Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Men and Abortion: How Little We Know


By Dave Andrusko
National Right to Life

Editor’s note. Father’s Day is this Sunday. As we do each year we are running stories all the week before about one of the most neglected subject areas in the entire abortion debate: a father’s role and responsibility in the death of his child. The following first ran in 2012.

After nearly 40 years, you’d think almost everything that could be said about abortion has been said. However, as Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change demonstrated, there are many gaping holes beginning with the topic of last night’s session: men and abortion.

The four presenters provided everything from an overview of the research done to date through a very powerful personal testimony of one man’s abortion experience to a new organization that will help buttress the case using scholarly analysis that abortion hurts women and men.

Catherine Coyle explained the paucity of scholarly study, although in the last few years, she said, the pace had picked up considerably.

Coyle began by elaborating on an almost forgotten consideration, one that was not clear in the immediate aftermath of Roe. We tend to forget that even after the disastrous 1973 decision, there was hope that husbands would be given a say, or at least notified of the impending abortion of their child.

However, subsequent Supreme Court decisions made unmistakably clear those fathers—unmarried or married—had no voice. Coyle discussed the symptoms that many post-abortive fathers experience including guilt and overpowering grief.

She keenly observed that men have a paternal instinct that is much underrated. Like all presenters, Coyle offer quotes from fathers devastated by the death of their unborn children.

Coyle also noted that the failure to communicate may play a part in more abortions than we would ever imagine. On the one hand, women are looking for affirmation from men that they want them to continue the pregnancy. On the other hand, men are anxious to “support” whatever decision the women in their lives make, even if they do not want her to abort. Their noncommittal responses are interpreted as indifference, at best.

David Russell provided a moving testimony about the abortion many years ago of a child he subsequently came to name Mathew David. The audience listened with rapt attention as Mr. Russell talked of how he felt he had taken the “easy way out,” that his aborted son had deserved a father “who would protect him,” and that Mathew David “deserved better than he got.”

National Right to Life article continues

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