When Shaun first started going with Maria they were both working part-time jobs while at University and struggling to make ends meet. As the relationship progressed they decided to live together and share expenses. Neither of them particularly thought much about pregnancy and were careful, but Shaun felt that birth control was more Maria's problem than his.
When Maria announced that she was pregnant, Shaun felt as if his life was over.
He admits that he was very self-centred, but all he could think was that if he
had to leave 'Uni' and find a full-time job his life and all his plans for his
future would be ruined.
The thought of having a child, with all the responsibilities that meant, scared
Maria asked him what to do and he told her he would think about it. He saw his
options as being to walk out on her, marry her, convince her to have an abortion
...or simply ignore the problem.
Too upset to think clearly, Shaun tried the last option. Maria wanted him to
marry her, enabling her to keep the baby but that panicked Shaun even more.
Marriage was not in his plans for the immediate future.
Maria moved out of their flat and stayed with some friends. A couple of weeks
later Shaun found out that she had an appointment to have an abortion. He was
upset at the thought of abortion and felt guilty, but did nothing. He wanted to
tell Maria not to go ahead with it but in the end he said nothing.
On the day of the abortion he went with Maria to the clinic because he felt he
should support her. He describes the experience as 'horrible.'
As he waited with her he felt that everyone was looking at him. He realised that
everyone knew he was the father of a child waiting to be aborted. In his heart
Shaun felt that what they were doing was wrong but he says he was too much of a
spineless wimp to do anything about it.
So he sat there and tried not to let anyone see the tears in his eyes. When it
was all over he took Maria back to her friends' place and went home. They could
not talk about the abortion and it was always there in front of them, their
relationship effectively ended with the pregnancy.
"Every time I thought about the
abortion, I felt a wave of guilt come over me and I simply could not let it go
or get out from under it. I was punishing myself with guilt."
later, after Shaun had married and become a Christian, he was finally able to
let go of the guilt feelings and experience the freedom that he says "came
with the knowledge of the forgiveness that comes through Jesus."
He says that although he knows God has forgiven him, there are still times when
he feels the pain and shame over what he did.