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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Forgotten Fathers: Waiting Room Men in an Abortion Clinic

No One Speaks About the Unspeakable Injustice that One Word, “Choice,” Inflicts on the “Choiceless” — the Fathers of Children Killed in Abortion

“The baby does not know it is trapped in a life and death struggle of motherhood and waiting on Jonah, who is busy running away from fatherhood and now, finding himself trapped in the belly of a Whale, is praying for a second chance that might not come again. We ask ourselves, ‘will the baby push out naturally and so be allowed to live through a mother’s grace to enjoy a proper birthday?’ Or will it be abandoned by its parents to die and be surgically removed from its mother by strangers with forceps; given its own death-day written up as a statistic without a name only to be remembered each year by two forlorn and guilty parents?”  (Father X in Troubadours Sailing Hibiscus Seas: Meditations on Post Abortion Trauma)

by Susan Fox  

Two forlorn and guilty parents?

I thought abortion was about a woman’s choice.

It has nothing to do with men, does it?
Father X, a British father of an aborted baby, and Judith Gait, an American  pro-life artist living in England, rip that idea to shreds in Troubadours Sailing Hibiscus Seas: Meditations on Post Abortion Trauma.   It is a literary, artistic work charting the emotional journey of a father, whose girlfriend decided to have an abortion even though he pleaded for the child's life. Hibiscus flower tea is an abortifacient, but the father in this scenario is writing a love song to his dead child. He is the troubadour. 

The troubadour’s anguish and regret bleeds through the pages, demonstrating that our society has plunged into the utter depths of barbarism, especially in our attitude to human fathers. Most cave men — faithful to their wives —  enjoyed raising their own children. 

Modern men must cope with “choice,” something they are completely denied in an abortion, leaving them emasculated with a loss of masculine identity. They are not allowed to act on their healthy instinct to protect their family, according to Men and Abortion: Psychological Effects by Catherine T. Coyle, RN, PhD.    

Their angst is based on reality. In the United States, the husband has no legal right to be notified — let alone stop — his wife from obtaining an abortion. Our so-called “Supreme” Court decided that. 

Being men, they may not talk about it. But Dr. Coyle and other researchers find they are just as likely as women to suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome — with symptoms that may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Males may be at greater risk for depression than females post abortion. Researcher Brenda Majors and colleagues at  State University of New York at Buffalo, studying couples prior to an abortion, found males were more likely than females to blame the pregnancy on their own character. Self-character blame has been associated with increased risk for depression.

Some attempt to abort their own lives, committing suicide and some suffer impotence post-abortion. Even if they want the abortion, their child’s sudden death can haunt them their entire lives, wrecking future relationships and marriages. Father X remains an older bachelor caring for his mother. For him, his dream of  having a family died with his child. The vast majority of men in these studies say they have been left with lingering and disturbing thoughts. In one study reported by Dr. Coyle, 82 percent of men said they suffered from depression afterwards.

The studies on men are not nearly as systematic or thorough as the ones on women post abortion, but the results are almost identical. Abortion and Women’s Health — conducted by medical researcher Dr. Gregory Pike — is an evidence based review of the impact of abortion on women released in 2017.

It found that after an abortion 
  1. Women suffer a 30 percent increased risk of depression. 
  2. They are more likely to die from any cause vs. childbirth.
  3. Abortion is associated with higher death rates for women up to 10 years after. 
  4. Women experienced mental health disorders 30 percent more often than women who did not have an abortion, 
  5. In subsequent pregnancies, women are likely to suffer depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  6. Women have a higher risk of psychiatric admission compared to women who keep their babies, 
  7. Women are at risk of hospital admission, blood transfusion, emergency room treatment, administration of IV antibiotics and infection.  

With women facing all that in an abortion, who can question that the men quietly sitting in the waiting room are suffering as well?

