Running on ‘E’ for Empathy
November 22, 2019
See with eyes of faith
November 22, 2019

Abortion affects men too

We’ve grown used to thinking of abortion as a woman’s issue, and many believe that men should not even be involved in the decision to abort.

Where they are involved, we’ve come to view them either as enforcers of the abortion, abandoners, or as passive bystanders (‘I’ll support whatever you decide’), and we give little thought to those who may oppose the abortion.

Researchers have known for some time that whatever the case, men do experience a variety of effects in the aftermath of abortion.

For those who oppose the abortion, the awareness of the impact tends to be immediate, whereas for the others, it can take years to realise the significance of the impact on their lives.

As happens with women, men experience feelings of guilt and shame, depression, self-hatred, and self-esteem and confidence problems.

And according to an online article featuring a September 2008 conference, ‘Reclaiming Fatherhood: A Multi-faceted Examination of Men Dealing With Abortion’ the US-based National Office of Post-abortion Reconciliation and Healing (NOPRAH), oversight organisation for Project Rachel and other post-abortion services, men themselves described a number of other experiences:

  • Rage or anger
  • Impotence
  • Loss of (the sense of) masculinity
  • Grave concern for their partner and her well-


  • Inability to communicate with their partner about her experience and theirs
  • Chemical use and abuse (excessive alcohol or drug use)
  • Risk-taking behaviours
  • Grieving and sadness: A reaction that catches many men by surprise
  • Obsessive thoughts of the lost child
  • Nightmares of someone/something vulnerable being threatened and being unable to protect it
  • Desire for another child and subsequent behaviour to try to achieve that goal
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to sort out the feelings they are experiencing
  • Emotional abuse and/or spousal battering.

Additionally, Guy Condon and David Hazard, in their book, Fatherhood Aborted: The Profound Effects of Abortion on Men, point out some “aftershocks” of Male Post-abortion Trauma (the impact of abortion on men).

The post-abortive man:

  • Has difficulty with commitment
  • Dodges authority
  • Has no solid sense of identity
  • Works to impress moral leaders
  • Keeps women at bay
  • Has trouble bonding
  • Fears impending tragedy
  • Doesn’t own his mistakes
  • Feels inadequate as a leader

Some men also experience, inter alia:

  • Great anxiety when their partner becomes pregnant and carries the baby to term.
  • Being overly protective fathers (to the detriment of normal development of their children).
  • Acting out in socially destructive ways: church fires, murder/suicides or abortion clinic attacks
  • Confusion and grief over the end of the relationship that resulted in the pregnancy, occasionally obsessing about the lost partner
  • Becoming the parent who does the major caretaking of the child, pushing away the mother
  • Becoming involved with pornography and sexual addictions.

If the information provided in this article seems ominous, we should perhaps remember that for every woman who has an abortion, there is a corresponding man (except in the case of polyamory) who may be experiencing several of the effects listed above.

We pose the question: what might be the implications for the mental well-being of our fledgling nation when abortion is pushed as a woman’s right, and men must be silent on the issue?

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us that we may adopt a culture of life.

A monthly column by the Emmanuel Community: 46 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook.Tel:628-1064;