A man can never say, “I had an abortion.” That doesn’t mean when a man’s child is aborted that he hasn’t experienced Abortion PTSD at an emotional, spiritual and psychological level.
Masculine Abortion PTSD can be varied depending upon the father’s involvement in the decision:
Uninvolved – The father did not know about the pregnancy and subsequent abortion and learned about it after the fact or maybe not at all.
Neutral – The father knew about the pregnancy and subsequent abortion but was not involved or refused to participate in the abortion decision, allowing the decision to be solely the woman’s choice.
Prevented – The father knew about the abortion plans and disagreed, or may have actively tried to stop the abortion, but had no legal standing to do so.
Encouraged – The father pressured or encouraged the abortion directly. He may not have entertained any other option but abortion. This scenario includes those who accompanied the woman to the abortion clinic and/or helped pay for the abortion.
With no DNA test available to “prove” fatherhood, men can deflect emotional trauma by simply believing the lost child belonged to another man. Denial or forgetting about the abortion is easier for men who maintain the mindset that the aborted child may not have been their child at all.
Abortion pain can exist with those men who may have never lost a child to abortion but are married to a post-abortive woman. When Abortion PTSD impacts a loved one, the pain echoes to every family member, particularly husbands.
A loving man who tried to prevent the abortion endures additional trauma in being emasculated by the inability to protect his unborn child in the womb. One man in this spot grieved for many months. On his aborted child’s due date, he went to the abortion clinic parking lot and shot himself. The note he left outlined his pain in wanting to rejoin his child in heaven.
Because abortion is considered a “woman’s issue,” the father’s pain is rarely considered in the political discussion. Abortion often leaves men deeply angry and grieving can be complicated.
For those who forced a woman to abort by giving her no choice, there can be true guilt. The father of my aborted child fits this category. He had no desire to ever become a dad. His mindset was fixed on abortion. While I walked into that clinic all by myself, this man bears responsibility for that decision just as much as I do. Had he supported another choice, I never would have aborted.
Men and women deal with pain differently. Women do very well in group settings where they can meet other post-abortive women and work to heal. Men rarely enjoy chatting in groups on painful topics. So abortion recovery programs to reach male hearts are still few and far between.
Thankfully, there are other ways that men can deal with this pain. For example, a private, grieving man offered to build a wing to a pregnancy center at no cost. The new section then became his unspoken “memorial” to his aborted child. His past abortion wasn’t discussed until his wife went to the center years later to attend a recovery class.
At another level, men may come to pregnancy center programs after their marriage falls apart. They are hoping to heal their marriage by finally addressing the abortion. These men perceive that perhaps an abortion recovery program will “fix” and reunite their marriage.
Abortion recovery ministry cannot be a substitute for marital counseling. Many times these efforts are “too little and too late” for the wives. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find healing.
Father’s Day celebrations can trigger emotions related to abortion PTSD. If you are struggling with male Abortion PTSD, know that there is hope of peace for your heart. Reading Her Choice to Heal can help you understand the emotions you may be experiencing and begin your own healing process. To find a local abortion recovery program that can help at a confidential level, visit: Help in Your Area.