Last week, the group Support After Abortion, released a white paper entitled “Abortion’s Long-Term Negative Impact on Men.” Both anecdotes and research clearly demonstrate that women often suffer psychologically after obtaining an abortion.
However, there is considerably less research on how abortion affects the psychological health of men. The National Survey of Family Growth reports that one in five men will experience an abortion before the age of 45. Even if men are statistically less likely to suffer after an abortion, more research on this topic still has the potential to assist millions of men.
Support After Abortion commissioned a national survey of 1,000 men over the age of 18. Of those, 100 men met the criteria of having experienced an abortion at some time and were willing to participate in the survey. The study found that the role that men often played in their partner’s decision to have an abortion was small. In the study, about 45 percent of men reported that they had no voice or choice in their partner’s abortion decision.
The most important finding from the study was that men are negatively impacted by abortion. The study found that 71 percent of men said they experienced an adverse change in themselves after their abortion losses. Interestingly, pro-life men were more likely to say they experienced an adverse change. However, the results indicate that around 60 percent of men who identified as “pro-choice” felt they were adversely affected by the abortion. Furthermore, after the abortion 51 percent of men sought help, and an additional 31 percent did not seek help but felt that help could have been beneficial.
Another key finding was the sort of assistance that men would find helpful. Slightly over half of men said that they would prefer a licensed counselor. About 70 percent said that they would value anonymity when seeking help. Finally, nearly half of all men would prefer a secular approach to healing. Only 7 percent of men said they would reach out to a clergyperson for help. Many postabortion healing programs have a Christian orientation and therefore may be less attractive to men who would prefer a more secular approach.
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Overall, this white paper published by Support After Abortion makes a very important contribution to postabortion healing efforts. It shows that men, both pro-life and pro-choice, are often adversely affected by their partner’s abortions. It also shows that many post-abortive men felt they would benefit from some form of professional help. Finally, postabortion healing programs with a religious orientation may be unattractive to men who would prefer a secular approach. Post abortion healing ministries are one of the pro-life movement’s most important activities. More information about how to best help post-abortive men has the potential to bring hope and healing to millions.
LifeNews Note: Michael New is a research associate at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and is an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. he is a former professor at Ave maria University and University of Michigan, Dearborn.