If you are the father of an aborted baby, I am sorry for your loss. I realize that the society as a whole has told you that you have no right to grieve or struggle with the abortion decision. However, I know from hearing the stories of many fathers, that some men hurt a great deal after the abortion. They pinpoint that event as a turning point that marked the beginning of the end of the relationship. Whatever your story, we care about you. Please do not hesitate to call us if we can help you. We understand your pain and your loss. You don't need to struggle in isolation. We can connect you to other fathers who have experienced what you did and can offer support on your healing journey.
Men are hidden partners in every abortion decision. Their role or lack of role in the decision can create a stream of consequences that may accompany the man through the rest of his life. Because men are told they have no say in the abortion decision--that it is about a woman and her choice--they later struggle with the questions they pose to themselves and the emotions they feel. Men often say "I don't feel entitled to my grief. It was her choice. Why do I feel so badly?"
As the "men's" movement continues to grow through workshops and outreach programs such as Promise Keepers, St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers, and the numerous other men's self-actualization movements, men grapple more and more with their feelings.
The role of men in abortion is a complex one to describe. The following are scenarios men have shared:
- I knew she was pregnant and I tried to stop her. I may even have gone to court for a restraining order.
- I knew she was pregnant. I didn't agree with the abortion decision but I went along with it since it was her body.
- I knew she was pregnant and I supported her decision completely.
- I knew she was pregnant and I forced her to have the abortion. She didn't really want to have it.
- I didn't find out that she had been pregnant and had had an abortion until it was over.
Men describe the following reactions to an abortion loss:
- A sense of impotence
- Chemical abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.)
- Grief over the loss of fatherhood
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Suicidal thoughts
- Battering of the partner who had the abortion or a subsequent partner
- Becoming an overly nurturant father who is hyper vigilant with regards to the well-being of his other children
- Deep desire to replace the lost child through having another child.
- Becoming involved in the pro-life movement
Resources for men:
- Project Rachel, the Catholic Church's outreach is available to help fathers deal with their grief. To find the Project Rachel nearest you, call 1-800-5WE-CARE or go to the Project Rachel page to find help near you.
- The book Men and Abortion: A Path to Hope by C.T. Coyle is available from LIFE CYCLE Books (Phone: 1-800-214-5849 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The book provides a forgiveness model for healing the abortion wound. It has a Christian perspective but is non-denominational.
- The book Fatherhood Aborted, by Guy Condon and David Hazard, published by Tyndale House Publishers and available from www.amazon.com. This Biblically based book offers profound insights into the wounds of fathers and spiritual healing.
- The booklet Grief Therapy for Men by Linus Mundy and published by Abbey Press (1-800-325-2511) does not deal with abortion specifically but it does provide suggestions on how to deal with grief as a man.
- Father's and Brother's Ministries
350 Broadway, Suite 40
Boulder, CO 80303
- National Memorial for the Unborn
6232 Vance Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421