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Distraught Dad Confronts Abortion Protestors: Video Goes Viral

By John Cave Osborne |

Women who walk into this clinic know his story. But does he know theirs?

Yesterday, Strollerderby took a closer look at so-called “crisis pregnancy centers.” Their pretense is to provide support and options to pregnant women, but in reality, most only discuss one option with the women who walk through their doors. That of pro-life. Legislation has recently been proposed which would force such centers to make their operating practices more clear.

One group of people who don’t require legislation to help explain their agenda, however, are the pro-life zealots who picket outside various abortion centers across the country. Often have we seen these picketers chanting their rhetoric at woman who are in the middle of a tragic situation. Often, too, have we heard such women describe the turmoil these demonstrators subjected them to.

But recently, it was a man, Aaron Gouveia, who used his voice to describe the ordeal he and his wife endured. And in so doing, he gave the judgmental sign-carriers a taste of their own medicine. For at the center of his compelling story is a video he made in which he tells these people in no uncertain terms exactly what he thinks about their actions.

“You’re killing your unborn baby.”

Those were the words shouted at Aaron and his wife, who was 16 weeks pregnant with their second child, as they made their way into a Brookline, MA women’s center earlier this year. They were experiencing a nightmare. Their unborn child had an extremely rare congenital deformity which left their baby with fused legs, as well as with no bladder or kidneys. The chance of survival was literally zero.

After seeking multiple opinions from some of the best medical minds in the Boston area, the couple felt they were left with but one option. And while entering the facility where that option would be carried out, they were forced to listen to sanctimonious people judging them for a decision that no one would ever want to make.

Gouveia describes it as the worst day of their lives. And on that day, he was left to try to comfort his wife as she waited in the lobby before the procedure, but she was inconsolable. Gouveia felt helpless. Their pain was impossible to reconcile, and on top of that, strangers had seen fit to pile on. What’s worse, he couldn’t even accompany his wife during the procedure. Sadly, it seemed as if there were nothing he could do. Until instinct took over.

That’s when the father and husband confronted the very people whose callous behavior had somehow made the worst imaginable scenario even more difficult to bear. Gouveia captured the encounter on video. A few things should be noted about it.

  • First, especially considering what was happening to his world at the time of filming, Gouveia is incredibly poised and extremely well spoken.
  • The demonstrators? Ironically, they are at a loss for words when Gouveia forces them to switch roles. (One actually threatens to call the cops!)
  • The video has blown up, receiving over half a million hits thanks, in part, to being featured on Gouveia’s own blog, as well as on the GoodMenProject, and Salon.
  • As the Salon piece stated, “the video…is a reminder that reproductive rights isn’t just a women’s issue,” but one which also affects men in unimaginable ways.

Here it is:

Photo: Morgue File

John Cave Osborne’s personal blog.
John Cave Osborne’s book website.

More Strollerderby posts from John Cave Osborne:

Celine Dion’s New Baby Boys Are Really Triplets
Story of Teenage Drug Addiction — Henry’s Story — to Air on TV
Department of Education — Teachers Can Be Held Accountable for Bullying
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld Calls Work-Life Balance Misnomer
Six Tips for Making Your Children’s Virtual World a Safer One

More on Babble

About John Cave Osborne

john-cave-osborne

John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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32 thoughts on “Distraught Dad Confronts Abortion Protestors: Video Goes Viral

  1. carolyncastiglia says:

    Wow.

  2. starrsitter says:

    I want to hug this man. My (generally laid-back) husband watched this and said he would have had a hard time not choking the wingnut who shouted “you’re killing your baby.” Who do these people think they are?

  3. goddess says:

    I have no respect or tolerance for anyone who would seek to insert themselves into a woman’s health care and ANY choice that affects her body. – With the exception for the care, advice and services rendered by her chosen health care professionals.

  4. goddess says:

    I’d love to help this guy out and spread the word. I think Choice Activists need to get more vocal and spread their word.

  5. Samantha says:

    Woah! How does he maintain his composure? I am in awe.

  6. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Standing ovation to this dad. Unreal how callous, reprehensible and pig-headed those anti-choicers can be.

  7. Laura says:

    I’m staunchly pro-life, but I would never picket an abortion clinic or shout at those walking inside. What does that accomplish? If you truly care about the unborn baby, you will also have compassion on the mother and father. They are equally valuable.

