For Fathers

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For Fathers

Is abortion just a woman's issue, or does the father also have an emotional response?


Abortion, the death of a baby in the womb brought about by the intention of the parent(s) is not just a woman's issue, regardless of the widespread belief that there is no place for the father's opinion. There have been over 8 million abortions since the introduction in Great Britain of the abortion act in 1967, and the effect on the bereaved fathers has been underestimated and largely ignored.

Forty Years Later

Forty years later, millions of men have been affected by abortion. Many knowingly participated through a wide range of approaches, from passivity to coercion. The men who make up these grievous numbers are boyfriends and husbands. In other cases, the pregnant girl or woman was faced by pressure from her own father, relatives or friends to “get rid of the problem.” Some men abandoned the mother and crisis pregnancy situation altogether. Others responded with indifference, leaving the mother confused and feeling helpless. Others who were uninformed or deceived came to learn about the abortion after the fact. Still other men fought unsuccessfully for the lives of their unborn children” - AFA Journal.

Below, you have some scenarios. You may feel, that one is similar to the situation that you are/were in. Please have a read of them and pray the prayer response, if you feel it is for you.

Scenario #1

Pregnancy often comes as a total surprise to a young man who believes that sex is a leisure activity that does not need to be tied to commitment. Pregnancy raises many questions e.g. is the baby his? Why wasn't she taking better precautions? How can he commit to financially and emotionally supporting a child when he hardly knows the mother? If he is very young it may be that he is not in the position to financially support himself. For these reasons, and many other like them, the knowledge that abortion is legal, free, confidential and the girl has right to choose, means that he considers his duty to be supporting the girl in her decision to abort and being there when she goes to the clinic. Many men in later years express regret and shame at their selfish behaviour, and recognise that they hardly gave a thought to the death of their child.

A man who saw pictures of an aborted baby shared that he had encouraged his girlfriend to have an abortion when they were in their teens. The relationship ended soon after, and the girl had a lot of problems which he was afraid to admit might have had anything to do with the abortion. It was only years later when he had a wife and children that he was able to recognise how unfeeling and callous he had been, he expressed how horrified and ashamed he was of his behaviour then.

“He can move on with “HIS LIFE” unhindered by family or child. He knows that he has lost a child, but for now that is perceived by him to be a blessing.”

You can pray

There is no excuse for me Lord, I was a father and I did not protect my baby or the mother of my child. I am ashamed, it has taken me so long to look honestly at what happened. I accept that I cannot really understand what suffering I caused by my selfishness. It is painful for me to admit these things, but I don't know how to continue knowing that I behaved so harshly to those I should have protected. Please forgive me. My involvement with that girl caused only harm – take pity on me Lord and give her blessing and healing. I have never looked on my baby's face, but I have to trust that you are keeping my little one safe. I'm reaching out to you, please have mercy on me.

Who am I (song)

Scenario #2

Many caring men in a loving relationship appreciate what the mother of their children goes through to during the pregnancy and the birth. If there have been difficulties in earlier pregnancies, or if the scans find a cause for concern both parents are often encouraged to abort; however the man is often sidelined and his belief and feelings are discounted. Too often there has been no real conversation on the whether children are wanted, even in a deeply committed partnership, and the man may find that there is no reason for his baby to be aborted apart from the fact that his partner doesn't want it – or maybe not yet.

A woman aborted her partner's baby against his wishes, she gave the reason that her mother would be angry with them if she knew she was pregnant without being married.. He felt so guilty and thought he should marry her and have another baby to replace the one who had died. However, she didn't want another baby, and the marriage didn't last. It took many years before he could talk about what had happened.

“Role confusion or a sense of emasculation may occur if men are not allowed to act on their healthy instinct to protect or when they judge themselves to have failed as guardians. In an attempt to fulfil their perceived role as one of stoic support to their partners, men tend to contain their own emotions and put on a brave face.”

You can pray

I have failed as a man, as a father and as a husband. There is a deep sense of shame – where can I go for help? I feel frustrated and angry, yet also guilty and depressed. I've tried to be strong and sort things out myself but truthfully it is beyond me. There is so much confusion in my mind, do you understand God? Would you have pity on a failure? I can appear successful to the world but Jesus, you knew what it was like to be betrayed, I will trust in you.

