When I was in high school, I knew a couple of girls who got pregnant. Both of them got abortions after great encouragement from their boyfriends.
During the early 1990’s, I was very involved in the pro-life summer in Milwaukee and did some sidewalk counseling as the women were headed toward the abortuary. The girls were easy to spot; they looked terrified, were usually alone, and carried a brown paper bag. My goal was to walk with her as she approached the barricades and do my very best to get her to change her mind in the few precious minutes I had with her. At other abortuaries, I had to stay on the public sidewalk with a parking lot that separated me from the girls. When they arrived in cars, more boyfriends or men came along. I wondered what those guys were thinking as they sat and chain-smoked in their cars or as they wandered in and out of the building, waiting to take the girl home.
Culture leads us to believe most men are in favor of abortion on demand, and that they have little conscience in the matter. We are led to believe they are willing to hand over the money “to get rid of it” and go on their merry way. That was what I observed when the girls I knew found out they were pregnant.
Learning that men suffer strong negative emotions regarding abortion was surprising. Post-abortive men can also suffer from depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, a desire to escape through drugs and alcohol. They struggle with many of the same Post-abortion Syndrome issues women do. One notable consequence of abortion in men is they struggle with intense anger, reportedly being five-times angrier than men who are not party to an abortion. They tend to hide their emotions in substance abuse and promiscuity.
The Roe decision of 1973 removed the right of a man to have any say in what happens to his baby. His girlfriend or his wife can abort his child and he has absolutely no say in the matter. It is her body and her choice. He has no voice in if his child lives or dies. If he wants the child and she chooses to abort, he will suffer grief, anger, and a tremendous sense of loss for all that he will never experience with his child. For some men, this is devastating because given the option they would raise the baby alone.
Abortion is a violent act that ends the life of the couple’s child. Abortion is a selfish decision for one or both people to make. The abortion choice causes anger in both men and women, but it is known to produce intense and anger in men. This leads to physical, emotional, and verbal abuse in the relationship. If the woman did not want the abortion but was pressured or forced into it by her man she will be resentful and angry towards him. Hostility will continue to build in the relationship over time.
Abortion violates the God-given roles assigned to men. God has designed men to be protectors of women and children. A man who is a willing party to an abortion violates his nature to care for and protect those who cannot protect and defend themselves. Instead, he pays for his child to be destroyed.
Man is also designed to be a responsible provider. Children cause a man to grow up and leave the freedom of youth and childhood behind. Abortion removes the need to grow into the responsible man God intends for him to be. Instead, he lives to play and escapes responsibility for his choices. His selfishness and irresponsibility are enabled to grow.
Many of the men I am aware of who encouraged abortions simply did not want the any of the responsibility that parenting requires. Many times there was no desire for an ongoing relationship with the baby’s mother, as she may have been a casual date or a conquest. The man has no interest in marrying her or anyone else at that time in their life. He does not want to provide financially for the child for 18 years or more either so abortion is the path he encourages her to take. Abortion allows a man to violate his God-ordained role as a parent, and head of the family. By ending the life of his child, he is not going to be a parent nor does he have a family to take leadership over.
Presently, there is little being done on a large scale to help post-abortive men deal with the abortion choice. A few things are very clear in addressing the abortion choice with a man. He must accept partial responsibility for an abortion because he is responsible for the pregnancy. If the relationship was illicit, he is guilty before God for his part in it. If he encouraged or forced his girlfriend or wife to have an abortion, he is responsible for abdicating the roles and position in the family given to him by God.
The only solution for the couple who chooses abortion is repentance for their decision before God, confession to God and to each other that what they have done is sinful and they regret it. They must seek forgiveness and restoration from God and each other, asking for and granting forgiveness for their individual roles in getting the abortion.