“Meanwhile in a parent’s mind certain things can trigger the phenomenon of what is known as abortion aftershock,” Father X said, “setting off alarm bells in the heart, much like cue cravings do for an addict. The sight of a family out for a stroll, pushing a pram on a sunny afternoon can do it, so can seeing a pregnant woman in full bloom or a look of joy on a child’s face. Any one of a hundred other common sights can set off the Abortion Remorse Orchestra going off in the heart. The musicians always play the same tune, the death knell…”

Judith’s artwork, which relies on ordinary household items to portray an uneasy reality, accompanies Father X in his memories of the event, which occurred on Nov 8, 2011.
The Anniversary Bouquet by Judith Gait 
One of my favourite pictures is the Anniversary Bouquet, showing the anniversary of the death of Father X’s child. A child’s pyjamas are pinned to a wall while the dark shadow of a flower covers it. The picture distressingly expresses the feeling that something is starkly missing. Someone is not there who should be on the anniversary celebrated in his or her honour.

“St Augustine tells us that prayer is like silent shouting,” Gait said. “Sometimes the same could be said about drawing. If it is to be any use, it needs to be as intense as the shout which has its origin deep within our soul.” Her paintings silently shout about the emptiness men and women feel after an abortion.

The love affair had hardly begun when the baby was conceived on a weekend getaway in  the English Lake District. Father X called it a “area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most picturesque areas in England.” It wasn’t planned. His girlfriend used birth control. Ironically, they visited the home of the famed children’s author, Beatrix Potter. “Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and 
their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter,” 
begins the British tale of a disobedient little rabbit, who
Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail & Peter
sneaks into Mr McGregor’s garden. This is a place — his widowed mother warns — where Peter’s father had a distressing accident. Perhaps the shadow of that event followed Father X out of the Lake District. But his “future bride” failed to heed the message.

Four weeks later, the lady he loved was pregnant. At first she was delighted and willing to let nature take its course. Father X, who had been thinking of marriage, promised to support her and the child, but because of “fear and insecurity on her part, the expected congratulations .. suddenly turned into commiserations of sadness and mistaken folly,” he wrote.

“It was her wedding white dress, my sea green empress, this blue lagoon princess, she slipped into her own heart of darkness on that day she decided to abort,” Fr. X said. Judith shows these emotions with an image of a dark blue vase containing an upside down flower. It is the only flower in focus and in its natural colour. Everything else is black. “It represents the child who is already in the birth position, head down and waiting to be born,” Father X wrote. 

Speaking to future parents, Father X writes, “So long as you
Already in the birth position
Blue Vase by Judith Gait
waver like Jonah in the face of responsibility and lack both the fortitude and faith of a mother and father to do what is right for their child, you will be offered an abortion by a well meaning doctor from the NHS (British Health Service) He referred to the fact that the Prophet Jonah initially refused God’s call to preach to the Ninevites. He was swallowed  by a whale, and then spit out on the shore near Nineveh after three day’s, now ready to complete his mission.

Just days before the abortion, she came to stay with Father X. “She was scared and was in that twilight world of wavering and indecision. She admitted she felt growing warmth towards the baby. I also felt paternal instinct in me for the first time in my life: it felt very different from anything else I had felt. I put my hand on her tummy and we both felt very close for a moment…I might add she also looked very beautiful and radiant…motherhood suited her. But the devil had gotten into her with fear of financial insecurity and just plain self will.” 

“I spoke to her on the morning of the abortion,” Father X continues his family’s story, “and found myself pleading for the baby’s life. All gone now was the political correctness of it being her choice, her body, her life, it was all raw emotion and a father’s natural instinct of wanting to protect his child.”

The hammer of decision by Judith Gait
But she had grabbed Thor’s hammer. In Judith’s paintings the hammer is the image for the abortion decision. It is Thor’s hammer in a death grip and the hammer of St. Joseph when one rejects the abortion, and builds a life for one’s family. On the way into the abortion clinic she was distressed to meet 
pro-life demonstrators. Then she was left alone in the abortion clinic for one hour before the procedure, and she began to panic and called Father X. “I told her to get up and leave.” But she did not.