Take my hand (song)

Scenario #3

Sadly, abortion can be carried out without reference to the father, and without his knowledge. Even where a couple is living together or married it is not uncommon for this to happen, and it sometimes happens that the truth emerges during an argument when it is used to hurt the man. Whatever reason the woman has for using this weapon it is always cruel and very damaging. It is a deep wound that is very difficult to recover from.

This story is often heard among the homeless men. A relationship cannot sustain this level of betrayal for long. The man's shocked and angry reaction may result in an order to leave the home, and have no further contact with the woman – especially if there are children involved who could be deemed at risk He is cast in the role of aggressor (often with reason), is often too ashamed to share what has happened, has difficulty continuing with employment and may turn to drink or other substances to cope with the pain. A recent case study (Holmes, 2004) highlighted the effects of abortion on a young man who learned that his partner had obtained an abortion nearly six months after the abortion occurred. Holmes describes the effects of worthlessness, emasculation, voicelesness, and the threat to the young man's belief system as a result of the abortion.

You can pray

God, are you there? Is there any hope for me? Who can I trust, who knows what I am going through? They see a failure, a fool, someone who is not worth anything, someone beyond help. Sometimes that's how I see myself as well. But where there is life there is hope, and I'm still alive! The confusion, the horror of what I've been through, of what my little baby went through, how can I continue – what do you know of suffering, God Almighty in heaven? I'm not even sure you exist. Yet I do know that Jesus lived, and suffered, and they say he came back to life. That he loves us and has the power to forgive and give peace. Oh Jesus if you can hear me, please help me!

Ken Hammer SOS (song)

Men, out of a misguided desire to protect and care for their partner may be so sure that abortion is the most humane way to resolve the problem (especially if there is fear of abnormality in the baby) that they cannot even hear her concerns and arrange everything, over-riding her protests. It is only perhaps years later as they see the damage done to her emotions and the struggles she goes through that they have to recognise that they were wrong.

Watch Live Action President Lila Rose's powerful response to this question at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

You can pray

I was so sure that I was right. I only acted out of concern for her, I was trying to protect her. It's terrible to recognise that she was harmed because of me, that she suffered so much and I didn't listen to her, I was controlling and proud. How I wish I could go back and change the way I was. It's difficult to think of what happened to my baby, but I've seen the pictures and it's terrible that I let that happen to my own baby. Forgive me God. Jesus said on the cross that he wanted those crucifying him to be forgiven, Jesus, hear my cry and forgive me!

Come to the cross (song)

Some men have a promiscuous lifestyle and do not seem to care about the fate of their unborn child or the mother, but display a callous and almost gleeful delight in declaring their belief that abortion is a great boon for them, and for all women. They will probably have encouraged abortion of their child on many occasions, and it is increasingly difficult to allow themselves to honestly face what they have done. A similar attitude is present in some women, this is a vocal and aggressive minority who probably have suffered but not allowed themselves to recover, rather they have hardened themselves until they are in such deep denial it is not possible to reach them without a change in their understanding. However we do not know what is going on in their hearts, the thoughts that they are suppressing. The way to healing is to be honest, to grow up and take responsibility for our actions. To seek forgiveness.

You can pray

I have spent so long despising myself, hiding my true feelings from everyone, taking my anger and despair out on others. It's killing me, eating away inside me. Outside I look ok, inside I just don't know any more. I don't care any more I just want to be clean, to be able to face the day and feel free from this crippling guilt that is threatening to destroy me. I need to be saved! I need a saviour! Jesus, Jesus, Oh God, please help me, Jesus. I know I don't deserve to be helped but I'm at my wits end. I've tried all sorts of things in my life and just gone round and round, from bad to worse. Jesus, you are the only one I could trust. Help me, don't turn me away. I want to belong to you and leave my old life.

“In this overriding choice of self-preference over the life of a child comes the guilt that lingers.”

The good, the bad and the ugly (song)

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