Abortion’s Impact on Men Frequently Ignored, UCLA Psychologist Says
by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2007
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — A psychology professor at UCLA says the impact abortion has on men is too frequently ignored. Dr. Miriam Grossman, who is a psychiatrist at the university’s student health service, says that men involved in abortion decisions have become "invisible" to researchers and members of her profession.
While research on the medical and mental health problems women face following an abortion has only barely scratched the surface, fewer scholars have examined the impact on men.
Grossman says a sociologist named Dr. Arthur Shostak is one of the only researchers to examine how abortion affects men.
Shostak looked into the situation because he and his girlfriend reached the decision to have an abortion when she became pregnant unexpectedly. He was curious to know how similar decisions affected other men.
Shostak surveyed 1,000 men who accompanied their wives or girlfriends to an abortion facility at various spots around the country. He found that 80 percent of the men he surveyed said the trip to the abortion center was the worst day of their lives.
Grossman, speaking with Agape Press, said the number of men who regretted their decision went up over time.
"The number of men who reported that day feeling some guilt and some ambivalence about what they were doing; the number of men who were asked ’Do you think that in the future you might have some troubling thoughts about this ?’ — the percentages went up," she explained.
"So a few years afterwards, they were reporting that it was worse than they had anticipated," she added in the AP interview.
Grossman told the news service that her colleagues too readily ignore men’s involvement in abortion and how it affects them.
"There is a significant number of people who do have those scars and that painfulness and if we are going to be open to victims of every sort, then we in mental health need to be acknowledging them even if they don’t advance a particular ideology," she said.
Grossman says Shostak has suggested that the mental health community do more to help people recover from the problems associated with an abortion.
The UCLA professor has previously spoken out about the lack of response from academics and mental health professionals.
Grossman sat down with Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review for an interview about her latest book, Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student.
She says the wrote the book in part to "highlight the existence of an invisible group: women (and men) with emotional scars from an abortion."
"They are out there in numbers; many must seek support from networks outside our mental-health system," she said. "This is because although individual practitioners may be sensitive to the trauma of abortion, the mental-health establishment denies it exists."
As a psychiatrist, Grossman criticized "the refusal of my profession to formally acknowledge and reach out to those who suffer with severe emotional disorders following an abortion."
"And mind you, these are professionals who are normally eager to identify and assist victims of all sorts of other traumas — be it child abuse, sexual harassment, or natural disasters," she told National Review.