Lisa Chambers TD (Member of the Irish parliament) recently proclaimed that abortion regret does not exist.
In the years after my son was aborted, I began to have a recurring dream. The dream began with my ex-partner behind glass, lying on a bed in a hospital dressing gown. A doctor was talking to her, and then they stopped talking and got into a position that suggested a surgical abortion. I would begin beating on the Plexiglass, shouting and thumping my fists. I would wake at that point, usually after my own voice broke my sleep. The first time this happened, I was in a sheer state of panic. My heart rate was wild and my breathing was very heavy.
The dreams continued seven or eight times. One night, the same pattern happened, and I woke convinced that I could hear a baby crying. I was also drinking heavily at that time, further distorting my thinking. I got up out of bed and walked downstairs and out the back door of the house. The cool 4 a.m. air hit me and I realized I was dreaming and my brain was imagining something that had not happened. There was no baby, no crying. Our baby was dead.
Maybe the sixth time I had the dream, it was clear that I needed psychological help. The dream began and the doctor and my ex-partner were talking. She lay back on the bed and the doctor started a vacuum type machine. I was screaming, banging on the Plexiglass, 'please', 'stop' 'no' ... and then in the dream, I broke through the glass. I was punching the doctor and screaming, landing blows on his head, the aggression was something I never had felt before-- then the panic of waking. I was on my knees in bed, had been punching out at something, and then looked around the darkened room realizing all over again, our baby was no more. It had been another dream.
Tears followed. My heart felt like it had been ripped apart. Later, through hours of counselling, I learned that what I was doing was trying to save our child all over again.
The same thing happened on May 25, 2018. I had tried in vain to stop abortion coming to Ireland. I failed. The exit polls on the Friday night of the referendum made many hearts sink. By Monday morning, the inability to get out of bed, the stress and adrenaline running through my heart, arms and legs, saw me back in front of the counselor again. She smiled and told me, “You were trying to protect your aborted son all over again. Why are you torturing yourself like this?”
Lisa Chambers may think that abortion regret is something fictional. I am a man who was mentally destroyed after losing a child to abortion. The dreams were awful, the stress, drinking, weight loss, weight gain and self-hatred were all real. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to be the woman who carries a baby and then goes through the abortion process. Abortion poses psychological risks for both men and women, including depression, substance abuse, PTSD, suicide. The mental health side effects post abortion can be devastating.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.