|A Caring Pregnancy Resource Center banquet focuses on fathers|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
“If we saved one baby a year, it’s worth having our center,” said Jan Loesch, executive director of A Caring Pregnancy Resource Center.
Over 350 people showed their support of this philosophy and the work of the center at its annual fundraising banquet at the Phillips County Event Center Saturday, Jan. 22.
Fathers were the focus of the night. Conversation about abortion is always centered around women and babies, noted main speaker Mark Bradley Morrow, but abortion hurts fathers too.
He said statistics show 25 percent of all women have had an abortion by the age of 45, and one out of six evangelical Christian women have had an abortion. He asked, could this mean 25 percent of men have been involved in an abortion, including one out of six evangelical Christian men?
Comedian Mark Bradley Morrow got banquet attendees laughing at
As a licensed Christian counselor, Morrow has seen the effects of what he calls “post-abortion grief” in men.
This can include shame, sadness, anger, guilt, promiscuity, insomnia and the inability to process anxiety, accept God’s forgiveness and grieve the loss of a baby, just to name a few.
“I’ve sat across from these guys, and I’ve seen the pain in their eyes,” said Morrow.
Even though Morrow is a Christian counselor, he has first-hand experience with post-abortion grief.
In his late 20s when his girlfriend became pregnant, he gave her two options: she could put the baby up for adoption or she could keep the baby with Morrow’s help financially.
She came up with a third option: abortion. Morrow said he knew abortion was wrong, but he accepted her decision anyway. “We took the easy way out. Well, it seemed easy at the time.”
Just months later, Morrow found out he had fathered another baby, but this time the girl didn’t tell him and got an abortion without his knowledge.
“Another dead baby—my baby,” he said.
The same thing happened again, an unplanned pregnancy and an abortion before he even knew about his third child.
If that wasn’t enough for Morrow to deal with, girlfriend number one came back into his life again, and like the first time, she became pregnant. He gave her his two options once more, but she again chose abortion.
That’s four abortions in 20 months.
“If I had chosen to obey God and not had premarital sex, those pregnancies and abortions wouldn’t have happened,” said Morrow.
For 18 years Morrow experienced post-abortion grief, but he chose to keep it a secret. Somehow he tucked it into the back of his mind. He said men are supposed to procreate, protect and provide, yet he failed to do those three things. The emotions began to slowly leak out over time.
Eventually Morrow got married to an unwed mother, under one condition—he wanted to get a vasectomy. Little did he know that after years of being a father to his wife’s daughter, he would long for children of his own.
After reversal surgery, Morrow was thrilled when his wife got pregnant.
“How could anyone have an abortion?” asked his wife after miscarrying this baby Morrow was so excited for.
“What I never wanted in the past, I now wanted and lost,” said an emotional Morrow.
Later, his wife did give birth to a healthy baby. “I have a beautiful baby—I have five dead babies.” Morrow said for each good memory, a bad memory accompanied it.
His secrecy was taking a terrible toll on his emotional well being. “These terrible feelings were like a tsunami flooding over me,” he said.
Even though it appeared he had his act together, he was having a meltdown inside. Morrow finally found the courage to tell a friend about the four abortions.
“God’s forgiven you,” said his friend who listened to him and was everything he needed him to be. A huge weight was lifted from Morrow, and he took on the difficult task of revealing his secret to his family, something that almost cost him his marriage.
“I have a lot of what-could-have-beens in my life,” he said. “Each year my invisible children grow up a little more,” he added, noting he just can’t shake the anniversaries and birthdays of the children he could have had.
It’s a shame we don’t talk about abortion issues with men, said Morrow. He encouraged people to make a bold move and talk to someone, anyone, about their abortion experiences.
Center gives report
A Caring Pregnancy Resource Center of Northeast Colorado served 121 clients in 2010 including men, women and babies. Each adult that goes to the center receives a minimum of one hour of face-to-face counseling.
Loesch said they will also go wherever the need is, traveling to the homes of clients. She noted right now they are in need of more advocates in the Holyoke office.
In 2010, WAIT training (Why Am I Tempted) was introduced in Holyoke schools for the first time. This sex education program teaches self respect and guidelines for a healthy lifestyle.
Two other new programs last year included groups for mentoring young boys and counsel/healing for both men and women involved in abortions.
One of the center’s clients shared her incredible story with Saturday’s crowd.
She said for her, “abortion was an easy way out, the wrong way out, but that’s what I wanted to do.”
After getting connected with A Caring Pregnancy Resource Center, the woman realized she wasn’t alone in this “horrible episode” of her life.
“There was only one way out, and that was giving her life.” With tears in her eyes, the emotional mother proudly showed off her healthy baby daughter. “She saved my life in some ways, and I saved hers.”