A father who worked as a personal trainer in England was recently discovered to have killed himself after his girlfriend said she planned to have an abortion of their child. The case reminds of the emotional fallout men face following a partner’s decision to have an abortion.
A Southampton Coroner’s Court hearing heard that Mark Horsted, known as Eddie, argued with his girlfriend, Victoria Lomas- Piddington about their relationship shortly before he took his own life. Horsted killed himself after discovering his girlfriend was planning to abort their unborn child.
The Daily Echo newspaper reported on the hearing and the story.
Last night friends and family of the 39-year-old, including colleagues who have set up a memorial to him at the Hampshire leisure center where he worked, spoke of their loss at his death and paid tribute to a “fantastic, active and adventurous” man.
Southampton Coroner’s Court heard police were called to a house at Old Somerley, near Ringwood, on the afternoon of March 15. When officers arrived, they found Mr Horsted had hanged himself in the gym attached to the house. Despite frantic attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a statement read in court, Ms Lomas-Piddington said she and Mr Horsted had met at David Lloyd in Ringwood about a year earlier, and they soon started dating. But she said he had been “very insecure” throughout the relationship, with “difficulties.” because she had a child from a previous relationship, and said Mr Horsted had previously threatened suicide. She said: “It had been on and off with arguments throughout, although there were good spells as well.”
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.
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.
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“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 said. “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.”