We live during a time when a father’s importance in the family has been downplayed. Men have also been sidelined when it comes to the decision of abortion. Particularly when addressing abortion’s aftermath, the needs of dads are overlooked.
Leading the way for change is the Men and Abortion Network (MAN), comprised of experts in this field. I am honored to be a founding member. We’ve developed a website exclusively for them with a plethora of resources. New posts are frequently added, and men can request a free peer-counselor from wherever they live.
There is a healthy and growing partnership between MAN and pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics. Many now have on-site resources for men such as peer-counselors, materials, and mentors.
Men should be encouraged to actively participate in the abortion decision. The father of an unborn baby has considerable influence on the mother’s abortion decision regardless of the level of their relationship.
Why are men affected? The Creator wired man’s brain with a strong desire to provide for and protect their offspring. Obviously, many men override this inclination, however, they do so at the risk of experiencing symptoms which can include anger, sleeplessness, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, self-imposed isolation or even suicidal tendencies.
Men may experience these symptoms without associating them with abortion.
Why? Society gives men no incentive to mourn emotionally for the death of their unborn child. We’re agonizingly slow to acknowledge abortion’s impact on mothers, so it’s no surprise there are few sympathies for men. But too much is at stake to ignore the fathers.
Considering that over 62 million babies have been sacrificed on the altar of abortion since 1973, we shouldn’t be surprised that their fathers – many of them deeply grieving – are all around us.
They’re in our workplaces, churches and neighborhoods. They share the same golf courses, airports and grocery stores. They are everywhere. And they need to know that we are ready to reach out in love to help them.
They must be assured that they’re not alone and there is help for their anguished hearts. We can help them take the first steps in a difficult but rewarding journey. At times it will be a painful process. Facing the death of a child always is, particularly if it was intentional.
There is a place where they can be listened to, respected and, at times, challenged, but in the end, they will come out a new person. It’s time hurting fathers came out of the shadows and into the light of healing. Help us spread the word.
President, Life Issues Institute