September 26, 2016
Eternal gratefulness for an abortion shouldn’t be something to brag about, but that’s what Andy Richter just did at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. The actor, who hosted the “Sexy Beast” fundraiser for the Los Angeles branch of PP, credits his girlfriend’s abortion back in 1992 with allowing them to live the lives they wanted.
These lives included eventually marrying each other, children when they decided they wanted to be parents, pets, and careers. What those lives don’t include is the realization that they will forever be missing a child.
Richter and his future wife, Sarah Thyre, lacked steady employment and were focused on building careers when they found she was pregnant. Richter explained what happened next:
Luckily for us Planned Parenthood existed. My girlfriend knew that she was not ready for motherhood, and I knew that I was in no way prepared to be a father. I drove from Chicago in my battered old Toyota pick-up to be with her when she went to Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Her choice to get an abortion was a choice that she made with assuredness. She knew that she was doing the right thing for everyone involved. But I can’t say it was easy. She was sad, and I was sad, and it was sad. But to this day, I know that she will tell you that she made the right decision.
How Do the Kids Feel About This?
There is no possible way to explain this as the right decision for at least one person in this scenario: the older sibling of the Richters’ other children. Since they’re so open about this to strangers and made this a public issue, I’d imagine they’ve already discussed the abortion with their living children. One wonders whether they explained that if they had made different choices and had different priorities, there would be another child in their family.
As their living children grow and become adults themselves, maybe this choice will make sense to them. Maybe it won’t. It’s possible they’re distressed to know that had the timing of their conception been different, they could have been the one aborted, because that is a terrible thought.
When a family loses a member, that family is forever changed. No matter how that loss comes about, it is a loss. The lessons that we learn and the growth that can come from pain and grief might be something to be grateful for, but the opportunity to actively cause that loss should not be. That should be difficult, it should be wrenching, and it should not even need to be an option or an easy decision.
Many choices in life are not eternal, but abortion is. Once that baby is gone, it is gone, and future children don’t replace the life that was lost. Children are not interchangeable. They’re unique, each one with limitless possibilities and promise, and snuffing out one because of convenience and whims of parents ends those possibilities.
Richter Hints He’s Uneasy With This Choice
Richter doesn’t find it difficult to support Planned Parenthood after his personal history with abortion, however, and he wasn’t shy about his feelings about pro-life people: “It’s easy. Planned Parenthood helps a ton of people, and if they don’t agree with that, f— ’em. You can quote me on that. Tell them I said, ‘F— ’em.’”
People who are at peace and confident in their decisions don’t need to attack others. They can tolerate disagreement without rage. Pro-life people don’t seek to leave families without help and support, they desire the opposite: for all members of a family to be present and able to help. We want for all babies to have the chance to pursue their dreams, not just those lucky enough to be wanted.
Richter might be a comedian, with a career built around humor and making other people laugh on shows with Conan O’Brien, but abortion is no laughing matter. That sadness he and his wife felt was for a good reason. They were looking at temporary circumstances and making permanent decisions. That baby wouldn’t have ruined their future, but abortion ruined the chance for that child to ever have an opportunity at life. That’s something nobody can be eternally grateful for.
Holly Scheer is a writer and editor. She’s fascinated by politics, culture and theology. Follow her on Twitter @HScheer1580.