Healing : Men and Abortion
Abortion affects men as much as it does women. There is much more information available today on this subject than there was five or ten years ago. Men were created to procreate – to become fathers, to protect and provide for their families. The man in the abortion equation did not take responsibility for his child; he did not protect or provide for his child or the mother of his child. Sometimes he was not allowed or able to do so, even when he wanted to. Sometimes he did not know about his child until after the abortion had taken place. This leaves a deep wound in a man’s soul. It affects him in many ways and at many levels.
Fathers of the aborted child can suffer from post-abortion stress when:
- They encourage or support the decision to have an abortion.
- They pressure or force her to abort.
- They abandon her to make the decision alone.
- They are passive and do not say anything or reveal what they are feeling.
- They unsuccessfully oppose the decision.
- They were excluded from the decision making process.
Many men have reported post-abortion problems and pain such as:
- Feelings of grief and helplessness
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Regret, loneliness and numbness
- Extreme anger and self-hatred
- Fear of relationships / trust and intimacy issues
- Substance abuse / addictive behaviors
- Difficulty making decisions, especially important ones
- Lack of confidence and general anxiety
- Sexual dysfunction often leading to pornography addiction
- A sense of lost manhood
It is very difficult to talk about an abortion experience. We know that God can and does restore when we come to Him humbly and honestly accepting the reality of the abortion, taking responsibility and grieving the loss. There if no grief support for the post-abortive woman in our society and even less for a man.
- It is okay to grieve for the child you will never hold. It is necessary. It is okay to cry.
- Talk to someone (a counselor, pastor, or someone you trust who will listen).
- Forgiveness is essential.
- The process seems complete when dignity can be restored to the aborted child through a name and some kind on memorial.
As men are reconciled from the pain and harm of abortion, they are free to be the great men that society now needs for male leadership and champions for their children and families as God intended men to be.
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats provide a place for men to heal. www.rachelsvineyard.org