OAK BROOK, Ill. — It’s well known that many women who abort their unborn babies endure severe feelings of remorse for years afterwards. Less known is the fact that many men encounter depression and anguish after their girlfriends abort their children, some experts say.
Their agonized stories are being featured during a conference here entitled “Reclaiming Fatherhood,” which addresses the effect of abortion on men.
Organizing the conference is the National Office of Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, the umbrella organization of Project Rachel, the Catholic Church’s outreach to those who have had abortions. The Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Evangelization and the Knights of Columbus are sponsoring the event, which started Monday and ends Tuesday.
“There are three victims of every abortion: the child and both of his or her parents,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
The conference aims to begin a ministry to fathers “who grieve the death of their unborn child in isolation and silence,” Anderson said.
Andrew Walther, the Knights’ media relations director, said, “The focus on abortion in society and the media rarely includes the father, who can have as much of an emotional stake in the process as the mother does. Literally thousands of men in this country are walking around emotionally and psychologically wounded as a result of losing a child through an abortion."
Walther cited cases such as these as typical: “In one case, a friend of mine who had graduated USC summa cum laude and been accepted at several top law schools [got better than a 170 on his LSAT] simply shut down. I was at lunch with him when his girlfriend, whom he had offered to marry, called to say she was going to the hospital to have the abortion. I have never seen such helplessness, sadness, hurt, and frustration all at the same time. My friend did not go to law school. After dropping out of sight for over a year, he is currently working odd jobs and living in his parents’ garage.” “Another friend fared no better. After hearing that his girlfriend, whom he loved deeply, had aborted their unborn child, he tried to commit suicide and nearly died in 2003. He carries a picture of a child in his wallet that he says is his son, and it took me a chance meeting with a mutual friend to figure out that this son, who none of us had ever actually met, was the one that was aborted. We still don't know whose picture it is.
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