A South American father lost his desperate attempt to save his unborn son’s life this month when the baby’s mother had an abortion at eight months of pregnancy.
The Catholic News Agency reports an International Planned Parenthood Federation affiliate in Colombia aborted the baby Feb. 7 in the midst of the legal battle between the couple.
Currently, abortions are illegal in Colombia except in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformities and risks to the mother’s physical or mental health.
The father, Juan Pablo Medina, 25, said his unborn son and his former girlfriend, Angie Tatiana Palta, 22, both were healthy, and he and Palta had agreed that they wanted a child together, according to the report. The baby was even given the name Juan Sebastián.
At the end of December, however, he said Palta’s family found out about the pregnancy and pressured her to have an abortion. At one point, he was told that the baby had deformities, and at another point, he was told that Palta needed an abortion for her mental health, though medical records appear to contradict both health claims, according to the report.
Medina said he eventually lost contact with Palta and decided to take legal action, seeking guardianship of their child and a court order to prevent his healthy, viable son from being aborted.
Here’s more from the report:
The judge in the case requested the psychological examination from Palta’s healthcare provider which had earlier determined she was not experiencing psychological trauma but was confused. Instead, ProFamila sent the judge a psychological evaluation conducted by a gynecologist, not by a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who verified that an abortion could be done on the grounds of the mental health of the mother.
The judge ruled that that evaluation was insufficient and ordered a new one. However, ProFamilia, an affiliate of International Federation of Planned Parenthood, ignored the order and went ahead with the abortion, claiming it was a “fundamental right” and that, according to National Health Services guidelines, it should normally be done within five days.
Medina, who dropped out of law school to fight for his son’s life, said he was prepared to care for the child as a single father. However, he found out too late that his unborn son had been aborted on Feb. 7, the report states.
The tragic case drew national attention across the nation. After the baby’s death, the Catholic bishops’ conference in Colombia mourned the injustice.
“We join the suffering of Juan Sebastián’s family, especially that of his parents, and the pain that so many brothers feel for this tragic event,” they said in a statement.
“In addition to the pain of knowing that Juan Sebastián was already past seven months gestation and that he was in perfect health, we have been perplexed by how the institutions of this country did not guarantee the rights of the father who persistently and tenaciously fought for the life of his son through the applicable channels,” they continued.
In many countries where abortion is legal, fathers have no right to protect their unborn babies before birth. Even though the baby is their child as well and they also suffer psychologically from abortion, fathers are left out.
One study that investigated the effects of abortion on men found:
- Most relationships men were in at the time of the abortion failed in less than a year.
- Only about 1% said they would consider abortion again in the future
- Over 90% experienced grief and sadness
- Over 90% experience persistent thoughts about the baby
The Men and Abortion Network (MAN) provides resources and counseling to help men struggling with the loss of an unborn child to abortion.