The long-term effects of forcing two different women to abort babies I created with them did not hit me until many years later. My first wife and I already had two sons before we divorced. I fell into a life of living for myself. I did my visitations and paid my child support, but I lived a life where I was just otherwise having a good time with whomever, wherever, and whenever. Relationships were for pleasure, and I did not want to commit again. Eventually, in two separate relationships about four years apart, I got two other women pregnant. I already had two kids, I told myself. I was never concerned with the women's feelings, neither of which had any other children. These would have been the first and only children for each of these women. That did not matter to me. I did not want to be tied down again, and I certainly did not want the financial responsibility of a third and then a fourth child. All that would do was cut into my good times. So, I convinced both of these women to abort their babies.
For the longest time afterward, I felt no emotions regarding these two abortions. But, as my sons grew up, got married, and had kids of their own, I started seeing children from the perspective of a grandfather. By the time the fifth grand baby came on the scene, I was totally into being an engaged grandpa. Slowly, throughout this transformation, I began to realize the ramifications of my actions some thirty years prior. Not only had I missed out on two additional children, but now I was missing out on potential grandchildren as well. A strange ache began to grow in my heart. I began to feel empty inside. Additionally, I had always been a tightly wound person, and I now found myself becoming increasingly angry at my decisions to kill two children. The more I was around the grandkids, the more regretful I became of causing two of my children to die.
My guilt and shame seemed to have been compounded when I looked back even farther into my past. You see, I had been given up for adoption at birth by my own mother. She already had two sons, and her husband had left her. She and her boys were living with her parents, and her father insisted she not bring another child into their home. She could have chosen abortion, but instead she chose to bear me to life. She gave me the opportunity I could not even consider for two of my own offspring in similar circumstances.
By this time, I was retired and had reconnected with my Catholic faith. Frequently, I would see information on Project Rachel and Rachel's Vineyard Retreats. Eventually, I decided something needed to be done to resolve these inner feelings of regret, shame, guilt and anger. I signed up for a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat close to where I live, and I attended with an open mind.
Through the retreat, I came to understand the causes of my emotions regarding aborting my two children. I also came to understand the profound effect my actions had on the two mothers involved. At the retreat, I saw firsthand how dramatically affected the women were who were sharing their stories and emotions. It finally hit me how cruel, insensitive, and uncaring I had been regarding the feelings of the women I impregnated.
The responsibility for my actions rests solely upon my shoulders, and I willingly accept that. I have vowed to do everything in my power to prevent any of my children and grandchildren from having or participating in an abortion. Additionally, I want to honor the memory of my adoptive parents as best I can by working to be silent no more to the true nature of abortion. It is murder.