  8. Manjari says:

    I can’t believe he managed to stay so calm. Hopefully those vile, vile wastes of oxygen standing outside got at least part of the message (I doubt it though).

  9. DC says:

    Laura, if you really believe that an embryo or fetus is as valuable as a child or adult, then why do you treat a miscarriage differently from the death of a 2-year-old? Do you think the loss of an 8-week pregnancy is the same as losing a first grader? Come on, you know they’re different. It’s hard to take pro-lifers seriously when they claim that an embryo and a grown woman are “equally valuable.”

  10. jennifer says:

    I was *just* thinking about this the other day, in light of two things: one, the 70-year-old man who faithfully plants himself outside a local clinic with several large pictures of aborted fetuses set up around him, and two, when I went myself for a d&c procedure (at a different facility) for a fetus that had died at 10 weeks, and, after 3 weeks, was not showing any signs of leaving the womb naturally. I wondered how many women are getting procedures for situations like mine, when the baby has already passed, and they are potentially at risk for infection. Or for the couple in this story, when the baby has absolutely no chance for survival. Or a woman (or girl) who was violently raped by a relative and has to relive the trauma of the experience every day as she watches her body change. Or somebody who doesn’t know what they want to do, but wants to talk to somebody. Everybody has a story, and it would seem that only a sick person enters a facility of this type joyfully. It is a crushing decision for anybody, no matter why they are there, made so much worse by people who can’t look beyond the decisions they have made for themselves.

    But, I am not being fair, either. I don’t know this man outside our local clinic, and why he has devoted his life to protecting the unborn. I don’t know, and shouldn’t assume the worst, for his motives to offer to give free room and board to pregnant women. I also don’t know if he is one of those hypocritical types that says there should be no abortion no matter what, yet thinks all government programs to help the child after it is born are “socialist,” and should be stopped. I assume the worst, just as he assumes the worst about the women he sees entering the clinic. But, as this video shows, everybody has a story.

  11. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I don’t see the need to know the motives of someone who sits in judgement outside of a clinic holding blown up photos of aborted fetuses. His actions are speaking loudly enough.

  12. Laura says:

    DC, would you mourn the death of an 80-year-old differently than a 2-year-old? I would imagine so. But would you really say that one is more valuable than the other?
    I mourn a miscarried baby and an aborted baby the same way. I don’t see why that should be strange.

  13. looloosmommy says:

    I dont see how he don’t beat her with her sign. I dont understand people like that, who feel they have they have the right to tell anyone else what to do with their body. The world would be a better place without them.

  14. goddess says:

    I would Laura. I miscarried at 10 wks in my 1st pregnancy, and at 11 wks in my 4th.
    Our first born son (second pregnancy) died at 6, almost SEVEN YEARS old. There is a world of difference. And yeah, from experience, one is definitely more valuable than the other. I’d consider one who thought otherwise delusional or ignorant/naive.

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @goddess — i just wanted to tell you how sorry and sad i was to read about your son, not to mention your 1st and 4th pregnancies.

  15. Laura says:

    goddess, I’m so sorry for your losses.
    Absolutely there is a difference between the death of a seven-year-old and a miscarriage. Those are very different kinds of mourning and pain. But it’s not a question of the value of the life lost.
    What I was trying to say was that I see an aborted 8-week old baby as having the exact same value as a miscarried 8-week old baby.

  16. Anonymom says:

    He said it right- they are the lowest common denominator of human beings. His poor wife, having to be harassed on the worst day of her life. It is too bad that I don’t believe in hell, because I would like to think people like these protesting women have a special place waiting for them on their “judgment day”.

  17. goddess says:

    Thank you for the sympathies- but I see no equity whatsoever between the two. I guess that defines our underlying differences eh?
    My 2nd miscarriage had trisomy 16- incompatible with life, missing major organ systems. To give equal value to that fetal anomaly as my children? No way could I ever. To be honest, I find that thought totally and unequivocally offensive and devaluing to my children.
    After 2 miscarriages I could never, ever, in a million years give equal value to those early formed embryos and fetuses to actualized and potentiated born children,

  18. goddess says:

    BTW what exactly IS an aborted 8 week old baby? Would that be an embryo that was miscarried/aborted? IF so= not baby. IF it is a dead 8 week old baby, that’s a whole nuther story. There is no baby until it is born and exited the birth canal. Before that we have blastocysts, zygotes, embryos and fetuses. “Potential” babies, if you must.

