It’s ironic that the fieriest era yet in America’s abortion fight comes amid Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Just weeks after the Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public, we collectively put it aside to nationally celebrate the mothers who chose to give us life.
Now, with the decision about to be formally handed down, we celebrate fathers, those so often absent from the abortion decision and process all together.
Pro-abortion groups are having a field day trying to convince Americans that access to abortion “opens the door to fulfilling educational and career goals” and the sustainment of one’s “bodily autonomy.”
Rarely do you hear from men, specifically those who are thankful for unexpected fatherhood. Rarely, in fact, do you hear from fathers at all. Pro-abortion forces tell pro-life men to keep quiet, but complain when pro-choice men don’t speak up. The rules are exhausting, but this is America and anyone who wants is free to share their story.
My family’s story speaks for an underrepresented demographic of fathers — those who created a better, brighter future because of an unexpected pregnancy. Having kids at a young age “saved me from self-destruction,” my Dad told me recently.
He was young and aimlessly barreling into adulthood when I was born. He left home at fifteen and had been on his own since. I once found a mug shot from the late Seventies folded between the pages of a yellowed photo album.
One of my first homes was a trailer, filled with little more than a threadbare couch and my Dad’s prized possession: a guitar he still owns today. The responsibilities of fatherhood injected a new sense of purpose into my Dad, as it does for many young men.
Throughout my life, he’s been known to say, “If it wasn’t for your mom and you girls, I’d be dead or in prison.” The faded photos of a long-haired, motorcycle-riding teenager of the Seventies echoes this assessment.
When men have someone to care for outside of themselves, transformation can occur, and so it did. A copy of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was gifted to Dad and he began to consider the possibilities enshrined in ambition, personal responsibility and self-generated income. As my parents married and had more children, he thrived.
Married men, studies show, are less depressed, more economically successful and gain self-respect in viewing themselves as protectors and providers. Though marriage before parenthood is the optimal route, early parenthood can also lead to a bright future.
He soon started a small company fixing roofs and decks, advertising his work in the local newspaper. Slowly, it gained traction, as he poured over investment magazines and studied successful business owners around town. He clipped famous, inspirational quotes from the newspaper, magnetizing them to the refrigerator. This was a favorite:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
As the business grew to include commercial roofing projects (“I roofed that one,” he’d say when we passed a McDonald’s), business and political talk radio shows became the soundtrack of my childhood. Books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and business magazines often littered the seats of his tar-stained truck.
At this time, my mom attended nursing school with three girls eight and under. We wore hand-me-downs and Kmart specials, but I don’t remember ever thinking about money. They cultivated a rich and beautiful life for us.
My parents’ hard work in career and family are a timeless benefit to their children and forthcoming generations. They had a choice to make when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Their decision to create a family led to a flourishing life that has immeasurably contributed to the world.
The baby, who is writing this piece, was the unplanned scenario that changed my Dad’s life for the better. Young men with minimal family support are often directionless and scattered. A child isn’t a remedy for that, but it can be an opportunity.
It’s important to share stories of empowerment, rather than telling young people that babies will kill their dreams. Unexpected pregnancy may, in fact, make your dreams come true.