Husband & Wife Articles


 

Deep Wounds

There’s a father behind every abortion

By Christian Meert

In 1973 I was working a summer job in Morocco, where I lived. My girlfriend came from Spain, where she was on vacation, for a short, one-day visit before heading back to Paris, where she was attending college. A few weeks later, she called to tell me that not only was she pregnant, but she was going to have an abortion.

She’d organized everything. She was going to England, where it was already legal and where her grandmother lived. I offered to marry her, believing it was the right thing to do, but didn’t insist when she said no. Her mind was made up. She just wanted me to contribute financially.

It wasn’t rocket science. Behind every abortion there is a baby, as well as a mother and a father. My girlfriend and I were 21 at the time. We had been in a relationship for five years, dating in high school for two years before maintaining a long-distance relationship for three years. We were not exactly in love with a capital “L.” We met again a few times afterward, never expressing our feelings about the abortion. After several months without news, I suddenly heard she’d gotten married. I thought I could leave it all behind, convinced that life would move on without consequences.

I was completely wrong.

A bond had been created with her and the baby, because that’s the nature of becoming parents. I was crushed inside. Something had been destroyed in me at that time and for the rest of my life. The baby hadn’t died by accident. His killing hadn’t been imposed on me. I was responsible. I couldn’t just mourn my loss. Instead of being the protector, I had allowed this terrible destruction to take place by not standing firm.

My Mom had also passed away in May that same year. I was completely lost, and sealed away all feelings and emotions. I avoided serious relationships. The last thing I wanted was to suffer, and I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt. I couldn’t face another tough situation because I felt I would again be inadequate.

When I met the one who was to become my wife, I had walled up everything. I was emotionally unavailable. I brought into our relationship the terrible wounds of abortion but never talked about it. We started living together and, when she announced that she was pregnant, I just couldn’t take it. I was so shut down that I saw abortion as the only solution.

We were living in France at the time, where abortion was legal, although it was supposed to be for emergencies only. When we met with the local Planned Parenthood workers, they knew we weren’t in a dire situation, and that we could have made it with a baby. Nevertheless, they told us that we were making the right decision, and welcomed us as would-be heroes. We were told that it wasn’t a baby, just a bunch of cells. Actually, the word “baby” was never used.

The first abortion led to the second one, and to deeper wounds: in me, in the one I truly loved, in my future family as well as our future children, as we’ll see in this column in the weeks to come. We still got married and had five daughters. We gave the impression of being a healthy family, but only on the surface. We actually began a long, excruciating journey toward inner healing, forgiveness to ourselves, each other and our children. We started a journey, one we could do only with God, the true source of love and life.

Christian Meert is the co-founder of CatholicMarriagePrep.com. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Christine.