This is part of a series of stories, Massachusetts Speaks, in which mothers, fathers, and siblings report their personal losses from abortion. The below is written by a father who attended Boston College.
By Theo Purington III
In October of 2006, I found out I wa a father. My girlfriend of six months was pregnant with our child. Neither of us planned this pregnancy, or had even talked about the possibility of getting pregnant. That was about to become my biggest regret. Like I said, I wasn’t ready to have a child. She said she couldn’t go forward with the birth of a child and wanted to abort. She went to the nursing staff at Boston College a week or two after she found out she was pregnant.
The nurse at B.C. told her that she would be better off having an abortion, and told her where she could get one. I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time because I wanted her to stay calm and positive. I drove her to a crisis pregnancy center in Boston when she was 5 weeks pregnant, so that she could explore her options other than having an abortion. The women at the center set up a date for her to get an ultrasound so she could see her child. We went to get her first ultrasound when she was 5 weeks pregnant.
We weren’t able to see much at this point, but we did see the heartbeat of our child. The technologist said it was too early in the pregnancy to see our baby, and to come back in 2 1/2- 3 weeks. We came back three weeks later for another ultrasound, and that’s when we saw our baby. Our child was at eight weeks gestation, and he had fingers, toes, eyes, everything. I saw and heard my child’s heartbeat; and I cried.
It was an overwhelming and beautiful experience for me--until she looked over at me and said: “What are you crying about? Worms have heartbeats too.”
Her sister had offered to pay $500 for her to get an abortion. She insisted she was going to get the abortion, was planning to get one that weekend, and broke up with me right before.
I called the abortion clinic and asked what my rights were; they said “You don’t have any”. I then asked them, “What do you do with the aborted babies? I want to bury my child.”
They told me that it wasn’t a child, it was a fetus, and to never call again or they would involve the police.
My hands were tied. I, as a father had no legal right to protect my child from a death committed by a “doctor”. I called everyone imaginable to see what my rights were and I got the same answer: “nothing”.
The week before my child was aborted, I went to try one more time to ask the mother of my child to not do this. But she was adamant about having an abortion, and told me to leave. So I then asked her if I could do one thing before I left, she told me that was fine. I then got on my knees and kissed the stomach of the mother of my child and said “I love you, and Daddy will see you in heaven.” I then took the ultrasound pictures and left.
The day my child was aborted was a very painful day for me. I was informed that my child had been aborted in the afternoon on December 2nd, 2006. It was the most painful experience I have ever been through. My relationship ended with the woman that I thought I was going to marry, and I lost my first child. I didn’t want to go on; I was in too much pain. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I had nightmares of my child being aborted. The day after my child was aborted, I went to see my pastor and he suggested that I have a memorial for my unborn child. I took his advice, and had one the following Sunday at his church. I had my parents and a few friends come. It was a short ceremony, but very painful. I never thought that my child would meet God before I did.
After that day things were still very painful. I still couldn’t sleep or eat, and thoughts of suicide filled my head every waking hour. I joined Bible studies, and post-abortion Bible studies as much as possible. Those were the only people that would understand.
There were times that I wouldn’t even receive support at church. A man is really not allowed to grieve the loss of his unborn baby. I was told things like: “Your child wasn’t even born, so get over it,”“It wasn’t a baby yet,” or even people saying “Your child deserved to die.” None of those things helped me heal and just put me in more of a state of depression.
That winter I was invited to a Right to Life march in Concord, NH. I thought it might be healing, so I went. While I was there, I met a man that ran crisis pregnancy centers in NYC. After speaking to him for awhile, he invited me down to NYC for the summer. I decided to go down and give it a shot.
On July 12th 2007, the day my child was supposed to be born, I went to NYC to serve God and help men and women in situations like I was in. While I was there, I counseled around 500 men and women, and through God, saved at least 100 lives from abortion. I continued to do this work in Manchester, NH by sidewalk counseling, counseling in centers, coordinated 40 Days for Life in New Hampshire, and started speaking to different Churches and events, sharing my testimony and how abortion affects men. I recently moved to Florida where I am doing the same work. Even though I never got to meet my child, and I miss my baby every single day, I know my child is now in the arms of Jesus and I will meet him and hold him in heaven.