Men and Abortion: Unrecognized Need for Grief

Women suffer physically and spiritually after abortion, and there is much written about post abortion healing and how many women come forth talking about their abortions and guiding others on the path of healing. When it comes to men these area is not that much explored yet. Although men do not carry the physical effects after abortion, some are deeply affected emotionally and spiritually by it and need healing.

The process of men’s grieve can be coupled with an expectation that they should be the strong ones. Our society looks with suspicion at women who grieve after abortion, never mind men. Never the less men do need to grieve. Generally men can be divided into several different categories, they are close tied into the level of their participation in abortion.

Men that demanded/forced abortion.

This category encompasses men who demanded that abortion would take place. It could have been a father that was not happy about his daughter relationship(s), and when she became pregnant he offered her a “choice” to have an abortion or to get out of his house. It could have been a boyfriend that threatened to leave. Few men in this category come to regret the abortion, except maybe some fathers that force their daughter to abort, or contributed to abortion by portraying a “strict conservative”. Later down the road they may come to regret, and will need some help to heal. When it comes to boyfriends/partners who threatened to leave, these will live the relationships sooner or later and very few of them will come to regret, or show their regret.

Men that were “supportive”.

This category encompasses men who new that pregnancy took place, but have proclaimed that woman has right over her body and she can do whatever she wants with it, even if they felt it was wrong. Larger percentage of men from this category will come to regret the abortion and look for the way of healing. Their grief may also be coupled with feeling of not being strong enough. While some women looking to justify their abortion by stating “It is my body, I can do anything I want with it”, many of them feel it is wrong and when they find the they partner supports their decision, they may become disappointed, since in their eyes this kind of support equals to the lack of character.

Men that knew about pregnancy and were against abortion.

Men in this category often find themselves grieving much quicker then other men. They may often respond with anger and even may become violent. This is due to the fact that while they wanted the baby, abortion took place against their will and they feel powerless.

Men that did not know that abortion took place.

The category can be actually divide into two. Men who new of pregnancy, but found out after the fact that abortion took place and men who were not aware of either pregnancy or abortion and found out later. The grieving process for these men can be complicated by the feeling of being betrayed.

No matter to which category they belong, whenever they are beginning to regret abortion they need support and care as women do. There is one book titled “Fatherhood Aborted” that I would recommend to any men who is struggling with abortion aftermath:

Fatherhood AbortedMany postabortive men harbor a deep-down conviction that they don’t deserve the company of a “good” woman. As a result, they instinctively keep their distance from women who have it together.

Some guys gravitate to women who are needy. If a postabortive man marries a more healthy, stable, capable woman, he may maintain an emotional barrier to keep her out of certain rooms in his soul. It’s almost a religious commitment for him to protect his secret! Obviously, this can lead to severe problems in marriage.