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The Child I Almost Had

The Child I Almost Had

I sit down to write this as yet another person expresses support on social media for those talking about how the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade is a tragedy. Indeed, they liken it to an infringement of some strange “natural” freedom all women should enjoy, as if abortion is a good thing.

This time, though, the person “supporting” such ugly lamentations was one of my beautiful kinswomen. It hurt, just as it hurts to see strangers or personal connections supporting such arguments. The pro-abort view takes just a small slice of the abortion question and makes it out to be the whole, in a faux benign way that won’t recognize any harms from abortion.

But I am living proof that abortion doesn’t just kill babies. It kills love—and trust.

“I can’t be pregnant right now! I can’t be pregnant!” my girlfriend Mary [not her real name] said, running frantically from the bathroom with a positive pregnancy test in her hand. “I can’t have a baby right now!”

Mary and I were in a years-long, committed relationship, and she was pregnant. For a moment I was excited at the news, but the severe negativity of her reaction left me crestfallen. I’d actually wanted to get her pregnant—even thinking that when we’d made love recently—and here it had happened, but my lover didn’t want a child. My great desire had turned out to be one of her worst fears.

I was afraid, too, especially when I saw how Mary reacted to her pregnancy. In fact, I was heartbroken. We were in love. It hadn’t occurred to me that she wouldn’t want a baby.

We talked about marriage, but she didn’t seem convinced. Feeling like there was no way to dissuade her, and because I was scared of this life change and the commitment that would go along with it, I went along with the killing. I helped pay for it, accompanying her to the dreary abortionist’s office in the college part of town.

We stayed together for years after. We tried, but never again had a chance at having a baby.

Decades later, I’m a 50-something single guy. No wife, no kids, no family around, and it’s my own fault. I did it to myself.

And so it’s almost a reflex for me to disconnect with social media connections who are lamenting the “loss” of Roe v. Wade through the Supreme Court’s recent decision—a wise decision supporting federalism, the system on which the U.S. was founded. Federalism says that each U.S. state is essentially its own nation-state, its citizens empowered to decide how their local society should run. The fact that the Supreme Court invalidated Roe just means the Court kicked the decision to regulate abortion back to the states—who were the only entities legally empowered to decide on the matter according to our system of government in the first place. The federal government never had the grounds to affirm abortion “rights.”

Abortion has not been outlawed across the U. S., nor will it be outlawed throughout. Even in my town of Pittsburgh, one local official is pushing legislation to ensure abortion access for all women who want it. As if there was any chance—in this Sanctuary City that actively recruits job-stealing, wage-depressing, illegal aliens—that there would ever be any safe space for unborn children.

Our baby—had he or she survived—would’ve been an adult by now. Maybe he or she would’ve been like his or her paternal grandmother, who loved people so much she chose to give birth to 12 of them.

Our baby never lived long enough for us to know if he or she was physically perfect or developmentally disabled and not likely to survive after delivery, as is the case in some abortions. But such cases of babies with serious congenital defects, or of pregnant mothers who could die if they try to give birth, are truly the rare exception rather than the rule for why so many babies have been aborted.

Estimates show that over 60 million souls have been aborted since Roe. Look it up if you disbelieve me, but a majority of abortions are the result of a mother choosing convenience over loving a baby. Whether that convenience amounts to the would-be mother not feeling ready to have a baby, not having a supportive partner, not feeling she can afford a baby, or whatever, it is a “choice” of convenience.

But for people of conscience, there’s no escaping our misdeeds. We must live with our actions, for better or worse.

I never dreamed how the whining of “do as you will” types online would elicit such a reaction from me. And now, I’m crying as I write this. I might’ve had a child, or even a grandchild, by now. But I don’t, because I chose selfishness over love.

My ex, Mary, has regrets, too. Though we stayed together for years after, she repeatedly said, “If I’d just had that baby, we would still be together.” We both regret a decision so many people think is a simple “choice” every woman (who’s already born, that is) has a “right” to make.

Abortion isn’t some harmless act, as pro-abortionists claim. Abortion is destruction. It is lives ended, wrecked relationships, love destroyed, and trust diminished or even erased. I know this all too well.

Image Credit: Flickr-Dean White, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan Barnes

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  • Avatar
    June 27, 2022, 10:04 pm

    No one addresses the real tragedy in all this; Civilized society demands that you must be responsible for your actions .
    If you are driving at 100 miles per hour and a policeman gives you a ticket, you can’t go back and obey the speed limit, but amazingly enough, if you choose to have sex, and a much more important events takes place (pregnancy) we have a large segment of the population, that thinks it’s ok, to "correct" this decision the woman took, and let her terminate this "error"
    Does anybody wonder what this effect has on society in general? When a woman is convinced that terminating a result that occurred by her action, what can you expect from that society?

    • Avatar
      June 28, 2022, 3:46 am

      a society of spineless wimps, turned inward upon their own sorry selves, no ability to FEEL anyone else’s pain hurt, helpelssness, sorrow. And certainly no will to "lay down your life for your friend". Nope. singin’ that one not samba all day long… mi mi mi mi mi mi mi. One more result of such "va;lues" is a culture of individuals who insist on deciding FOR YOU then by golly making sure YOU do it THEIR way. In short, the WILL todominate. The ultimate form of domination is that of "I have authority over YOUR life, and I have decided yours will end so mine will go better".

