Abortion Attitudes And Experiences In A Group Of Male Prisoners
By Lindy A. Pierce

Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change
Vol. 6, No. 2, January/February 1994
Reproduced with Permission

The experience of men with abortion has been little studied generally and this is the first reported study on male prisoners and abortion. The study is also unusual because it is not based upon the usual analysis of data, but instead is based upon the direct anecdotal statements of the men themselves.

The author, Lindy A. Pierce, is a schoolteacher who has a special interest in men and abortion. She is a member of the advisory board of DADS for Life and has written previous articles on the subject. She resides in Campbellsville, Kentucky.

What do men think about abortion? That question was asked at a medium security prison. It was expected that men hardened by crime and prison life hide their pain and show an apathetic, macho, “live and let die” attitude. However the inmates that were interviewed were generally against abortion on demand* and found it to be a very negative experience psychologically. They were quite open about their feelings.

*62% opposed abortion without stating any exceptions; 14% opposed abortion except for health, rape or incest; 24% would permit abortion more generally but still had reservations.

Without much difficulty permission was obtained to interview inmates at a state reformatory in Kentucky. Several trips were made to the prison during 1987-1988. Some men were very sweet, gentle, repentant men who had become Christians while in prison. Others were men whose eyes could turn blood to ice.

Inmates at the reformatory were chosen for me by a prison employee. Every Monday the prison issued a population list. From that list every fifth "number" was sent either to the clergy visitation area or the psychiatrist's office, depending on where they allowed me to work on the following Tuesday.

Both work areas were so situated that there was complete privacy for the interviews. The clergy room adjacent to the main visitation area was a simple cinder block area about eight feet by eight feet. It was furnished only with a small table and two chairs. Men sent there had been in prison for some time and had to be strip-searched prior to and after the interview. An armed guard was always nearby. Only a pen, folder and writing paper were permitted. The interviews in the psychiatrist's office were not as tightly controlled. The office was in the older intake area of the institution where the men were fresh off the street and awaiting cell assignments.

The interviews lasted between fifteen seconds to an hour and a half. All interviewees had to sign a confidential release form saying they were permitting me to interview them of their own volition. The prison rules forbade me to keep records of who gave me experiential interviews and who did not. Only the age of the respondent could be noted on the interview notes. No audio or videotapes were permitted nor could one ask why the men were incarcerated.

Perhaps some of the most touching interviews were lost due to grief. More than once, after a brief introduction and letting the men know the subject to be discussed, some looked down or away and said they just couldn't talk about it. Others couldn't believe anyone cared what they had to say about anything (“ What's it to you? ”). Although some of the men had no personal experience with abortion they were eager to tell me their views on it. None agreed with abortion on demand up through the third trimester except for one man who said all blacks and Jews should be aborted. He had a swastika on his forehead and was tattooed all over with dragons, skulls, and devils.

Recovering from abortion is not just for women only. It lives inside men as well. The men I talked to can attest to that. Here are some of their comments.

Men Married at Time of Abortion

Inmate 1. 30 years old: “ We already have one little girl. My wife was hospitalized seven, eight, maybe nine times for hyperemesis (severe vomiting) during that pregnancy. She stayed sick just about all the time. We talked about abortion then but decided not to do that. It's funny that you should be asking me this now. She just had an abortion on Saturday. I got a letter from her today. She says she could just die, that it was ‘ a part of you and me.’ I didn't want to lose her. I'm hurting just as bad as she is. It was also my decision. I think about it and about her and I imagine how she's feeling. Her mother gives no support. I blame myself a lot. If I wasn't locked up I could be with her.”

Inmate 2. 32 years old: “ My wife had an abortion. It wasn't my child. I was hurt and aggravated. She felt it wasn't right to have a kid by another man and that it was hard enough with one child already. I tried to talk her out of it. I feel more guilt than anything. It [the abortion] wasn't my choosing. I wanted her to accept it. I wanted her to keep the child. I have a lot of mixed feelings. She wants to continue the relationship with the man. I don't know if he knows about it. She has another child not by me and I love it. It's not the child's fault. It was wrong.”