  19. goddess says:

    John- thank you- but no problems on the miscarriages- had I not miscarried the first, we’d never have had our first son., Had I not miscarried the 4th, we would not have our daughter.
    And had we not lost our first son, we may have never have had our daughter and youngest son. With his scope of disabilities and the care required, we would never have ventured a 3rd child. It all works out the way it should in the long run. What you lose, you must relinquish in order to receive again, KWIM?
    But thank you for your sympathies- they are much appreciated!

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @goddess — “What you lose, you must relinquish in order to receive again.” that is so beautiful.

  20. Linda, the original one says:

    I’ve never had a miscarriage, but I lost a very premature newborn and it completely pisses me off when people compare the two (and trust me, they do, all. the. time.) It’s completely ridiculous. Really? You want to compare your miscarriage in the first trimester to my baby dying in my arms? There have been people I’ve absolutely wanted to throttle.

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @linda, the original one — i can’t even imagine, and i wanted to tell you, too, that i’m so sorry to hear of this.

  21. Linda, the original one says:

    Thanks, John. I almost posted this on your triplets post.

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @linda, the original one — no matter where you would have posted it, you would have received the same heartfelt reaction. you’re tough on me, but i like you a lot. and i was so sorry to read your news.

  22. Melisa says:

    WOW. I admire Daddy Files so much for this. I’m just about speechless. (and as you know, that doesn’t happen often!)

  23. Laura says:

    Thanks for posting this. And thanks for the comment @goddess — “What you lose, you must relinquish in order to receive again” – I went through a similar situation, terminating my first pregnancy at 18 weeks because of fetal anomalies and have gone on to have 2 beautiful children. The guilt and sorrow and pain were overwhelming. But now, so many years later I see the wonderful gifts I have been given in my sons and I am greatful and thankful.

    1. John Cave Osborne says:

      @laura — as painful as these things are to share, they are so beautiful for others to read. i really envy the ability to derive meaning out of pain. my sister, who was only 49, died a few weeks ago. on my personal blog, i chronicled her battle w/ cancer in a series of posts i called “the beautiful fight.” then, in a post i called the Goldsmith, i told my readers that her death was imminent as she had been moved to a hospice. it was essentially a two-paragraph metaphor. i ended it by writing — within the melancholy exists miraculous beauty.

      and those aren’t just words. it’s my earnest belief. not sure why i threw that out there, except that i’ve read so many touching things in the threads lately, yours included. thank you so much for sharing that. and also, i suppose, b/c at the depths of aaron’s struggle, he did something beautiful. the action was born through strife. and while i’m so incredibly sad that they lost Alexandria (they had named her), i’m so grateful that he did what he did.

  24. Eric says:

    I remember the post where Aaron was excited about having a new baby. I felt his excitement, I was genuinely happy for him and I believe congratulated him. With this news, I am genuinely saddened with his families loss. While Aaron and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to issues, he is dedicated husband and father and expressively so. That is a bond I share with him from which my feeling emit. That said, I am a Christian. I am a firm believer in God and salvation through Jesus Christ. I am pro-life, but I am not a zealot. Not all Christians picket with signs about “You’re Killing A Baby”, “God Loves Dead Soldiers and Hates Fags”.. Those are the zealots who are using their “faith and beliefs” in the wrong way to win souls. In the process they are making people group all Christians together with them and their idiotic thinking.

    If Aaron would have asked my opinion, I would have given it to him based on my beliefs. Fully knowing that I have no way to feel exactly what his family is going through and the grief this obvious hard decision is on them. I care for him no less, but maybe more now know how hurt they are for their loss. And this is a big loss that will carry with them the rest of their lives. Will they have other children? I hope so. Will they be healthy? I pray they will.

    Christians are not perfect. Aaron had every right to rip them apart and call them hypocrites, etc. I applaud him for standing up for his for his family.

  25. [...] am pro-choice because I am simply not qualified to make that decision for someone else.  It has nothing to do with how I feel about abortions or whether I value [...]

  26. Allison Zapata says:

    Good for him!! I would not have handled myself the way he did. Those ppl disgust me.

  27. editing techniques says:

    Hmm i hope you don’t get annoyed with this question, but how much does a site like yours earn?

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