Anthony Perry’s A Father’s Choice: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Hope is brief, but shines a brilliant spotlight onto an important and timely issue. The narrative describes more of the lead-up than the aftermath, providing an emphasis on healing over recrimination. Third-wave feminism’s domination of the issue typically shunts stories like Perry’s off to the side, which makes this an important book.
Abortion doesn’t just affect the woman undergoing the procedure (let alone the baby being killed), but also the baby’s father, who is often considered irrelevant to the mother’s decision-making process. Even if he desperately wants to keep the baby, as Perry makes clear, the prevailing narrative is that abortion is the mother’s choice, and the mother’s choice only. There’s a terrible, powerless inevitability to Perry’s memoir that makes this a difficult read, but not difficult enough. Between the pointless fight scene in the last third and the strange non-reaction to Jenny’s horrible admission, the impact is somewhat muffled, putting distance between the reader and the events.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, you owe it to yourself to read this book. Too often we read about fatherless homes and deadbeat dads; here’s a grim story of fatherhood denied.
(I’ve written about turning from pro-choice to pro-life here.)