Archive for November, 2017

Glee Star Naya Rivera Arrested November 25th for Assault of Spouse Ryan Dorsey – The Abortion Connection

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Naya Rivera Ryan Dorsey

by Kevin Burke, LSW

Glee star Naya Rivera was arrested November 25th for an assault upon her husband Ryan Dorsey.  The couple was arguing over an issue related to their 2 year old son Josey at the time of the incident:

“According to authorities… Rivera struck [Dorsey] in the head and face. He had minor injuries consistent with his claims, and further showed authorities a video taken during the alleged incident.”

What will be a footnote in many news accounts of this couple’s painful public conflict – is an abortion they shared in 2010.

It is likely that abortion experience continues to play a central role in the suffering and dysfunction in their relationship.

From People:

After first starting to date [Ryan Dorsey] in 2010 — a few months following Glee‘s premiere — the couple split so Rivera could focus on her career. A few weeks later, she discovered that she was pregnant with his child, and decided to get an abortion.”

Rivera shares in her book Sorry Not Sorry, “When I made that decision [to have an abortion], I made it by myself, as I feel is the case for a lot of women, and I did not share it with Ryan at the time.”

After the abortion Rivera had a series of failed relationships with Glee co-star Mark Salling and rapper Big Sean in 2014.

Shortly after the relationship with Big Sean ended, Rivera suddenly announced that she was back with Ryan Dorsey and the couple had married in a small private ceremony.

Rivera shared in her book, “By this time we sort of reconnected, I was like, ‘Gosh, there’s a reason why you keep coming back in my life and we keep coming back together…”

What about that abortion the couple shared back in 2010?

Rivera said that Ryan’s only regret was that he was unable to accompany her to the abortion center, to support her during the procedure. According to Rivera, Dorsey was completely understanding about her decision to have an abortion in 2010.

Rivera shared in People “I think it was the kindest, best thing that any man could have ever said in that situation. It just made me love him that much more.”

And in February 2015, she announced that they were expecting a baby.

“Ryan and I feel so blessed and can’t wait to welcome the newest member of our family.”

The Abortion Disconnection

As they shared their joy at the coming birth of their son Josey, there remains a family member that has yet to be privately and publicly acknowledged, and most importantly grieved.

When mothers and fathers participate in the death of their unborn child, they may appear like Naya and Ryan, fine with their decision.

The emotions of fear and anxiety when facing an unplanned pregnancy, and situations where there is relationship change or complications, can lead parents to feel a sense of relief that the pregnancy problem has been resolved.

Yet the testimonies of women and men who have experienced abortion loss, and later reconciled and recovered from that experience, help us to understand that, often on an unconscious level, this is a far more complicated experience.

There are deeper feelings associated with a couple’s role in the child’s death.  Over time the failure to address this will impact their relationship.

While most relationships end within the first year after the procedure, some couples remain together after an abortion, even when the relationship becomes dysfunctional.  The relationship can serve as a type of living memorial for the aborted child.

Because they are unable to acknowledge the child they lost, and share any pain and natural grief about their role in the child’s death, couples can be driven to re-connect and maintain their relationship, even when it becomes unhealthy.

This may lead to to periods of separation, affairs with unstable partners, drug and alcohol abuse, and communication and anger issues.

The pregnancy and birth of other living children will naturally surface feelings and memories associated with that aborted child.

The Truth Will Set You Free

After the birth of their son Josey in September 2015, Rivera and Dorsey once again faced relationship problems and began the process to end the marriage.

Yet after a time of successful co-parenting during their separation, the couple decided to call off the divorce in October 2017.

On November 25th Rivera was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery.

It may be significant that this incident revolved around parenting issues related to their 2 year old son and took place in his presence.

There is a gaping wound in the heart of this mother and father, and in their family. Their son or daughter (and Josey’s sibling) has died.

Failure to acknowledge, reconcile and heal this complicated loss leaves couples and families at risk, and can lead to so much heartache, dysfunction and relational and family pain.

Of course there can be other factors that contribute to relationship problems and domestic violence.  But based on our experience over the last 20 years with couples that have an abortion in their history, it can be a key contributing factor.

The challenging and humbling experience of emotional and spiritual reconciliation of this loss, along with ongoing counseling help, can help change toxic communication and behavior patterns in a relationship.

After abortion recovery couples can better discern how to move ahead as partners, and as a family, in a healthy way.

Let’s hope and pray that this couple will one day experience the freedom and peace that can only come from reconciling their abortion with the Creator of life.

[For more information on how abortion impacts men, women and their relationships get Kevin Burke’s latest book, Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for men Wounded by Abortion

and Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, by Theresa Burke with David Reardon. ]


A Prodigal Son Is Called Home to the Father…By His Aborted Daughter

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Prodigal Son

[James attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat weekend to reconcile his role in an abortion decision over 25 years ago. James gave permission to share the letter that he read to his daughter Angelina and the other retreat participants at the memorial service held on Sunday afternoon.  Keep in mind that there is a great amount of emotional and spiritual work done from Friday through Saturday evening of the weekend to help prepare participants for this very important event.] 

Dearest Angelina,

I am writing to you to tell you how profoundly sorry and heartbroken I am for being such a bad father who didn’t value and defend you as I should have. I ask you for your forgiveness for taking your life.

I grieve now for the loss of you and the joy you would shared with me, your sisters, your mother and so many others. That selfish, unspeakable act took your life, and robbed us all of the memories we would have shared with you. I now see this loss left a huge gaping wound in all of us that is in need of healing by the One whose presence and love you have known for 24 years now.

At the time your mother became pregnant with you, I had so many years before exchanged the truth of God for the lie. I was blind to the truth that my Creator and Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally, and has joy and peace and blessing for me – if only I will love and trust and obey Him.

Finally after so many years squandered in prodigal living, God has used thoughts of you to bring me back to Him. Our loving savior has used my anguish over loosing you to draw me near to Him as He pours out his healing grace on my wounds.

Angelina, I have been choosing death for so long! God has used you to bring me back – back to Life!  When I realized I had no hope of changing on my own, I admitted this to God.  I asked him to have mercy on me and to remove my selfishness and replace it with an overwhelming love for Him and for others.  He is doing this now!

Your life and not been in vain. God has taken this tragedy and used it for good!

You must be a beautiful child and my eyes and heart ache to see you. My pain is being replaced with the joy at the thought of the day when I see you.  I long for that eternity spent with you and all of my loved ones in heaven, God willing.

Give Jesus a warm embrace for me; tell Him that I am so grateful he gave me the gift of your life. Ask him to please save your sisters, your Gramma and Grampa, and the rest of our family so that we can all have banquets together in His presence forever.  Oh, what a joy that will be!

I have to end this letter now, but my love for you dearest Angelina, will never end. I love you!  Until I cross the Jordan and see you in the arms of Jesus, I will with God’s strength choose life, moment by moment, and share his truth and love with all of His children.

With many tears, a grateful heart to God, and much love for you,


[If you or someone you love is hurting after abortion you can find a list of healing resources in your area here

If you would like to learn more about how abortion impacts men Kevin Burke has a new book out called Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for Men Wounded by Abortion.  You can learn more about the book and purchase info here.]