I once talked with a man and a woman across the street from an abortion clinic. I asked, “May I talk to you about alternatives to the clinic?” The woman (almost in tears) looked back at the man, then looked at me. Her face expressed how deeply she regretted the decision to come to the clinic, but she quietly acknowledged that she couldn’t see an alternative and proceeded to walk across the street into the abortion clinic.
That left the man standing alone on the curb, putting coins in the parking meter. I repeated myself and said: “May I talk to you about alternatives to the clinic?” The man, in a straightforward way, continued to feed the parking meter and said he already knew what I was going to say, and that I was right. He already knew what abortion was. He already knew what abortion does. He was currently experiencing the emotionally destructive aftermath of abortion on the heart.
From his heart, he shared with me that he was 26 and had fathered 16 children. The 17th child (in the womb of his or her mother) had just gone into the abortion clinic. Only two of his children were alive. And those were the children of the women who refused to have abortions and got legally enforced restraining orders against him. My initial reaction was anger. I remember thinking to myself, “How can you treat women so badly?” I looked in his eyes and started to speak again, but he looked right back at me. “It’s too late for me,” he said, with deep regret in his voice. “I am just an animal now. I am no longer a man.”
That’s when the weight of the reality of men haunted by abortion regret hit me. That’s when my heart broke.
Regret can be a negative reaction to a personal decision resulting in blaming one’s self for a bad outcome. Regret can linger where opportunity existed, leading to a sense of loss or sorrow of what might have been or wishing one could undo a previously made choice. In some cases, the self-recrimination that can come with regret leads to a type of refocusing on and/or an adaptation to our current reality. In other cases, the pain of regret can turn into rumination, resulting from the differences in the present and painful reality of chosen vs. unchosen actions. While it’s been noted that the less opportunity one has to change the situation, the more intense the feeling of regret can be, many have experienced the strength to move forward from the healing of the heart.
#LifeLongRegretIsReal is a video series, born out of this experience and dedicated to the reality of abortion regret. Acknowledging the reality of regret has the power to reveal the possibility of reconciliation. If that means an apology, paying forward a good act, taking different steps in a similar present situation, or even moving on and/or letting go of a past that only exists in our minds, a healthier and brighter future is ahead of us.
The videos in this series are meant to be used within a safe counseling context with the intent of aiding an open, honest, and intimate discussion on the subject of abortion regret.
The goal of the video series is to help reclaim the lives of those who regret their abortion decision. As a Christian, I know Jesus Christ will meet all of our needs. Because Jesus Christ met all of mine. I know all of us can be completely healed and made whole through the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ!
Understanding that healing from abortion regret doesn’t mean the damage never existed, but that the damage no longer controls our lives, the Issues4Life Foundation has partnered with the “Everlasting Light Ministries” (http://ellm.org) team led by Brian and Denise Walker, and the “No Longer Bound” (https://faithfulcentral.com/nolongerbound) team led by Marc and Tegra Little, to reach deeper into black America with the hope of healing abortion regret.
The Everlasting Light Ministries team and the No Longer Bound team are the two leading abortion recovery ministries in the community of color. Both ministries provide a safe place for spiritual healing and deliverance through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to women and men who have been emotionally wounded by abortion.
Lori and I thank God for the high calling of these ministries.