Inmate 3. 28 years old: “ My ex-wife had one. She has an 11-year old already and became pregnant again. I didn't want her to do it, but we were not hitting it off. It killed me. I wondered if it was a boy. How could she? I had hard feelings toward her. I resent her for doing that. It drew a piece from me.”

Inmate 4. 43 years old: “ The trauma was excessive on her. We had 6 kids already. Under normal circumstances we would not have entertained the idea but it seemed to be the most sensible thing to do at the time. There was a cold unattached feeling at the hospital - strictly business. That was the trauma. They didn't care one way or the other. It affected me in that it affected her. The first few days she was depressed. There was no attachment to the baby at the time. There were very pressing things going on in our lives at the time - we had just moved, she had health problems, and we had financial problems. Our relationship had soured too. She just did not want to deal with a baby at the time. She had crying jags and said she didn't understand why. I think it's easily understood. She had another baby three years later. We had lost one [baby] in New York. It was trying to get into the cookie jar and its gown caught on fire. It had to have skin grafts but had cardiac arrest. Going through that enabled her to handle the abortion.”

Inmate 5. 42 years old: “ My wife had a suction abortion in Louisville at a clinic. We didn't have enough money and did it for health reasons. She had trouble with the other pregnancy. We went to group counseling. They acted like they didn't want to do it if there was any other out. A young girl changed her mind. She was real “ iffy ” about it anyway. The least little thing that came up could have talked her out of it. It didn't seem to bother her. It would have bothered her more if she'd had another child. She does a great job with the one we've got. We had one cost us $28,000 in the hospital ICU for seven weeks. He's OK now but we didn't want to risk it again, although there was no indication that the next one would be ill.”

“ We never took any precautions. We went six years without birth control. But she lost a lot of weight and got pregnant. I felt like we did the right thing. I don't lose any sleep. It's not a life until it's born.”

Inmate 6. 38 years old: “ A woman ought to be strung up for that. She should do it for health reasons only and then with more than one opinion. Doctors should be charged with murder. That's life whether it's in the world or not. They should have a right to live. It's outright murder. Maybe in incest or rape it would be OK. If a woman didn't want it then it should be her decision. But it should be made illegal otherwise. In 1978 my wife had one [abortion] in Indiana. She did it behind my back. I wouldn't have let her do it. To harm a kid is the lowest you can get in the world. A kid is a kid. They can't help themselves. They're helpless. My wife's abortion about killed me. It was rough. There's always room for one more.”

Inmate 7. 42 years old: “ My ex-wife had an abortion and committed suicide. I'm in because of it. They blame me. I told her itíll mess your mind up. She had it in Louisville in '75 in October at a clinic. We divorced in '77. She'd been down before, but didn't have the nerve. She wanted to get remarried, but I already was. It was in '81 she died. She had powder burns on her hand, but the police moved the gun between pictures to make it look like I did it. She was nervous after the abortion and didn't know what she wanted. She had a different attitude toward life. There was a chance of the doctors hurting her. She might have died from it. A doctor advised her to talk about it with her husband, because it may hurt the marriage. Her sister talked her into it. It didnít bother me because a kid wasn't born. But it would bother a woman.”

Unmarried Men with Sexual Partners

Inmate 8. 28 years old: “ A girlfriend had an abortion at a clinic. She felt she was in a jam. She already had one child. We had been living together for two years. She was wild, not ready to settle down. She went to Florida on vacation with a friend and her friend paid for the abortion there. We were split at the time and I was not there for her to lean on. She had brought up abortion but I didn't realize she'd go through with it. Then I ended up back in the pen. She visited me, but our relationship had died. I can't say it was the abortion, but maybe it was. I was angry with myself for not being there.”

