Embracing Life -- Day 22

Chandra White-Cummings

Day 22: Dear Dads

Discussions about abortion typically focus on the women involved. But more and more men are beginning to bring their pain to light, too. Today when I went to the abortion clinic to pray, a young Black man went in with what appeared to be his wife or girlfriend. He came out a short time later alone. One of the other women there spoke to him, and I could tell he was listening, and judging from his body language, he wasn’t in favor of what was happening inside the clinic.

Reading the reflection today and seeing that father, brother, or uncle struggling with that woman’s “choice” makes me wish I could have spoken to him. That opportunity has passed, but one of the benefits of being a writer is that I’m not restricted to contemporaneous conversation. I can release my thoughts after the fact. Here’s to that guy and others like him:

Dear Dad,

I hope you take that title seriously. Conceiving a child is no sweat; raising a child is no joke. The situation you’re in now might be one of the few times in your life when you feel powerless, or powerful-whichever the case may be. However your child came to be, and whatever your relationship with the mother is like, you have now crossed over into one of the most important roles you will ever have. Some people would say that if you don’t feel prepared to be a father, then it’s fine to abort your child. Maybe your money is tight. Maybe you just got laid off. Maybe you’re just no friend to a hard day’s work. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter because it’s not about you. Your options changed when your sperm connected with her egg. That was the time to consider your readiness to be a father. Now there is a part of you that is alive and preparing to enter this world. So now’s not the time to shrink back; now’s the time to step the heck up.

Believe it or not, what you think does matter to your woman. Please don’t believe the lie that Black women don’t need you. We absolutely do. Rather than retreating into resigned silence, speak to her. Tell her you care what happens to her and to your baby. Let her know that she’s not alone, and that you will do whatever it takes to see that they are provided for. Or if you just can’t see your way clear, then help her think through the possibility of placing the child with a loving family who will do for the child what you feel you cannot. But please, whatever you do, don’t sit by and allow your seed, your legacy to die a senseless death. This is a chance you may never have again-to truly leave your mark on this world. Maybe your father wasn’t there for you. Why perpetuate that tragedy? Start something new. Until recently, I never knew Black men to be quitters, forsakers of their families. They would have died first. Rise to the occasion and see if it doesn’t turn out to be worth it. Not easy, but worth it. The lady needs you, the child needs you, and in a communal sense, we all need you.

Pulling for you … because my dad wasn’t perfect, but he was there.


Find out more at the 40 Days for Life website.

Previous Posts

Day 21: The Others
Day 20: Not So Great Expectations
Days 18 & 19: Weekend Break
Day 17: Does Anyone Care?
Day 16: His First Home
Day 15: A Different Kind of Choice
Day 14: Even Now
Day 13: Wondrous Love
Day 12: The Real Reason Why
Day 11: Exhausted and Spent
Day 10: Every Breath We Take
Day 9: First Things First
Day 8: In the Power of Our Hand
Day 7: Somebody Prayed for Them
Day 6: Knowing Us
Day 5: Mercy in the Midst of Judgment
Day 4: Not for the Faint of Heart
Day 3: The Unborn Child as Lazarus?

Share This