October 9, 2020

Father of aborted child seeks to heal, save other men from ‘lost fatherhood’

By Natalie Hoefer

Years ago, when Eric Slaughter’s then-girlfriend wanted to abort their baby, he helped pay for the procedure.

Now he is on a mission: “I want to help men who have been told to be silent and bullied into suppressing their feelings to understand they have a right to feel the loss and shed tears for their lost little ones, and [to let them know] that they have a right and responsibility to speak up and protect their baby and the mother, even when the law of man denies them.”

Catholic since 2004, the member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis says he is thankful for the love for Christ he developed through his former Baptist faith.

He cites two women for his passion in the pro-life movement: Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, former director of what was then called the archdiocesan Office of Pro-Life, and former Great Lakes Gabriel Project director Eileen Hartman.

In the early 2000s, Slaughter delivered his post-abortion testimony as a part of a Silent No More rally in a park in downtown Indianapolis, he recalled. It was the first time he publicly shared “the story of my regret for my lost fatherhood.”

Following the rally, Sister Diane encouraged him to attend the archdiocese’s first Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortion healing retreat.

“With the help of the wonderful people I met through the retreat, and by God’s grace, I accepted his forgiveness and found the courage to speak out” against abortion, he said.

Helping with Project Rachel Post-Abortive Healing Ministry, including Rachel’s Network and Rachel’s Vineyard Healing Retreats, is now “most dear to his heart,” said Brie Anne Varick, director of the archdiocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity, as she introduced Slaughter as one of this year’s Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award winners during the Respect Life Mass on Oct. 4 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

“Through his own journey of healing, he has shared his post-abortive testimony of how Jesus Christ … redeemed his lost fatherhood.”

Slaughter is also active with several other parish and community efforts to promote life and peace.

At the parish level, Slaughter has been actively involved in Pro-Life Ministry at Holy Rosary for the past eight years and is currently the parish’s Respect Life Coordinator. He also helps coordinate a Pro-Life Lecture Series in collaboration with St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis.

In the broader community, he helps organize the annual Indiana March for Life, is involved with the 40 Days for Life campaign and supports the Great Lakes Gabriel Project.

“Evangelizing the Gospel of life within the Black community,” is important to Slaughter, who is Black, said Varick. He staffs the pro-life booths at the annual Indiana Black Expo and the Indiana State Fair.

Religious liberty and peace are also causes Slaughter actively supports. He helps organize neighborhood parish rosary walks for religious freedom, and this year began coordinating Soldiers for Peace rosary walks, calling on the faithful to walk the streets of downtown Indianapolis praying for an end to violence.

Even as he mourns his aborted daughter and a miscarried grandchild, Slaughter enjoys being a stepfather to his wife Rebecca’s daughter and grandfather to his four living grandchildren.

“While it is nice to receive this award and I am thankful,” said Slaughter of the archdiocese’s recognition for his

pro-life efforts, “it unfortunately means that it is necessary to remind people of the battle that continues to be fought both physically and spiritually—a battle in which lives and souls are at stake.”

(For more information on Rosary Walks for Peace in Indianapolis, go to cutt.ly/SoldiersForPeaceIndy.)

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