This is a repost of my Father’s Day meditation from 2010. In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday let’s honor all the “Dads for Life” in our lives.
Three generations of pro-life men: Eric, Joe and Nate Scheidler at a protest in 2004 [Photo by Danita Covington]
This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to address a common objection raised by abortion advocates: that men, because they can’t get pregnant, have no business saying or doing anything about abortion.
Of course, that rule only applies to pro-life men. If a man supports abortion, he’s more than welcome to speak out and take action. No one on the other side objects to men acting as clinic escorts (or as we call them, “deathscorts”) or joining a counter-protest—let alone paying for an abortion.
But really, the idea that men should have no say in abortion because they can’t get pregnant is nonsense. And as a son and a husband, as the brother of three sisters and, above all, as the father of six daughters, I have a deep interest in women’s welfare.
These relationships inspire my pro-life work—especially my fatherhood. And when I see a young woman walk into Planned Parenthood—whether it’s for an abortion or just birth control pills—I have to wonder what kind of failure of fatherhood may be behind it. What happened—or didn’t happen—to drive this young woman into the arms of a man who does not love her enough to raise a child with her, who does not cherish her motherhood.
Of course, I don’t know the circumstances. And there’s no inoculating any child against the temptations of sex, cohabitation and the rest. Many men try to raise their daughters—and sons—right, only to lose a grandchild to abortion. Their stories are heart-breaking.
But what’s really crippling our society is not men being involved too much in the lives of the women and girls around them. It’s men being involved too little. Our society suffers from a crisis of fatherhood, and almost everybody recognizes it.
One of the many “Dads for Life” [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
Everybody except the most radical supporters of unrestricted legal abortion, that is. They don’t see that driving men away on the abortion issue only hurts women in the long run.
To say that men shouldn’t weigh in on abortion (or at least, pro-life men shouldn’t) because untimely pregnancy “doesn’t affect them” is to completely misread the situation. On the contrary, it’s men who urge a woman to abort—either directly or indirectly through the faux altruism of “supporting her decision”—who are insulated from the effects of pregnancy.
Let us celebrate men who are willing to stand up and take fatherly responsibility for the welfare of women and their unborn children. This Father’s Day, let us thank all those “Dads for Life” who stand along side women on the front lines of the pro-life movement.