What Are the Effects of Abortion on Men?
Many people mistakenly think that abortion is just a “women’s issue,” when nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s take a look at how men sometimes participate in a woman’s decision to have an abortion, and the effects of abortion on men.
Abortion and Men: Not Just a Woman’s Choice
According to groundbreaking research by Arthur Shostak and Gary McLouth, about half of all women who get abortions are accompanied by a male partner.
For many of these men, it is an experience characterized by isolation and getting a “cold shoulder” from abortion clinic staff. About 70% of men are barred from being with their girlfriend or wife during the abortion procedure, and 90% are not allowed to see their partner during the hour-long recovery period(2).
The effects of abortion on men have long been ignored by abortion practitioners and researchers alike. Many men who are dealing with abortion report that no one ever asks them about their experience, or seems to care about how they feel about the abortion(2).
What Are the Consequences of Abortion for Men?
Although men have no legal rights in the abortion decision, they often have strong feelings about pregnancy and in many cases participate in the decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy. According to abortion expert Dr. Catherine Coyle and other researchers, men who lose a child to abortion are at risk for a number of psychological consequences, including: (3)
- Helplessness. Men often feel powerless to intervene when their partner decides to abort the child against their wishes(3).
- Grief. Abortion causes many men to experience intense grief over the loss of their child, as well as the loss of fatherhood(3).
- Guilt. Because they have no legal say in abortion, many men defer to their girlfriends, wives, or daughters to make the decision.
- This causes would-be fathers, grandfathers, and other male relatives, to experience intense guilt over neglecting their biological role as protectors of children.
- Many men also feel guilty over not experiencing same physical trauma as the woman who underwent the procedure.
- If the man pressured or even coerced his partner into having the procedure, feelings of guilt may be more severe(3).
- Emotional difficulties. Emotional effects of abortion on men often include:
- A man may have greater difficulty expressing affection toward loved ones, including his girlfriend, wife, or mother(2).
- Post-abortive men often suffer from increased anxiety(3).
- Men may experience a sense of emasculation(3).
- Some men have experienced symptoms of PTSD after losing a child to abortion(3).
- Addiction. Men whose partners have had an abortion may turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism(2).
- Sexual dysfunction. Abortion can change sexual function for the male partners of women who have the procedure. The man may come to see his sexual desires as dangerous or unwanted because they can result in the death of a child. Some men have even reported erectile dysfunction after their child was aborted(2).
Many of these consequences are also experienced by grandparents of aborted children.
As with male partners, many post-abortive grandfathers, as well as grandmothers, have reported symptoms including anger, grief, and guilt. For grandparents who encouraged or coerced their daughter into aborting her child, symptoms may be even
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- Abortion Recovery International. (2012). The Impact of Abortion on Grandparents. Accessed from http://www.abortionrecovery.org/abortionaffects/grandparents/tabid/235/Default.aspx.
- Life Resources. (2011). How Abortion Affects American Men. Accessed from http://www.life.org.nz/abortion/aboutabortion/aboutabortion43/.
- Metaxas, Eric. (2015). Fatherhood Lost: How Abortion Affects Men. LifeSite. Accessed from https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/fatherhood-lost-how-abortion-affects-men.