The different roles men play in the abortion experience often affects if, when, and how they are impacted by the abortion. Sometimes the suffering is immediate – and other times, it manifests itself years later. One thing, though, is for sure: abortion hurts men too.
How do we know this?
Although there are not many published studies on the impact that abortion has on men, the few that have been conducted have interesting results.
According to a report published by Dr. Catherine T. Coyle, from the University of Wisconsin Madison, a review of 28 published studies on the side-effects of abortion on men revealed:
- Men are more inclined to repress their emotions during the abortion decision. Some men have stated that they feel they should support their partners and this what they “should” do. Because abortion is portrayed as a “women’s issue,” the decision is often left up to the woman.
Known pro-choice sociologist and emeritus professor at Drexel University, Arthur Shostak, affirmed this in an interview with U.S. News, focusing on the effect of abortion on men. He said,
“One of the most difficult sentences that I know of in the English language is this: ‘Honey, I have just learned that I am pregnant, and we are going to have an abortion.’ It brings astonishing information – and also resolution – in just a sentence. And it’s not, ‘Honey, I’m pregnant – what are we going to do?’ So, it’s a double blow for men, and I think that’s got to change. I’m arguing we can redefine an unwanted pregnancy more usefully as a couple’s challenge – not a woman’s problem.”
- Relationships suffer following abortion. Results from studies on relationship failure following abortion range anywhere from 25-75%.
- Many men have expressed a need for counseling, with most men agreeing the abortion was not an easy experience at all.
- Some men deal with grief, anxiety, guilt helplessness, and anger, leading to substance abuse, risky behaviors, and depression following an abortion experience.
One study published in 2000, in which researchers recruited over 300 women and men involved in first trimester abortions, found that being involved in a first-trimester abortion can be highly distressing for both women and men. Among the results were the following:
“Before the abortion, 56.9% of women and 39.6% of men were much more distressed than their respective controls. Three weeks after the abortion, 41.7% of women and 30.9% of men were still highly distressed.”
Despite the sparseness of research, there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that men suffer in the aftermath of abortion, just like women.
The Personal Stories
It takes immense courage and emotional strength for a man to share his personal experience with abortion, especially when modern society and the media push the notion that a man has no place in the abortion decision, that it’s a woman’s issue, and he should be silent.
But many such men have come forward, and their stories should be heard.
These are stories from men who’ve played different roles in the abortion experience and who bear painful wounds because of it, whether they are mental, emotional, or spiritual.
A Hollywood movie producer, Jason Jones, is well-known for his pro-life films such as Bella and Crescendo. What is the motivation behind his work? Jason shares his powerful story that started when he was just a teenager who found out his girlfriend was pregnant and later had an abortion. You can watch his testimony here.
You can also watch four fathers unveil the impact abortion had on them in this video.
The Healing Ministries
If abortion didn’t hurt men or impact them in some way, then they would not need post-abortive counseling, therapy, or healing.
But the fact of the matter is, counseling and healing for men after abortion does exist…
Because men are hurting and there is a need.
If you, a family member, or a man you know is suffering in the aftermath of abortion, whether it was recent or long ago, please know you are not alone. These fantastic organizations and ministries exist to help guide men (and women) through their journey of grief to peace and healing.
877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463)
Confidential email service – click here.
For General Inquiries:
Please contact Sheppard Tucker: Sheppard.Tucker@GoDeeperStill.org
For Retreat Inquiries:
Please contact Jacque Murphy: Jacque.Murphy@GoDeeperStill.org
Several pregnancy resource centers (including many in Illinois) offer post-abortive healing/counseling for men and women as well. If you need help finding a local resource for post abortion counseling, or if you would just like someone to talk to, please call us or email us: