Forgotten fathers . . . .

Forgotten Fathers…


Whereas extensive research has been conducted on the emotions women feel during an abortion process, relatively little focus has been given to men. There is a widespread tendency to forget that men may experience difficult emotions after their partner has an abortion. Not all of them are nagging their partners for an abortion, dreading the load of extra responsibility and ready to run out the door at a moment’s notice.

Of course, the male role in the abortion process is much less obvious than that of the woman’s. He does not need to undergo a physical operation. He does not need to make a choice in the same way a woman does. And he does not feel the emotional intensity women feel at the thought of a new creature growing inside them. And yet according to sociologist Arthur Shostak*, one in four men claim to have had a difficult time with the abortion experience.

In light of this, let’s not deny the right men have to grieve. Whereas not all may wish to speak publicly about their feelings, it may be helpful to just acknowledge that there is a storehouse of emotions they may be processing through.  Men often feel more comfortable speaking about their experience with another man, and at Options we are sensitive to this need.  We have both male and female volunteers available to work with our clients.  Please contact Options if you our someone you care about would like to speak with a volunteer counsellor regarding pregnancy termination.



Shostak, Arthur; Gary McLouth; and Lynn Seng.  Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love.  New York: Praeger, 1984.  For a review, see Leo, John. --Sharing the Pain of Abortion: men Feel Isolated, Angry at Themselves and Their Partners.-- Time, September 26, 1983. p.78.  See also Shostak, "I am NOT a Rock: Men and Abortion in America." SWS Network News (The Newsletter of Sociologists for Women in Society), December, 2003


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