Thoughts on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, and in fact this whole month of June, men are celebrated for what they have done as fathers and grandfathers.

I will never be a father. If anything, I will be a mother. I will have the joy and responsibility of carrying around my unborn child for nine months, up until the day of his or her birth. That is biologically my role to play. I will not create that child all by myself though; I will have contributed only half of the DNA to make him or her. Yet if I wanted to have an abortion, I would have 100% of the say. The father of my hypothetical unborn child would have no say, even though he contributed his half.

It doesn’t seem fair that someone who contributes half gets full choice in the matter as to if the child lives or dies, and the other person gets no say. Now, of course, it is certainly true that the mother is the one who carries around the child for nine months, but this should in no way completely eliminate the role of a father who wants his child to be born.

When I was present at the Witness for Life during the first weekend of May, while praying outside Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger center, I saw the sidewalk counselor speaking to two men. Unfortunately, both of their wives had gone through with an abortion. These were men who felt so helpless and yet could do nothing while their wives killed their children. Next Father’s Day, this means that each of these men will have one fewer child to celebrate such a special day for them.

I have come across people who have disagreed with but nonetheless respected my pro-life view. At the same time, though, they feel that a man who has the same view as I do is not entitled to it, simply because he does not have a uterus. Those who wish to erase men from the equation are being unfair to pro-life men, but they are also failing to understand basic biology, which dictates that the unborn child has half of his or her DNA from the father. There is also the aspect that abortion affects everyone. People, of both sexes, lose not only sons or daughters because of abortion, but brothers and sisters, friends, grandchildren, co-workers, future spouses, you name it. Silent No More has a tagline, “I Regret My Abortion,” but there is also one for men: “I Regret Lost Fatherhood.”

Up until the moment he became pro-life, my boyfriend didn’t think he could hold such a view. He thought that, as an 18-year-old man, abortion would never affect him. He thought that he could pick when he wanted to be a father, even if he were to get a girl pregnant. In thinking and talking it through, he realized that life doesn’t work that way. He realized that if he were to get a girl pregnant someday, and if that girl were I, for instance, that he and I would have created something so special – too special to just walk away from and condemn to death. There are a few reasons why my boyfriend became pro-life, like through conversations with me and the living example that I was, and also realizing that to be a true Catholic means to stand up for the unborn. But it was also realizing the miracle, wonder, and possibilities of the joys and responsibility of fatherhood someday.

This Father’s Day, and in fact this whole month of June, men are celebrated for what they have done as fathers and grandfathers. They’re celebrated not only for the half they contributed in creating a new life, but for how they have also contributed in raising those children throughout their live. Fathers can, and should, have tremendous influence on the lives of their children. We hope that men positively influence the lives of their children, and that they are there to celebrate with them or comfort them every step of the way. Unfortunately, though, the lack of presence of a father can have negative consequences, too.

Not every man is capable of being the world’s greatest dad. And, of course, nobody is perfect. People have grown up with fathers who were present but unfortunately were a negative presence in the life of their children. It is truly a shame and a tragedy. What is also a shame and a tragedy, though, is that there are men out there, capable of being wonderful and loving fathers, who will never get that chance because of a woman’s “right” to abort their children, in which a man has no say.

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