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Over 35 million pre-born babies have died since the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout pregnancy, for virtually any reason. It’s hard to comprehend the toll that this pro-choice holocaust has inflicted upon these babies and our nation.
Tragically, the price paid for this so-called reproductive freedom doesn’t end with a dead baby. Abortion is a cancer that kills and maims everyone and everything in its path. The tumultuous wake of an abortion is wide and deep. Not only do the consequences of abortion affect the mother. Fathers hurt too.
The pro-life movement is becoming more aware that fathers of aborted babies are often adversely affected by abortion. They too suffer from a psychological aftermath that must be addressed in the wake of an abortion decision.
A few years ago, Life Issues Institute began to receive letters from men who were suffering as a result of a past abortion. The letters became more frequent and gave way to telephone calls. We knew that something concrete had to be done to help these men in crisis.
Life Issues Institute embarked on its own antidotal research to find out why men suffer after an abortion, what are the symptoms and what we can do as a grass roots pro-life movement to alleviate these symptoms.
The research culminated in a widely read article by Brad Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute. It was published in the June 1996 issue of Life Issues Connector and is currently available at our website: www.lifeissues.org. Following that was the publication of a brochure by the same author called Men Hurt Too (available from Hayes Publishing). It has been equally popular.
The early reaction from crisis pregnancy centers was encouraging. For years they had been dealing with women who suffer serious psychological effects of abortion. They quickly surmised that it was only natural that fathers would hurt too. Many wanted to take immediate action and asked for tools to train men to counsel these hurting fathers.
During his initial research, Mr. Mattes met Warren Williams, an experienced post-abortion men’s counselor. He asked Warren to write a manual, which would train men how to facilitate the post-abortive healing process of other men. Life Issues Institute published the manual, and it is now available from our office.
As word of hurting fathers spreads, more and more crisis pregnancy centers are incorporating counseling for men as part of their services. In addition, separate entities are springing up that exclusively assist men. Further, as information emerges that abortion can be a long-term factor for them, men are beginning to come forward to get the help they so desperately need.
This increased awareness has resulted in a higher number of calls from hurting fathers to Life Issues Institute. Brad Mattes talks with them over the phone before referring them to a counselor in their local area.
Men seem to be wired in a way that causes us to ignore our feelings, said Mr. Mattes. By the time they call us, they are pretty much at the end of their rope emotionally. The first thing I tell them is that they are not alone and that there is help. I hear this big sigh of relief and detect new hope in their voice as they ask more questions. It’s a real joy to be part of the process in their healing journey.
Many men who have previously never counseled before may be suited to assist these hurting fathers. If you or someone you know would like to be part of this budding movement, please contact our office for more information. Life Issues Institute has a list of available resources from various organizations for men dealing with the loss and shame that results from abortion. Write: Life Issues Institute, 1821 W Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239. Phone (513) 729-3600. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
[Editor’s note: mailing address and email address have been updated.]