“What will the condemned baby experience before the hammer blow of abortion happens?” Father X asks. “It will witness an unknown foe dressed in a doctor’s smock and a surgical mask. The child will only feel that last stab of pain…It is done, the boulder of innocence has been scraped. The empty womb. The bird has flown. Lark ascending.”

Three lives ruined. Both parents were in their 40s.

“For the next several months that we stayed together it wasn’t mentioned, not by me and not by her. Nevertheless it was like an elephant in the sitting room the whole time,” Father X said. 

Judith’s Painting, “Breakfast for One,” reflects the life of Father X now. “I sit alone each morning at breakfast and bury my loneliness in the morning ritual of coffee, cereal, tea and toast. Now when we occasionally do meet, we pass each
other in the street like strangers with barely an uncomfortable second glance. Both of us hurrying by and trying to get away from the guilty secret we now hold together.” 

Sociologist Arthur Shostak (Abortion & Men: Lessons, Losses & Lovedescribes male abortion pain as the loss of fatherhood and a “wound you cannot see or feel, but it exists.” The man gets an incredible message. There is real evidence of his virility. His partner is pregnant and he is going to be a father! But then he is told the termination will cost $560.  

Shostak interviewed 1000 men and found that 
  1. Abortion is a “death experience.” 
  2. Their most common post-abortion reaction was helplessness.
  3. Men, who are unable to mourn the abortion, learn how to be less nurturing parents in the future.
  4. The majority of relationships failed post-abortion.
So what is killed is not just a child, but a family. 

“Unfortunately, it is a fact that, especially in the West, the family is considered an obsolete institution,” Pope Francis told members of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See on Jan 8. “Today fleeting relationships are preferred to the stability of
a definitive life project. But a house built on the sand of frail 
Pope Francis addresses the diplomatic corps on Jan. 8
and fickle relationships cannot stand,” he added, describing marriage as the rock: “that faithful and indissoluble communion of love that joins man and woman, a communion that has an austere and simple beauty, a sacred and inviolable character and a natural role in the social order.”

In an abortion, sensitive men who try and show support by accepting the woman’s decision are often rejected later for not standing up for the their child. “How could you say nothing during this crisis and let me just go out and kill our child?” These forgotten fathers have to deal with double grief — the loss of their child and the loss of their relationship with their children’s mothers, according to “The Effects of Abortion on Men: its Emotional, Psychological and Relational Impact” on CatholicCulture.org by Vincent Rue and Cynthia Tellefsen.

Men who positively pressure women into having an abortion will face a great emotional price when the reality of the  abortion is sinks in. Pope Saint John Paul II said, “by leaving her alone to face the problems of pregnancy, he indirectly encourages such a decision on her part (to abort).” (Mulieris Dignitatem)  He adds, “In this way the family is thus mortally wounded and profaned in its nature as a community of love and in its vocation to be the sanctuary of life.” (The Gospel of Life)

“Abortion rewrites the rules of masculinity,” authors Rue and Tellefsen said. “While a male is expected to be strong, abortion makes him feel weak. A male is expected to be responsible, yet abortion encourages him to act without concern for the innocent. A male is expected to protect, but by law he is encouraged to do otherwise.”

“It is clear that in addition to the other victims of abortion, men too suffer. They too pay a high price for reproductive ‘freedom.’ They too lose in the high stakes world of reproductive ‘choice’ guided only by the self and expediency. Killing hurts the living too. It knows no gender bias,” Rue and Tellefsen concluded.

