When my daughter Courtney was fifteen I discovered she had missed her period. I took her to the doctor and we found out that she was about six weeks pregnant. I wasn't thrilled about what she had done but I told her that I would help her and she could do this.
Her boyfriend and his family weren't happy either and they all tried to pressure her into an abortion.
They didn't like the idea of him paying child support for the next eighteen
years. Because she had my support Courtney was refusing to listen to them.
When she was about nine weeks along, her boyfriend persuaded her to go and talk
to someone at Family Planning. I was told nothing about this or anything else until later.
Her boyfriend went with her and they talked to a counsellor who told her that it was not really a baby; it was a blob. Courtney told the counsellor that I would not let her have an abortion. She was told that she could legally have an abortion without my permission. She was asked questions about how did she think she would be able to manage with a baby.
How would she be able to complete her education with a baby to take care of?
Did she realise that, even if she was old enough to get a Benefit, it wasn't an
easy way to live?
How would she feel about staying home to care for a baby when all her friends
were out dating and having fun?
Did she realise just how difficult her life would be? etc., etc...
I could see that Courtney wasn't happy and asked her what was the matter. She
told me what had happened and how confused she was. She was still seeing her
boyfriend at school and talked with him on the phone every evening so I told her
to invite him round to the house to watch a couple of videos.
When he arrived I told him I wanted him to watch a video on foetal development
and after that a video of an actual abortion taking place. He definitely didn't
want to watch that one in particular but I asked him how he could ask my
daughter to go through an experience that he couldn't even bear to watch.
Courtney cried when she watched The Silent Scream video and looked at her boyfriend and told him that she could not do that to a baby.
He just told her that he wasn't ready to be a father.
I had left them alone to watch the videos but I came back into the room at that
"John," I said, "you are already a father. Whatever
happens can never change that. I am not happy that you and Courtney have been
having sex but I believe that if you feel you are old enough for sex, then you
are old enough to face the consequences of your actions. It is time for you to
back off trying to get Courtney to have an abortion and start giving her your
"She needs you to be a man right now, not a scared boy. Do you think
you can be a man?""
At seventeen years of age John apparently decided that he could. He never
mentioned abortion again. He told his parents that he was going to care for
Courtney and their baby. I had offered to help however I could and he asked them
if they would as well.
We all pitched in to help with child-minding while they finished their
education. Courtney and John got married and are so proud of their beautiful
daughter. John talked to me privately last Father's Day. He was all choked up,
with tears in his eyes as he thanked me for not allowing him to kill his