The following story comes from Gulf Coast Storks in Southwest, Florida.
We had been dating for about two months when my girlfriend, Renae, got pregnant. We were both in our forties, and since I didn’t have any children of my own, I was excited about the prospect of being a father for the first time. However, Renae had older children and I knew that she was not excited about the idea of raising a young child again.
While neither of us believe that abortion is right, Renae said it would be the easiest option. I didn’t agree, but I respected her decision and kept quiet.
A few weeks later we planned to meet each other at the abortion clinic before work. I arrived first. It was a quiet morning—the parking lot was nearly empty and the clinic wasn’t open yet. I leaned my back against the brick building and waited for Renae to come.
As I was waiting, a large blue bus pulled into the parking lot. A woman hopped out and started walking towards me. She introduced herself and asked if I was waiting for someone or if I needed directions. I guess I looked a little lost. I told her that I was waiting for my girlfriend.
I asked her about the van and she told me she worked for an organization that helped pregnant women discover options outside of abortion. I began to feel even more conflicted—I knew abortion wasn’t right.
The woman made me feel comfortable, so I told her why I was there. She gave me information about other options we might consider and brought me pamphlets that I could offer to Renae.
When Renae pulled up to the clinic, we sat in her car and I told her about the conversation I had with the women by the bus. We looked through the pamphlets together and then she asked me what I wanted. I told her that I wanted to be a father and that I would raise the child if she couldn’t or didn’t want to.
Through tears, she shared that she was shocked I wanted the keep the child and was thankful I was speaking my mind. While I thought my silence was showing her respect and love, it made her feel like I didn’t care. Telling her I didn’t want her to have an abortion showed her that I cared for her and would not leave her alone.
This comforted her greatly and made her excited to have a baby again! While this process has not been easy, it has brought us closer to one another and we are very excited to be parents together.
That moment in the car with Renae was life-changing. Society had me convinced that in order to stand for women’s rights, I shouldn’t speak my mind. But, what I realized is that I didn’t have to abandon my convictions in order to care for women. Instead, the best way for me to love and empower Renae was to tell her how I felt and assure her I would stand by her and our child. That is likely the most pro-woman thing I could have ever done.