The day my girlfriend told me she was three months pregnant I was absolutely devastated. She had already told her parents, now I had to tell mine. I made sure Dad wasn't around when I told Mum, hoping that she would understand. When Dad arrived home Mum told him my girlfriend was pregnant. By the time I got home they had already been to see my girlfriend's parents to discuss the situation my girlfriend and I had got ourselves into. Together our parents decided that an abortion would be the best for all concerned.
My girlfriend and I were both 17 years old and didn't have a clue what to do about the problem we had. My Mum assured me that it wasn't a baby but just a piece of lifeless tissue, shaped like a kidney. I now know that at three months the baby was fully formed in every detail, completely individual to any other human being, never again to be duplicated.
I spent the next few days convincing myself that my life would have been ruined if I had had a baby to support. Besides, I wanted a bigger and better motor bike than I already had. I had my whole life ahead of me. I wasn't going to let a baby spoil everything for me.
I don't think my girlfriend really wanted to have the abortion, but I talked her round to everybody else's point of view. Our parents made arrangements for the abortion at the Hazel Grove clinic.
The day my girlfriend went for the abortion I was at work. I was feeling all kinds of emotions. I was feeling guilty, but at the same time relieved. To make matters worse, when my girlfriend got back from the clinic she went hysterical at me. She was feeling guilty and sick at what we had done. For months after she would break down with bouts of uncontrollable sobbing.
I had no answers for her; I felt as guilty as she did. She used to count the weeks and months up to the time when the baby would have been born. The week the child should have been born was the worst. We were sitting in my bedroom talking and she began to sob again, mourning the loss of our child.
I have a poem she wrote that night. Unknown to her I kept it and it haunted me for years.
I love my little baby,
But he's not here at the moment!
Because he's been dumped in a dustbin,
Poor little thing,
He would have been born in about a week,
I wish I'd kept him.
There's nothing more I can say about abortion that the poem doesn't say; except that abortion is not just a woman's issue because it also affects men. It is only because of Christ's great love and mercy that I know I have now been forgiven and set free from the guilt I had suppressed for so many years.
Next Thursday, October 27, is the National Day of Prayer about abortion. Seven million babies have been aborted in the UK since abortion was decriminalised. Ninety-eight per cent of abortions are for social reasons. One per cent are because of suspected disability.
The day of prayer is organised by Image, a Christian pro-life organisation. While I was thinking about the day, I came across the testimony above in an Image publication.
People are asked to arrange some prayer on the day. Would you be able to do that?
Details of the day, free prayer guides and a PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded here.