Actor Bryan Cranston Recounts a Traumatic Scene in “Breaking Bad” that Strongly Connects with the Emotional Experience of Men after Abortion

Actor Bryan Cranston Recounts a Traumatic Scene in “Breaking Bad” that Strongly Connects with the Emotional Experience of Men after Abortion

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Kevin Burke, LSW

Oscar-nominated actor Bryan Cranston is best known for his role as Walter White in the series “Breaking Bad.”  He published an excellent memoir in 2016 entitled A Life in Parts.   

Cranston frequently draws upon his own life experiences, and interior emotional life, to help bring his characters to life. He begins his book by sharing about a particularly challenging and disturbing scene in Breaking Bad.  

In this interview with Rich Eisen, Cranston recounts that powerful experience:

Even though the actor is far removed from the shooting of that scene, Cranston is still visibly moved with strong emotion.  The feelings associated with that scene are still fresh…why? 

Cranston drew upon the natural trauma that a father would experience when feeling powerless – or not taking action – to prevent the death of his child. The Creator has written into a father’s emotional and spiritual DNA a strong desire to protect his offspring.

 True, this instinct can get short-circuited by psychological illness, previous trauma/abuse, addiction, and personal sin. But most fathers can easily identify with the emotions Cranston drew upon for that scene. 

Yet, we often don’t think the same way about men who have been part of abortion decisions.  For those of us in outreach with fathers who lost a child to abortion, Cranston’s account resonates strongly with our experience.  

Listen to Jason share about an abortion with a woman he loved and was planning to marry, who decided to abort their son or daughter he desperately tried to save from destruction:

It was on February 25th, 1995 that my life changed forever. Andrea had gone to the clinic and had the abortion while I was at work. Her sister, Cathy, had paid for the procedure and was the one who told me that it was done. The last thing I remember after hearing the news was lying in the parking lot of a bar screaming at the top of my lungs. I have no recollection of how I got home or how many days passed before I moved back in with my parents. –  (You can read Jason’s full story and learn more about men and abortion in my book Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for Men Wounded by Abortion)

The abortion was clearly a traumatic experience for this father.  Jason goes on to share the after-math of the abortion; abusing drugs and alcohol to try and numb the pain, and hospitalization for depression and anxiety.  Thankfully, he was able to find information on men and abortion loss, and participate in a healing program.  

Other men’s experience of abortion may be very different. Many men report a disconnection from the feelings associated with the abortion, and a reluctance to “go there.” Others come to regret their role in the abortion, but they don’t know how to work through the painful feelings and memories.

While the response to abortion will vary among men, when fathers are given the opportunity to tell their story, and unpack the memories and feelings of that experience, they are taking an important step in the healing process. With the help of an abortion healing program, or trained mentor/counselor, they can work through their loss, and come to a place of forgiveness, healing and peace.

If you, or someone you love lost a child to abortion, there is hope and healing.  Learn more and find resources, mentors/counselors who can help here:

The Men and Abortion Network

A father shares this moving song of faith, hope and love to honor his son Jacob lost to abortion. Music and lyrics by T.R. Glass:

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