Post-Abortion Distress in Men

The decision to have an abortion does not affect women only.  Although post-abortion distress in men isn’t talked about because abortion is seen as a “woman’s choice,” men can also be wounded. Men play an important role in the decision to abort. An abortion can be a life-changing experience for a man.

There are various roles a man may fill in the abortion decision:

  • Some men willingly participate by agreeing, transporting and/or paying for it.
  • Others coerce by pressuring, by being verbally abusive, or even by violence.
  • Men can avoid the decision by literally abandoning the woman.
  • He may passively leave the choice to her without offering her support of any kind.
  • Some men strongly yet unsuccessfully try to stop the abortion, their opposition ignored.
  • Other men are unaware until afterward about the pregnancy and/or abortion.
  • No doubt, some never know about either one.
  • Fathers, male friends, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers may have some degree of involvement.
  • A man may be married to a woman with an abortion secret causing them relationship difficulties. He may or may not know of the past abortion.

Post-abortion distress is the damaging emotional/psychological symptoms and destructive behavior changes associated with a past abortion.

The following is a list of the most common emotional/psychological symptoms and behavioral changes in men after an abortion. A man may experience one or more of these symptoms. The symptoms may surface immediately following the abortion or months, even years, later. Some men have spent decades living with symptoms of post-abortion distress. Men who are experiencing post-abortion distress need healing and support.

Emotional/Psychological Symptoms 

  • Anger/rage
  • Anxiety
  • Feels like and fears failure
  • Confusion
  • Selfish
  • Low self-esteem
  • Helplessness
  • Worrying
  • Feels he deserves punishment
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Feels irresponsible
  • Self-condemnation
  • Shame
  • Depression
  • Excessive guilt
  • Role confusion/emasculation
  • Grieves lost fatherhood
  • Powerlessness
  • Feels need for restitution
  • Self-loathing
  • Denial
  • Lack of resolve
  • Suicidal thoughts

Behavioral Changes

  • Frequent job changes
  • Lack of trust
  • Impotency
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Moody
  • Homosexual relationship
  • Risk taking
  • Attention deficit
  • Isolation/avoidance
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Displaced male aggression
  • Withdrawn
  • Overly nurturing father
  • Lifestyle of covering up
  • Damaged marriage/relationships
  • Pornography
  • Addictions
  • Workaholic
  • Problems with commitment
  • Serial sexual relationships
  • Changed view of God
  • Image management
  • Violence
  • Blaming/shifts responsibility
  • Involved in pro-life cause

Piedmont Women’s Center offers a post-abortion support group for men. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are not alone. Many men who have participated in an abortion experience some level of post-abortion distress in their lifetime.

We can help. Please give us a call at 864-244-1434 or email us at ara4men@gmail.com . It is safe, confidential, and supportive.