-This post was written by CAP Communications Coordinator Tyler Hudgins
In my last blog post, I talked about the dripping irony that I witnessed as I walked up to the late-term abortion clinic, Family Planning Associates, to interview volunteers of the 40 Days for Life Movement. I was personally moved by the stories of Vanessa Tedesco and Nancy Brady. But, there was someone else who stuck out of the crowd like a sore thumb – that was Mike Stafford.
Mike wasn’t sure if he wanted to interview with me initially. But, as I began to walk away, he stopped me and asked to share his story. He said he had only shared the story once before in his life. Yet ultimately he decided it might help people understand how abortion also impacts men through lost fatherhood.
Here is Mike’s story:
I have been involved in the pro-life cause since 1981. A pastor showed a movie of a preborn baby on the ultrasound machine as it was being aborted. On the screen, I saw the preborn baby trying to move away from the instruments as they were closing in. What I saw on that screen was truly eye opening, so much, that it changed my life forever and resulted in 25 years of service to the pro-life movement in Alaska. I eventually became the President of Alaska Right to Life.
I can hear the babies crying. I can hear my own baby crying.
In 1973, when Roe v. Wade was established, I was stationed in Thailand as a Marine. Our tour guide was a local Thai girl and I ended up staying at her family’s home one evening. I sincerely didn’t anticipate for anything to happen between us – but it did.
Upon returning to the United States after duty I was welcomed by a letter addressed to me from Thailand. It was the Thai girl and she told me that she had become pregnant. In her letter, she insisted for me to come get the child.
I was deeply troubled. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t reply.
She soon sent another letter again pleading for my help. She said if she didn’t hear back from me soon that she was going to take “medicine.” She wasn’t specific, but I knew what she meant. Despite this looming threat, I still couldn’t move myself to reply.
As a result of my silence, I then received another letter from her saying that she had the abortion. Initially, I felt a sense of relief followed by an immediate sense of shame. I had done harm to this woman and my own child.
I am now 62 years old. It’s a deeply personal thing and ultimately why I’ve only shared this story one other time in my life. I now have 3 daughters and a son. I cannot tell you how many times I look at them and think … what would it be like? I have always believed my child would have been a baby girl.
So what would she be like? What color eyes would she have?
The turning point for me through all the anger and feeling of shame was just thinking about my own children. I didn’t want any of them to go through anything like this or make the same choice I made. Reason being, I don’t want them to feel how I feel, even to this very day, about my decision.
That’s why I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to helping others understand the viable alternatives to abortion. That’s why I volunteer with 40 Days for Life.