Men Need Post-Abortion Support, too

Men are often more able than women to bury their feelings after an abortion. If a man fails to face the emotional aftermath of a pregnancy termination within the first couple of months, he will often suppress it for many years, making it more difficult to face. Many men acknowledge various problems in their life without connecting them to a previous abortion decision, when in fact some problems may be linked to emotional pain that has not been dealt with.

Society makes it doubly tough for men to deal with the aftermath of a pregnancy termination.  Men are often taught as children that it is less than manly to talk about feelings, show weakness, or cry.  As a result, men have no societal incentive to realistically deal with their abortion decision.

When addressing difficult emotions related to abortion in men, it's important to remember that many men tend to think categorically. Because of this, a man might feel that abortion is solely a woman's decision.  Many might believe they are not entitled to feel upset about a decision that belonged to a woman, even if that decision was to end a pregnancy that a man actually had wanted.  Many men who struggle after an abortion were happy about the pregnancy and wanted to become fathers, but felt they had no say in the matter.  Other times, perhaps the man urged the woman to have an abortion, only to realise later that the termination of pregnancy affected him in ways he could not have foreseen.

While a man might be able to recognise that he was impacted by abortion in some ways (such as the loss of a child), he may not yet be aware that it can be the root cause of other problems, such as unresolved emotional difficulties or depression.

Other signs of unresolved feelings in the aftermath of an abortion include:

  • Guilt
  • Numbness
  • Emotionally cold and unresponsive
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal impulses
  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of interest in sex OR promiscuity
  • Avoidance of baby reminders
  • Control issues
  • Over-protection of living children
  • Strained relationship with living children
  • Resentment toward those who were involved in the abortion decision
  • An increase in symptoms around the time of the anniversary of the abortion or due date of the child

If you have difficult feelings regarding a pregnancy termination in your past, please get in touch with us. Men often prefer to speak to another man regarding their abortion experience, and it is possible to meet one-to-one with a male counsellor at Options.  Please give us a call at 020 8540 7675 or email us.


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