Many men often describe the abortion experience as bewildering and painful beyond their coping abilities. This stems from the fact that men are wired differently than women. Men are wired to protect and care for a child at the time of conception, not nine months later. The result is feelings of depression, guilt, shame, and a loss of honor. They have to come to grips with what they have done; willfully taking the life of one that he is wired to protect. Man’s fundamental calling to defend those dependent on him, including his unborn child, is destroyed by abortion. A man can come to feel that his historical male role as protector has been violated by his involvement in an abortion.
All humans must grieve a loss. Because men see themselves as protectors and providers, they can grieve more than the mother. Males often remain silent and grieve alone. A man is expected to be strong, abortion makes him feel weak. A man is expected to be responsible, yet abortion encourages him to act without concern for the innocent and to destroy any consequences of his decision making. Emotional resolution is near impossible because the child was denied life and therefore doesn’t even a have a grave.
In contemporary abortion practices, women may choose, fathers may not. All too frequently the man’s role is marginal and passive. Clinical experience shows that some men become angry and hostile when they have been excluded from the decision making. A guilt ridden, angry man does not easily give love or accept love. His feelings may prevent him from seeking compassion, support or affection.
Relationships often are affected by abortion. Many times the mother will reject the father for not saying anything to stop them from killing their child. From the moment he looked away from his pregnant girlfriend’s gaze and surrendered his responsibility as a father, he lost a good deal of his manhood and a great deal of her respect. These fathers have to deal with their grief over the loss of the child and also the loss of their relationship with the child’s mother. When a couple experiences an abortion it is likely followed by: 1. A decrease in the amount of intimacy necessary for the relationship to survive; 2. Increased use of defensive communication behaviors; 3. Erosion of trust and the evolution of a closed vs. open system of interaction; 4. Loss of spiritual connectedness to God and to one’s partner.
Masculine identity may be damaged when men fail to keep those they love from harm. Role confusion or a sense of emasculation may occur if men are not allowed to act on their healthy instinct to protect or when they judge themselves to have failed as guardians. This can result in a change of sexual desire. A man may come to regard his sexual feelings as dangerous.
“In an unpublished study of male responses to abortion, Finley (1978) reported that most (94%) of men in his study consciously linked post-abortion behavioral changes such as ‘less interest in sex’, ‘enjoying work or school less’, ‘socializing less’, ‘sleeping less’, and ‘drinking more’ and their abortion experience. These behaviors often continued long after the abortion.
The abortion experience is a profound one…one with long lasting effects for many. It is clear that in addition to the other victims of abortion, men also suffer. Abortion robs them of fatherhood and affects the way they see themselves as men. They pay a high price for reproductive “freedom”. Killing hurts the living too.