“ I still see her. She had a nervous breakdown after her other friend split with her. She really resented him for splitting up. He wanted me to pay him back [for the abortion] but I didn't approve. Why should I have to pay $280 to kill my kid?”

Inmate 9. 31 years old: “ My wife had an abortion before we were married. She was 17 at the time and her mother was against us going together. They took her away one day and I didn't know anything about it until it was over with. Her mother made the decision for both of us. I was against it. I grieved for the child, but went through hatred for her mother, more than anything else. That was 14 years ago.”

“ Sometimes I wonder what the baby was - a boy or a girl. She never could talk about it and wanted to act like it never happened. So if anybody brought it up it was me. She'd get too upset to talk about it, so I didn't bring it up much. She didn't go on birth control after that, and that seemed kind of dumb. The thing to do is to not get pregnant in the first place. Use birth control. Kids aren't scared of AIDS or anything now - parents have to talk about it. She got pregnant again six months later. Her mother didn't push for one [abortion] the second time.”

Inmate 10. 19 years old: “ My girlfriend had an abortion five months ago. She was pregnant and then had it without telling me. When I was in jail some people told me about it. Her mother made her get one. I'm 19 and she's 15 and she didn't like that. When I found out, I had this thing against her [her mother]. There was a court order for me to stay away from her - I threatened her. They could have put statutory rape on me, but we had been going with each other for a while. I wanted to shoot her mother.”

“ I wish the baby was still alive. I think about that a lot of times. Her mother was beating her and put knots on her head getting her to the clinic. She beat her so much that now she's run away.”

Inmate 11. 28 years old: “ My girlfriend had one. I was 15 at the time and she was 13. I don't know what kind of abortion she had. Her mother would not let me near her again. I was against it. Nobody should have the right to say when it's alive or not alive. Just because a baby isn't in the world, not developed, who's to say it's not alive?”

“ I have a friend whose little brother is retarded and he's smarter than most people. No one should have the right to destroy or eliminate his life. They can be raised with the right therapy and can function in society. He's about 21 or 22 now. The last time I saw him was in 1979 and he was going to school by himself then.”

Inmate 12. 25 years old: “ My girlfriend got an abortion. She had suction at a clinic. My father raped her end we didn't know who the father of the child was. This was seven years ago and we're still living together. It seemed like murdering possibly one of my children. It makes you think about it. We don't talk about it. She just says, ‘ Leave it alone. ’ I've been in a grieving process real long. But I decided it was the best - didn't want a brother instead of a son with the whole family not knowing whose kid it was. We kept it within the family.”

Inmate 13. 29 years old: “ I was going into the army when she got pregnant. I didn't believe in abortion but her father said I was going to pay for half of it. I told him, ‘ You pay. I want no part of it. ’ She'd been crying and was upset. There was much torment. We married later. She had three or four miscarriages later because of the abortion, and then had a baby. There was a lot of turmoil, depression, hurt, resentment, and dissension. She was carrying a real guilt.”

“ If there's a life it starts somewhere. Where'd you start? I felt guilt because I didn't do all I could to stop it. Something that's bad doesn't become good just because people accept it. People want to blame it on God.”

Inmate 14. 27 years old: “ She was 18. I didn't like it but couldn't stop her. I wanted to get married but she said she wasn't ready to settle down. Abortion is against my beliefs completely. It killed the relationship. About a year later we split up. That [abortion] was a big reason. Another friend of ours came over and we talked about it for four hours and almost changed her mind, but she decided to go through with it. One thing led to another and that killed the relationship. God didn't put people here to reproduce and then change their minds and get rid of it.”

Inmate 15. 43 years old: “ I'm not for it, except in certain cases. Everyone should know their own situation. I don't like babies having babies. They can't take care of them. I was going with a girl who had one [abortion] and I didn't like it. She said, “ I'm going to kill this baby. ” She was a month pregnant when I was arrested. She went away to have the abortion. For a while I couldn't stand her. She killed part of me. Looking back maybe she made a good move, because I couldn't take care of it, being incarcerated. But it crushed me.”

Inmate 16. 31 years old: “ Back in 1977 I had a girlfriend who said she was not ready for any kids. We were worlds apart. She kept it from me. I was out of town at the time but we communicated daily. She notified me she was pregnant. I planned to return in the next three or four weeks, but about thirty days later her voice changed and I could tell she had done it. She said that was correct. There was no discussion. I never spoke to her again; I refused to. I told her, I never wanted to see her again, that it was despicable that she had done a thing like that. She was hurt, but calm.”

“ I'm totally against it. Everybody has a right to life, don't you think? With the Jews in Germany it was the same thing. What's the difference? There shouldn't be a law permitting it.”

Inmate 17. 31 years old: “ In 1974 my girlfriend's mother insisted she have an abortion. She was Caucasian and her mother didn't feel we'd go anywhere because of the racial thing. I do love her. She just always held a special place in my heart. We married anyway later, but incarceration parted us. I loved her so much. I decided to divorce her, to not hold her back. I felt I should let her go. She's married now. I spoke to her about three years ago. She was against abortion, too, but her mother had a strong hold on her. I went along with it after a while because I didn't want her family to reject her. Her mother began to like me later on.”

Inmate 18. 35 years old: “ I was 17 when it happened. I was enlisted to go into the service. We were engaged but I was going overseas, so she said she was going to get an abortion in Florida. That was in 1969. I didn't see her again until 1972 and she told me she had had the abortion.”

“ I don't believe in having an abortion just to get rid of it. That's screwed up. They're too easy to get now. Back then it was against the law. I don't think it's right if something else can be done with the child. It's your own flesh and blood - like cutting an arm off. It just killed part of me, like nothing else.”

Inmate 19. 25 years old: “ I didn't know about it until my girlfriend told me after the abortion. I was a little bit upset, angry and hurt in the way she told me. It was the first child I might have had. She knew she was pregnant when she went on a church trip. I was at work She just slipped away during the trip and had it done. There was no chance to talk her out of it. I had proposed to her end talked to her parents, too. You know how fathers are. A friend of hers talked her into her abortion. Her parents were angry, upset and grumpy. I could see it in her eyes mostly. She left me when I got incarcerated. I try not to think about it. It's hard trying to make up with her. It wouldn't have been the same anyway. My feelings were that I wanted to haul off and smack her, but I didn't. I've experienced more things in life now, than when I was younger. I have a little girl now who I cherish with all my heart. I value human life.”

Inmate 20. 33 years old: “ My girlfriend said she just didn't want to have it. I didn't put too much thought into it. I talked to her one week, and the next week it was done. In general I'm against it. You should let them live. It should be totally illegal.”

Inmate 21. 32 years old: “ Three years ago my girlfriend had an abortion. I was against it. I wanted the child. Maybe it was my male ego, but I didn't want her to go through the hardship either. I was more concerned with her values than my own at the time. I paid for it and went to the clinic with her. They showed us a film showing the operation procedure and what the fetus would look like. She was eleven weeks along. Basically getting her through the first couple of days was the hardest part. The doctor advised her not to abort again, because of the physical strain, and it was an emotional thing for her too.”

Inmate 22. 21 years old: “ A girlfriend of mine had an abortion. It was rough. It was her decision, not mine. I tried to talk her out of it. She tricked me, said she wouldn't do it and then did. That was five years ago. She had it done at a clinic. We didn't talk about it much afterward. She said she'd never do it again. It wasn't right to take someone's life. The kid didn't ask to be created and shouldn't be killed. I asked her how'd she feel if her mom did her like that. If she had she wouldn't be facing the problem. If you get in bed and get pregnant you ought to deal with it. It's not right. It's just like shooting someone in the head because you can't deal with them anymore.”

Inmate 23. 36 years old: “ It was my girlfriend. She had high blood pressure and other health problems. She had had other pregnancies with trouble before. A private doctor did a suction on her. I was angry with her. I wanted to have it, if we could. We probably would have married. She had one other child.”

