Balancing the Equation: Men, Abortion and Fatherhood
Customarily, it takes one man and one woman to make a baby. Too often, however, that baby never sees the light of day because of abortion. Two wounded parents remain in its wake.
The equation remains, in essence, unbalanced.
While there seems to be much attention aimed at the post-abortive woman there is not as much of a focus on the other half of the equation – the man.
Despite what Roe v Wade decided in 1973, abortion is far from a ‘private’ decision. Fathers, like mothers, are a parent from conception – not just after there is a birth.
And, there are a host of other individuals - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even siblings - that are affected by the abortion decision, as well.
For women and men, abortion can result in significant feelings of grief, guilt and shame. Men’s responses to abortion are further complicated by their natural tendency to deny their grief, suppress their feelings, and/or internalize their loss.
Some men report anger, bitterness, depression and resentment and may be unaware that these emotions are a direct result of an abortion experience.
Some will be impacted immediately following the abortion while some may not have problems or even awareness until years later. These delayed reactions are often unpredictable and may be brought about by the birth of another child or hearing about another abortion experience.
Men may seek to understand their feelings and tend to be confused by their lingering guilt and shame. Some men may be brought to their knees when seeking counseling for marriage/relationship problems, for drug or alcohol abuse.
Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute remarked, “Many men acknowledge various problems in their life without connecting them to a previous abortion decision.”
If abortion is a women’s issue, why are so many men struggling with the loss of their aborted children?
Men have God-given and natural instincts to provide for and protect their families. Scripture is clear that a man is to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of his family. Overwhelming evidence also points towards a man’s responsibility to protect women.
Abortion essentially ‘short circuits’ these God-given instincts and leaves some feeling empty, powerless and confused. They may be haunted for years following the procedure.
Brian Fisher explored the issue in his article, Abortion and Fatherhood: A Man’s Take, with this very personal account of a post-abortive man:
Another friend still can’t hold back tears, even after 20 years, when he shares that he took his then-girlfriend to Planned Parenthood to erase the “mistake” they made a few months before their wedding. Now married for two decades and the parent of four other beautiful children, he recounts how his marriage was difficult and tumultuous for years until they sought counseling. The root of their conflict and strife? The abortion.
There is no doubt that men are changed forever as a result of the pregnancy/abortion event. Multiple books, conferences and even the media have begun to focus attention on abortion’s effects on men.
The equation needs to be balanced.
With over fifty five million preborn children lost to abortion since 1973, it is abundantly clear that no one escapes the pain, anguish and loss of abortion.
Men are born to be fathers. Following God’s natural design, men are hardwired to protect and provide for their wives and children. Abortion leaves a permanent mark on the individuals involved.
For fathers, Vincent Rye, Ph. D., the Director of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss in Jacksonville, FL, says that the real choice for fathers is “whether to accept this biological reality, grieve the loss and seek forgiveness…“.
Men can find forgiveness and healing for their role in an abortion. Often, they need help to undo the damage and bring healing to their relationships. There are programs available for you, or someone you know, at Silent No More Awareness and at Rachel’s Vineyard-Men and Abortion.
Or, you can call the Georgia Right to Life office at (770) 339-6880 and we can help you find the information you need.
by Suzanne L. Ward
Georgia Right to Life