so I to my amazement the words flowed out as if Divinely inspired and it was almost complete by the end of my bowl of cornflakes!
I got together with a friend  Noel O’Sullivan…to see  if he would put music to it and he provided piano and backing. I already had the basic tune. The music came as fast to him as the words to me. It was truly amazing to see if come together so fast. I am not a professional singer or songwriter.

We recorded the attached song from Noels house. Please let Rachael’s Vineyard know that this song exists because of them and the work that they do. Please let me know what you think. I would very much appreciate it.

Please also pray for Ireland at this time as the Government are looking to  legislate for abortion.

Your sincerely,

Paul