Men Can Suffer a Myriad of Grief Issues Following a Partner’s Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Men Can Suffer a Myriad of Grief Issues Following a Partner’s Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 30,

Washington, DC ( — Abortion is frequently considered a woman’s issue and one where men should have little no role in the decision and likely have little or no ill-effects afterwards. However, one man who regularly counsels men who have been involved in an abortion says that claim is unfounded.

Kevin Burke is the associate director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, a group that reaches out to those adversely affected by an abortion to provide them hope and healing.

In an interview with Zenit, Burke says men suffer from a myriad of problems following a partner’s abortion — especially one in which they lent their support or persuaded their partner to have.

"We have all heard the exhausted phrase repeated over the years that ‘abortion is a private personal decision between a woman, her health care provider and her God,’" Burke explained. "Men were seen to be peripheral figures in the process, detached and unaffected by the woman’s ‘choice.’"

"The reality is that men are involved in 95% of all abortion decisions, and they are profoundly impacted by their participation in the abortion of their child," Burke added.

"In our work as counseling professionals, my wife Theresa and I have worked with many individuals and couples who came to us for healing after abortion," he told Zenit. "In the last eight years we have seen a steady increase in men who attended our Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats seeking healing."

"Similar to women, when men experience deep healing of post abortion pain, they are freed from the shame and guilt that feeds silence and isolation," he said. "There is a willingness to share their experience with others because they finally recognize that their feelings are normal, they are not alone."

Burke is the co-editor of a new book, "Redeeming a Father’s Heart," that he helped author along with David Wemhoff and Marvin Stockwell about helping heal men’s hearts after an abortion.

But he isn’t alone in thinking that men face mental health problems after an abortion.
Dr. Wayne Brauning, the founder of Men’s Abortion ReCovery, knows many men who feel the pain of an abortion that occurred during their relationship with a woman.

"Men have told me that they knew they were guilty of getting the woman pregnant, of pressuring her to get an abortion, or of not coming to the rescue of the child," Brauning writes.

"Participating in an abortion always produces real guilt before God in the person who is responsible for the decision to take the life of the child," he explains.

Dr. Brauning tells men who have been a party to an abortion to actively grieve and express the pain and emotional trauma related to it

"Don’t hold back. The reason for this sorrow is genuine and profound," he said.

Related web sites:
Rachel’s Vineyard –