Inmate 24. 33 years old: “ It tore me up. It took me a few months to get over it. It would have been my first child and I was looking forward to it. This was four years ago. She had a D&C. She just went off and did it, and told me about it about a month later. I had sensed something was wrong. She tried to write me a letter to explain it. She was about three or four months along.”

Inmate 25. 23 years old: “ My girlfriend chose an abortion. I was totally against it, because I believe in letting life live. We separated and that was the main reason. We were 16 then, and went our own ways, right after the decision. I never talked to her again, and haven't seen her since. It was part of me, and I don't want to have anything else to do with her. Period.”

Inmate 26. 33 years old: “ A girlfriend of mine had an abortion. I was trying to talk her out of it. I was against it all around. She told me she wasn't going to, but she did it anyway. It wasn't even my child. There's no sense in it. I feel like it is the taking of a life. It depends on the situation. If the mother's life is involved it would be all right. But just because she doesn't want a baby - I'm against that. It shouldn't be done just for the sake of convenience. It didn't affect our relationship. She felt guilty. If it was mine I would have felt really bad about, like it was taking something out of the world. I still correspond with her from time to time. ”

Inmate 27. 30 years old: “ My girlfriend and I lived together a long time. This was about seven or eight years ago. We both discussed if she should have it, if we could afford it. She had one other child already at the time. We talked about if we wanted another child around. She was working. Did we want to be tied down? We didn't know if we'd be living together long. The relationship was not shaky at the time though. She had the abortion at about two months along. I often wondered what it would have been and how it would have changed our lives. I can't be against it. I've already had one. I would draw the line, at three months at the most. You could have difficulties in the abortion itself. It's better to find out and make up your mind soon. If you let it go too long you get attached, and then you would regret your decision one way or the other. Abortion didn't change the relationship. Everything fell back into normal. But there always was the thought about it. She talked about it when we had sex. She was worried she'd get pregnant again. We were together five or six years afterward. We were together a total of eight years. I'd like to have seen the kid. We were thinking about having another abortion and often wondered about the other one, what it would have been like.”

Inmate 28. 29 years old: “ Her parents didn't like me. They talked her into it. She was only 17. We were together 3 years, but I was locked up at the time of the abortion. She was having second thoughts, but didn't know what to do. Her parents practically put a gun to her head, but then they accused me of being the reason they didn't have a grandchild.”

“ It should be outlawed, except for rape or incest. There are proper preparations if you are going to have sex, or you pay the consequences. A girl knows what she is getting into. So does the man. Even if the child was going to be sick or disabled that's still no reason. It's still your kid. You should accept the responsibility. The kid can't help it. Someone had to take care of it.”

Inmate 29. 27 years old: “ It was my girlfriend that had one, but it wasn't my child. She wanted her freedom. She was still in school and her parents were embarrassed about it. I was surprised to find out about it. I didn't realize she had been pregnant. I didn't feel it was right, to do it just for freedom, just because she just didn't feel like it. I didn't look down on her or think less of her because of it. Legal or not, I don't know if there is a legitimate reason to have one. She said a baby would hold back from partying with her friends. She had pressure from her parents too because of the type of friends they had. They were upper middle class, lived in a nice neighborhood. I heard about the abortion through friends. We were in the same clique. There were no comments about it, just a statement of fact.”

Inmate 30. 27 years old: “ My girlfriend had one. We had a real close relationship, very caring, but we were not in love. She was young and was afraid of what her parents would think about it. She had a suction in a doctor's office. I tried to talk her out of it, but was supportive in her decision. It is a child. It's unborn but it's still a life. She regretted it and wondered what it would have been like. That was in '77 or '78. I have not seen her since.”

