The following article is a synopsis of an episode from our Life Chat Podcast series. To listen to the full episode, click here.
Men’s involvement in the abortion debate is one of the most controversial and taboo topics related to this issue. Illinois Right to Life addressed this in a former podcast and article, and delves even deeper into this issue during a podcast featuring seminarians Dan Korenchan and Kevin Gregus.
Both Dan and Kevin are adamantly pro-life, and believe that abortion is connected to and is the root of many key issues in our country. They mention how difficult it is for themselves, as men, to talk about abortion.
“When it comes to abortion, there’s this either spoken or unspoken thought that this is a women’s issue,” Korenchan claims. He says that even in pro-life men who want to witness to the truth, there’s this fear that they don’t understand a woman’s body enough to testify to the fact that abortion is wrong. “There’s things that I can’t relate to as much as women can,” Korenchan admits. But he says that when you bring it down to the core issue, it’s not really about the woman’s body: it’s about the child that is inside.
Men will never fully understand what a woman goes through during a pregnancy, or especially the fear and uncertainty she goes through during an unplanned pregnancy, but that doesn’t make this any less of a man’s issue, the seminarians explain. “A woman can’t get pregnant unless a man has a part in it,” Gregus says.
Gregus mourns that often, when a woman gets pregnant, the man is too scared to stay and help, or he doesn’t think he would be a good father, so he leaves her to care for the child on her own. He passionately explains how this is a horrible trap for men to fall into. “We men, as part of our desire to be a father, and love so deeply, and to lay down our lives… as men we have such a responsibility to not only the women in our lives, especially the one we want to have children with, but the children of course.” He explains that our culture does not at all encourage this. It encourages men to be lazy and not accept their responsibilities, but this leaves men feeling empty on the inside.
“There’s a feeling of… my role as man in this situation is to protect and provide, and I just violated one of my primary operation procedures as a man, and I failed to protect this child.” Not all men recognize that this is what they are feeling, or where these feelings are coming from, but the truth of the matter is that this sense of responsibility is engrained in men, and when they deny that responsibility they are left feeling empty and with a lot of hurt. That is how we were designed,” Gregus explains, “So there is a loss of that, and a sense of failure, even if a lot of guys can’t name it… A lot of men have just failed in their responsibility to live up to their fatherhood… they just, they walk away, and that’s awful, that’s an outrage against what a man should be doing.”
The next thing both men address is the relationship that a lot of men have with their father. They explain that it is crucial for a man to have clarity about his relationship with his father, whether it is a good relationship or a horrible one. You can take any relationship with your father and redeem it, the men explain, but first you must understand it. “If there are things that are wrong with that [a man’s relationship with his father]… that needs to be addressed.”
Another major issue that can be funneled back to abortion in some ways is Pornography. Dan Korenchan goes into this topic much more in depth in another podcast, but mentions a bit about it in this podcast as well. “So much of what we see in our society today is that men are aiming for pleasure without responsibility,” Korenchan explains, and links this “pleasure,” to pornography: so many men are experiences the pleasures of marriage with no commitment whatsoever, so if they finally get into a relationship, they don’t understand why they need to have commitment in this case, either. “Right now we men are struggling to see the dignity of women,” he explains, “Women are being objectified by men, and they are being used as pleasure objects, and the men are getting off scot-free, and that’s not okay.”
Korenchan brings hope into the discussion by mentioning the power of women. He explains how women have a unique, beautiful power over men to bring them back to the good, true, and beautiful. “You ladies have so much ability to help draw men back in.” This can be done through the way women dress, speak, and act around themselves, and around other men. Men want to please women, and to impress women: it’s in their nature. It’s women’s’ responsibility to try to bring that good out of them.
Another interesting link to abortion and pornography is the human trafficking industry. Korenchan mentions that 80% of women who are in the porn industry have been trafficked, and 50% of them have had abortions. He says that most of the women who had abortions said that their trafficker had forced them to have it. So much for abortion being a “woman’s choice!”
Through all these links, Korenchan believes there are many prisons that men tend to fall into–whether it be the prison of video games, media, pornography, or even sports, he says that, “These prisons that take men out of society and isolate them,” so that they don’t have to go out into the world, have real relationships with other men, and take responsibility for their actions.
Ultimately, men need to step up and offer love and support to all women, Gregus explains, “What nobler cause is there than all of you, than of women? Women are so worthy of men’s love, and they are the noblest cause for men collectively, because it is through women that we will reach our reward.” He explains that “Men offer and provide this level of security and safety that women can’t provide for each other,” and in doing so men and women will lift each other up, and can change this culture of death into a culture of life.