      No, pregnant mother with a real life HUMAN BEING growing inside YOU. You do NOT own that child, nor do you have such ultimate authority over her. That CHILD has as much right to live as YOU do.

  • Avatar
    David Boehringer
    June 28, 2022, 1:25 am

    Abortion is murder, period. Even worse you’re murdering your own child. And if you do have more children, that you let live, what will you tell them when they ask why they don’t have older siblings? Oh well I murdered them by having them killed and dismembered in my womb so as to more easily extract them. Nice.

  • Avatar
    Mark Tapson
    June 28, 2022, 1:25 am

    Thanks for having the courage to write this, Mr. Barnes. And know that it’s not too late – I turned my life around and had my first child at 52.

  • Avatar
    Kalikiano Kalei
    June 28, 2022, 1:39 am

    Jon, thank you for sharing this highly personal incident in your life with us. It certainly strikes a resonant note in me, owing to my having had a similarly shattering experience while the Cardiopulmonary Program Director at a major teaching hospital in Oakland, California, more than 42 years ago.

    I was going at that time with a lovely, highly gifted resident at that hospital of Chinese extraction, who had escaped from China and put herself (largely on her own) through both undergraduate school and medical school, before taking a residency at my facility. A student and appreciator of Asian culture myself, I was utterly entranced by her and we lived together while she was at my hospital.

    Despite her taking the usual pharmaceutical ‘precautions’, she became pregnant midway through her first year of residency. The news was something of a shock to both of us, but despite my being a keen fan of Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s philosophies, the idea of having a child with this beautiful and talented woman strongly appealed to the romantic in me…as much because my own father had died prematurely (when I was age 4) and I was determined to be the father for ‘my child’ that I myself never knew.

    But for her, a child seemed to be an impossible option in the middle of the rigorous medical training that she had worked so hard to achieve and complete. Hence, she made the decision unilaterally to have the child terminated and did so, across the Bay in San Francisco, undergoing a D&C procedure.

    I was crushed! As much as I fully understood her rationale, the idea was to me absolutely appalling. And yet, neither of us realistically had the luxury of the obvious alternative…having the child.

    That was 42 years ago. She later married a lawyer after beginning her practice, had a child of her own and also adopted another child from China. I joined the medical version of the French Foreign Legion (taking medical contracts in Saudi Arabia). Today presumably my former lady love (now retired) and her family have enjoyed a full and rewarding life, but for me this was a deeply personal tragedy that I have carried within me all of my subsequent life. I have never gotten over it and it still affects me to my core whenever I think back upon it. I’ve even written poems and a prosaic account of it.

    I think my point here (if there is one) is that, although I am not a conventionally religious individual, when it comes down to the inescapably ‘human’ side of the argument, and despite my strong (Malthusian) opinions on how a surfeit of insensitive humanity is increasingly destroying our beautiful planet, and when my own flesh and blood is involved in the argument, I found that human life is not something to be taken lightly, bio-chemical miracle that it is.

    Of course, ‘errors’ and mistakes happen, despite our best efforts and intentions, and regardless of my sense of personal loss and grief, I nevertheless strongly defend the notion that a woman has the right to determine what’s best for her own health and well-being. Although such a notion does not constitute a ‘constitutional right’, in my understanding of the law, the pure logic of "My body, my decision" makes all the sense in the world to me!

    • Avatar
      Tionico@Kalikiano Kalei
      June 28, 2022, 4:04 am

      So sad you both did not care enough about that LIFE inside her that you decided to destrpy him. You fail to comprehend that it is not YOU who create that child, it is the same God who made YOU BOTH who created him I refuse to believe there was NO OTHER OPTION for you. WHY do I say that? Because I have heard countless stories of couples who "could not afford to have a child now" who made the very TOUGH decision to bring that child into this world, some to bless another couple who cannot mediclaly have their own children, others to raise their own child. Yes, in many cases, life was very tough for a season. But in every case as the couple moved ahead and trusted that the God who provides that lif e WILL ALSO provide for that chidn’s needs as he lives and grows. I also know quite a few children, now adults wiht their own, who at one time before their birth, were destined for the clinic wastebin. Their Mother made the VERY tough decision to bring the child to life… release that child to someone else to raise. In some of tose cases, the newborn child, as he grew into a fine yng man, did know, and build a strong relationship, wiht his natural Mother, while being raised and rained in his "borrowed" home. As an adult now, and a Dad of at least three that i know of, his Mother has been a part of his life, and so they both have been able to share many blessings, including her grndchildren through the Son she wanted to destroy but did not.

      When the RIGHT decision is made, and that is ALWAYS the one that leads to life, somehow God, in honouring that decisin, WILL make a way for that child’s future.
      One solid universal rule does bind: if YIOU and your "partner" of whatever sort, are not ready to have AND raise children, you have no busienss being sexullly involved. THAT is God’s way. nd it is by far the best. Oh I know, the Bible has quite a number of stores of bastard children some who ended up being amazing blessings, others being a burden and shame on their parents. Yet God is still honoured though it all. And we men can learn frm it, or not. If you do not love her enough to have children together, you have no buesiness bedding her. And you CERTAINLY should talk through these things BEFORE jumping into the sack. Having conceived a child is way past time to talk about "what will we do if/when"?

  • Avatar

    […] A heart-breaking story about an aborted child, https://intellectualtakeout.org/2022/06/the-child-i-almost-had/ […]


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