Inmate 31. 38 years old: “ My girlfriend got an abortion. We had a really good relationship before that. But about two months later we broke up. We were arguing all the time about everything. She just went and did it without telling me. She said she was not ready to start a family. We had always been able to talk things over before. It seemed like she changed after the abortion. She was never her old self again. She was withdrawn and didn't want to talk about it much.”

Inmate 32. 18 years old: “ I didn't know she was pregnant. I saw her again approximately two months after the claimed conception. She never told me until after it had been done. She seemed very upset at the time, but seems to suffer no crisis because of it now. I was relieved and thought it was a good decision, although I wish she would have told me. I received no counseling. I don't know if she did. As stated above, my reaction is limited to “ after the fact. ” I am not affected in any way except that I'm glad she did it. I'm kind of glad that she didn't tell me. I look at it now as ‘ what is done…is done. ’

Inmate 33. 19 years old: “ I could write a book on how the abortion experience affected me. Before the abortion she and I had a great relationship. I was a senior and she was a junior. She found out her parents were moving to Atlanta, soon after we discovered she was pregnant. I think you can understand the pressure and pain. I was playing football and hurt my knee the same week. I had knee surgery 13 days before the abortion. I had no money, so we told my closest friends. Our parents didn't know. She and I were very stressed. My mom (who knows) thought I was on drugs.”

“ Before and during the abortion I felt tremendous guilt. Guilt for getting her pregnant and guilt for killing the baby. I think if she wasn't moving we might have had it, but I'm not sure.”

“ The abortion is still affecting me. We're still together, but whatever happens between us in the future, I'll always feel a sense of responsibility and she will always be a part of me. ”

Inmate 34. 20 years old: “ Some friends of mine went through that almost a year ago. They were young and didn't want kids. She was only 17. We talked about it. I wondered if she needed help, if she needed money. It bothered me mostly because it was mine, but I didn't want a baby at that time myself.”

Men Whose Relatives had Abortions

Inmate 35. 33 years old: “ My sister had an abortion. She should have been responsible before she laid down. She did it out of spite toward her husband. They were separated at the time. It's her body and her decision, but I wished she hadn't done it. This was back in '75 or '76.”

Inmate 36. 22 years old: “ My brother's wife got an abortion about a year ago. There was much sorrow and crying. We both got drunk together. He didn't want her to have the abortion, but they already had one kid and didn't think they could afford another. They are separated now.”

Inmate 37. 30 years old: “ My sister had one when she was 14 or 15. It was chosen for her. My parents didn't want her to have a black child. She was real young. Dad didn't want it and Mom went along with him. It was in the evening. We drove to Louisville or Lexington, I forget. It was about 15 years ago. We went to a big brick building. She was crying. I laid in the car for 2 to 4 hours waiting for her to come out. She laid down in the back seat with her head in my lap and was still crying. Then she slept. Mom and Dad were tore up. If they had known how bad it would bother her they wouldn't have done it. They regret putting her through it, but not getting rid of the baby.”

Inmate 38. 27 years old: “ My cousin's girlfriend had an abortion. He was for it because he was only 19 or 20 and didn't feel ready for marriage. I feel like if two people aren't financially able, if they can't love or provide for a kid, it would be best - they should do away with it. It would be even better if they put it up for adoption.”

Inmate 39. 21 years old: “ My brother's girlfriend had an abortion. Her mother made her have it. She was 21 at the time. He was upset and didn't like it at all. He tried to talk her out of it. He quit school and then lost his job because of major depression. This lasted about two years. It all happened back in '79. He doesn't talk about it now. It destroyed the relationship. It fell completely apart. She should have had it and put it up for adoption, at least. ”

Inmate 40. 32 years old: “ My sister had an abortion because of an affair. Her husband found out about the affair when he found out about the abortion. He didn't get over it. It turned into mental abuse and she had to leave two years ago.”