I highly recommend Troubadours Sailing Hibiscus Seas. Author Father X obviously comes from a Catholic background, but the book is full of unorthodox Catholic 
Prolife Artist Judith Gait
positions as he grabs for images from Hinduism, Platonism, and pantheism to explain his feelings. Judith Gait is Catholic, the mother of five children, but she also uses unorthodox 
images. The work, however, is catholic in the sense that it is human and universal. It is an act of reparation. Many will decide not to have an abortion after reading it.

“The Valkyries  (choosers of the slain) hold the key to the future. The embryo is alive from the moment of Conception. It is an Olympian role model and has exceptional durability. In the world of competitive sport, sperm racing comes out in a league of its own, with over 270 million contestants present at each jet race of love. But only one tad of sperm can be the winner and fertilise the Egg of Life. The Valkyries of Thor, who finally decide to abort, will take away a little life and spoil the mating game in one bold toilet flush.” 

Yes, Father X, that is the reality of human life. 

Because of the so-called illusory freedom of female “choice,” in the West, our civilisations faces a demographic winter in which our populations will not replenish themselves. How ironic, Hawaii had a false nuclear alert on Jan. 13 that made 
everyone fear their life was over. Parents sent their children into drain pipes. That wasn’t a pleasant experience. And Hawaii has my deepest sympathy. But drip drop. The real holocaust is silent and slow, and we are causing it ourselves.  We are destroying our civilisation slowly one child at a time. 

Pope Francis nailed it on Jan. 8: “Disregard for families has another dramatic effect – namely, a decline in the birth rate. We are experiencing true demographic winter! This is a sign of societies that struggle to face the challenges of the present, and thus become ever more fearful of the future, with the result that they close in on themselves.”

“Whether to terminate a child or not: decisions which are often made in fear and confusion and yet usually are paid for in a lifetime of regret.” (Father X)  

This poem was written by a young single man whose girlfriend decided to have an abortion without consulting him.
Please tell me about our child. 
Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. 
I know it’s been on your mind a lot. 
So tell me. 
I need to know. 
Was our baby a little boy or a little girl? 
What would he have looked like? 
Would she have smiled when you held her to your breast? 
Would she have reached out with tiny hands with that warmth in her eyes, 
that comes from knowing that she was safe and loved? 
How much did she weigh? 
Was carrying her all that hard as you both grew larger and larger? 
Did you feel full again and alive, like a woman? 
What color was her hair, her eyes? 
Did she kick inside you? 
Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. 
I know you have. 
I know it’s probably been on your mind a lot since then. 
So please tell me. 
I need to know. 
I need to know because I am a man and I have thought about it a lot. 
Every day.
Since before you left me. 
And I know that if our baby’s going away has torn out of me as much as it has, 
it tore out of you, too, only more. 
She was inside of you. 
And she was torn out. 
I know that what I say is true. 
So please don’t deny that. 
I need to know. 
And so do you. 

To order Troubadours Sailing HIbiscus Seas: 
Email Judith Gait at gaitlaan@gmail.com.
The cost is 13.50 Pounds, including postage in the UK.  If it is to be sent to the U.S., the cost of the book is 22 Pounds. That includes postage. 


  1. Powerful... Yes, the Man and the woman who conceive and then abort...
    "Forever, Leaves a Hole in their Souls..." May God show mercy!
    Life, Light n Peace for All... Be4Life

  2. Excellent piece capturing the despair and tragedy of our world which has abandoned values of family, faith, fidelity and commitment😭
    The contraception mentality has destroyed everything of value in whole cultures😭
    Until we return to the Truth of God we will continue this disastrous death spiral which destroys our hope of Eternal salvation which is Gods plan and desire for each of us🙏🙏
    Pray for miracles of conversions to turn our world around🙏🙏

  3. No man should have anything to do with a woman who is prepared to kill their baby.It is Murder to kill.And what about child abuse? Is the premedated killing of unborn babies not the greatest child abuse of all.? And what will Holy God do with people who are prepared to kill His children? I call on all good people to pray that this great evil, the evil of abortion will stop before it is too late.