Lost fatherhood by abortion is a loss that our culture does not respect or grant permission to grieve. Against most odds a man hurting beyond his ability to endure the pain will venture to find a place where he may find help-but only with great caution and a thin veneer of hope. He knows he hurts and the pain is overwhelming, but where will he find safety to tell his story?
It is estimated that most of us guys will only have about four or five close friends throughout their entire lives. It’s my experience that even among those close friends many fathers of aborted children will choose to remain silent and hurt in secret. We in the healing field, whether professional or lay counselors, will have opportunity to help some percentage of the forty million or so fathers who have lost a child by abortion. Often men grieve differently than women, so many fathers somehow compartmentalize the loss and go on with life, but some are not so fortunate. Some tried to stop the baby from being aborted. Some tried to make sure the baby was aborted. Either way there are open transactions in their spirits and in their souls.
Scripture tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12) Could it be some of these fathers live with the pain of diminished or quashed hope, feel hopeless, helpless and judge themselves to be less than adequate? When a father reasons that his inability to negotiate the life his child, he is likely to feel inadequate as a father and a man. Could it be that those who were successful in having their baby aborted later regret the decision, feel guilty, ashamed, and self demeaning? I have found it so. I have also found a residual anger among both groups ranging from low grade contempt to raging and dangerous levels of anger.
One hurting father became angry to the point of rage with me because I would not authorize the mailing of a graphic abortion video to his girlfriend. She had aborted their child and had been so threatened by his vengeful behavior she had obtained a restraining order. He was relentless. He finally found someone else to do it. Another took a sledge hammer to his apartment, still others have confessed to the abuse of their mate with little or no provocation. Some can’t get along with their employers. Some take extreme risks on the job and elsewhere. Some have trouble bonding with subsequent children, or avoid them altogether. Some have confessed sexual dysfunction; I could go on and on. I am speaking of the tip of the iceberg. A father in one support group put it this way. “If my wife went out and bought a car without us talking about it I would be angry. Do you think I am any less angry since she aborted our kid? I don’t think so!”
Advocates of abortion claimed that if abortion became legal, child abuse would become less frequent. The National Incidence Study from the National Clearing House estimates that 1,553,800 children in the United States were abused or neglected under the Harm Standard in 1993. This same study estimated that in 1980 there were 625,100 abused or neglected children. This is an increase of more than 148%. Hmmm, could it be some fathers might be helped by us to overcome some anger and cultural numbness. It seems our culture continues to lower behavior standards to accommodate bad male behavior, abuse, abandonment, broken families, and fatherless households.
We can help resolve their bad behavior. One suggestion is: Ask the question when men, women or couples come in for counseling. Is there an abortion in your history? Have you thought of the child you’ve lost, or wanted to grieve his/her loss? Let’s offer permission to men and women to grieve their aborted children. We offer permission to grieve a child lost by a car accident, still birth, crib death, or a host of other terrible child loss scenarios. In fact we think it noteworthy if they don’t grieve. Some research has been done to show correlative behavior issues with fatherhood lost by abortion.(recent study) Let’s plead the cause for Fathers who hurt so deeply. Grief can exhibit in very negative ways when denied.
Jesus talked about grief as having a spiritual component which can be blessed with comfort. Matt.5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Jesus promises to comfort the soul and provide a quiet comfort of a person’s spirit.
Fathers have spiritual questions about the abortion event. They wonder where their child is, about the changed relationship with the woman involved, other family members, God and perhaps the church. Anger, judgment, forgiveness, acceptance of accountable behavior, and closure are also of deep concern. It is of great spiritual comfort for fathers to believe their children have forgiven them. Consider: If there is no sin in heaven, and your baby is in heaven, can your baby hold un-forgiveness? No! (David said)
Fellow workers in the healing profession, we are being called upon to offer ourselves as the agents of blessing and healing for hundreds if not thousands of fathers who want to have closure.
We can begin to bring awareness of abortion loss into focus. We can, offer safety and permission for fathers to be healed. A father can be helped to develop a healthy relationship with his mate, his family and his community. He can also bring honor to the lost baby by recognizing him/her as a part of his family. For more information please check out additional information on this website.