Inmate 41. 37 years old: “ My niece had a suction abortion done at a clinic in Louisville. She was too young to have a baby being only 15 years old. She came to me because I was more like a brother to her since my mother raised her. She came to me more than her mother or grandmother. My wife went with her to the counseling center. Then she discussed it with the whole family, what was best for the baby. They discussed adoption at the center but she didn't consider that an option. She was either going to have it and keep it, or abort it. I wanted her to have it, but my wife wanted her to have the abortion.”

Inmate 42. 32 years old: “ My sister had an abortion at a clinic. Her relationship with her boyfriend was a seesaw, up and down on his part. There was no commitment on his part. I went with her. She felt guilty about it and I suffered a lot of tension because of going with her. She realized that what she did was for the best, and there was no remorse on either part. ”

“ The second time she got pregnant I was in Phoenix and she called me and said, ‘ Here I go again. Do you think I'm crazy, or what? ’ I told her the way I feel, that if she's ready to have a child, then have it. It was more healthy. It was a girl. The last one was a boy. She can't have anymore. The last one was a C-section. Then she had her tubes tied.”

Inmate 43. 35 years old: “ My brother-in-law's sister had an abortion in Orlando. That's my sister's husband's sister. Her parents are real strict, so she felt she had to get rid of it before they found out. They found out anyway. It was pretty disgusting. It was far enough along to tell it was a boy. She did it out of spite, because she was going with a man who wouldn't divorce his wife and marry her. She has three other sons now. I wonder what it would have been like. I know he would have raised it. Diabetes runs in the family. She used that - that the baby wouldn't be well, but that's a bunch of s--t.”

Men Whose Friends had Abortions

Inmate 44. 25 years old: “ She was 17 and he was 19 and were not ready for parenthood or marriage. But she had dropped out of school already. This was one and a half years ago. She had it done in the first trimester and didn't tell him about it until after the abortion. She didn't say much about it, but she was upset. He wanted it done, but she didn't totally agree. They are still seeing each other. She was upset about the actual procedure, because she was awake for it.”

Inmate 45. 30 years old: “ My friend went through a lot of pain. It was done without him knowing it. He saw it as cold-blooded murder. Through the years it caused problems. He talked about it several times. Women don't take the man into consideration. It should be a two-party decision. We later found out her parents forced her to have the abortion. They eventually married each other.”

Inmate 46. 20 years old: “ My friend's girlfriend had one. They didn't want the kid. The relationship was unstable. He said his old lady was pregnant and he was going along with her mostly because of money. She might have wanted it, but he didn't. I think she had counseling, but he didn't care.”

“ I think that all black people should have abortions. I can't stand black people. Of all white people all Nazis and Satan worshipers should have kids. All others should have abortions.”

“ A fetus is a human life. Abortion takes a human life. There should be a limit on the length of term, but only with white people. There should be laws protecting fatherhood.”

Inmate 47. 40 years old: “ A friend had two of them. She just would run wild and her mom said, “ Next time you'll have the baby. ” I found out about the first one after it happened. The second one I tried to talk her out of. She was 17 years old and didn't care if the sun came up. Her mom said there was no talking to her, that you'd have better luck talking to a chair than her. After the second one she started using prevention. I had told her about reading about women who had something wrong after having abortions, who couldn't get pregnant and have kids.”

Inmate 48. 41 years old: “ I used to pastor a church and dealt with young ladies that had had abortions. They had a lot of guilt. They wondered if they could be forgiven. One young lady had just started coming to church. She was a new Christian and wanted to know if God looked at her as a murderer. I shared with her about forgiveness, that God knew her heart. If she had still been living in sin it would be different, but Romans 8:1 says there is ‘ no condemnation ’ and that she should not carry any guilt or shame. ”

“ Another girl had bad dreams about the abortion. When she saw others with children she wondered if it was a girl or boy and what they would be doing now if it was still alive. She was a new Christian too and I shared Scriptures about ‘ putting things behind ’ and “ pressing on. ”

“ Another lady I talked to was the mother of a girl who was pregnant. The mother asked for advice of what to do and the girl left it up to the mother. The mother knew the man didn't care about the girl and didn't want her to have the baby. I said she should help her, even including helping to raise the grandchild.”

“ I could never counsel someone to have an abortion. It is not right. If you have made a mistake you should give the child to someone else.”

Inmate 49. 30 years old: “ My friend's wife had one back in '81. It would have been their first child. There have been no children since then either. The lady took it harder than the guy. It was her idea in the first place. Now he doesn't want to be around kids or talk about kids.”

“ Another friend of mine, his lady had one too. He turned to alcohol. He's always talking about the baby. That was back in '84. He is still in the relationship, but has other girls too. He is miserable about the whole thing. He won't admit it now, but I can tell. ”

Inmate 50. 31 years old: “ A friend's girlfriend had an abortion. He didn't want the abortion and was really upset. Her parents said it was for the best. I tried to talk her out of it. That was four years ago. It broke them up. He came from a big family and was willing to marry her, but her parents didn't want that. She didn't want it either. I was upset with her. I felt like they could have made it work together. That was the end of the relationship for them.”

Inmate 51. 23 years old: “ One girl I know wanted an abortion. I tried my best to talk her out of it. I told her to put it up for adoption. That was 9 or 10 years ago and she was only in the 7th or 8th grade. Another one I knew of, I knew both parties. I told them, ‘ Don't kill the baby. ’ They split up for a week and she had the abortion then. I couldn't understand why and I was so upset. It's a life, I don't care what they say, even in the first stages of pregnancy. Now if you want to kill some dude that's 18 or 19 that's your business. Some here killed their wives. I don't care. That doesn't bother me like killing a kid. I go ape over that. A little kid cannot defend itself. ”

Inmate 52. 22 years old:“ A friend of mine was two months along and already had a little girl. She was crying and didn't know what to do. I told her not to wait too long. What was making her cry was that it was alive and formed and she was going to kill it. She was still messed up after the abortion. She kept telling her daughter, “ I killed your little brother or sister. ”

Inmate 53. 38 years old: “ It was a girl I met through my wife's sister. She was only 16 but was living with an older guy. He threw her out when he found out she was pregnant. She had no place to go. My wife and I said she just had to use her own discretion. We did not talk about adopting it out. I just said, “ If you want it, have it. If you don't, get an abortion. ” She had the abortion. Afterward she acted all right but looked weak and pale. I don't think it had any mental effects. I think she did the right thing myself.”

Inmate 54. 23 years old: “ A friend of mine was raped. We discussed adoption but she didn't want to carry the memory of that night with her. I don't know too much about the internal part of female baby making, but I considered it human at the time. It is the taking of human life. For people who are just not careful, I don't think it's right.”

Inmate 55. 38 years old: “ My friend had one. I tried my darndest to talk her out of it but I couldn't get her to see it my way. There is nothing more precious than a child. I can't understand how a person can do that. I never understood why she went through with it. It hurt all over, when I found out. There was a sadness in my heart. I let her know and we prayed and talked about it. She was still acting like she was in shock. This was 12 years ago. The last time I saw her was a year ago. She knew the Lord had forgiven her, but she didn't forgive herself. The experience ended up bringing her to the Lord.”

Inmate 56. 22 years old: “ My friend's wife had abortions two or three times. Once it was his and there were a couple from her being a prostitute. He was for it. They had one child already.”

“ I'm for abortion. There's no sense bringing a kid into the world, no good if the mother and father are locked up. It would and wouldn't feel like killing. A woman has more responsibility than the man does. In a rape situation, especially with a different race, I'd beat it out. It goes or I would.”

Inmate 57. 22 years old: “ My friend's wife was raped, so they didn't know if it was the husband's or not. If there was no doubt that it was the husband's I wouldn't think it was right.”

There is a poster of an unborn child which reads, "When they say abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor, they are forgetting someone." Of course, the caption is referring to the unborn child. However, that child did not magically get there. So do not forget the other person involved - the Father. That baby means something to him too.