Women facing an unplanned pregnancy – or who aren’t yet ready for the responsibility of raising a child – may consider abortion as one of their pregnancy options. Sometimes left out of the decision-making process are the men who fathered the babies.
Even when they are involved, some men find it difficult to provide the support their partners need to get through the process. Here is what men need to know about abortion if they want to support a friend or partner or are going through it themselves.
How are you feeling about abortion?
If your partner has told you she’s pregnant and is considering her pregnancy options, how are you feeling about abortion? Men often default to a “tough guy” persona instead of allowing themselves to experience the emotions that may come with this kind of life-changing news.
Being honest about how the possibility of abortion makes you feel – while allowing your partner to openly share her feelings – can be an important part of decision-making. Knowing you need to do it is easy. Navigating your way through the process can be more challenging.
Putting your feelings into words
There is no right or wrong way to feel when your partner tells you they’re considering an abortion. Some men feel guilty about causing an unwanted pregnancy. Playing the blame game doesn’t help either of you. It’s more important to talk about your feelings and discuss ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies in the future.
Men who wanted to become fathers may struggle significantly with putting their feelings into words with their partner. It’s important that they share their desire to keep the baby with their significant other. Expressing their commitment to raising a child might change their partner’s mind about having an abortion.
Seeking out the help of a counselor who can guide you through talking about your feelings can help in these situations.
How can men show their partners they care?
Showing their partner that they care can be as simple as letting them know they’re important and that they are there for them. Commit to exploring pregnancy options together and seeking out whatever help is needed to make the best choice. Offer to go with her to all her appointments, including a free limited pregnancy ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy.
Preserving their partner’s dignity and privacy throughout the entire process also demonstrates caring. Encourage her to seek out counseling to help with her choice, and to consider all her pregnancy options before settling on abortion. Never pressure her to do what you want or make her feel guilty about her choice.
Men who are having difficulty coping with their partner’s decision may benefit from counseling.
How do men heal from trauma after abortion?
Men can experience the same kind of emotional trauma as women before, during, and after an abortion. Those feelings can be intensified if they do not have the opportunity to discuss the best way to handle pregnancy with their partner before a decision is made.
Some of the possible emotions that men can undergo after an abortion include pain, regret, and shame. Even men who supported their partner’s choice to seek abortion can struggle with that decision afterward.
After abortion care can help both men and women heal emotionally and physically.
Signs of abortion trauma in men
Abortion trauma can present itself in unsuspecting ways in men. They might find themselves struggling with newfound anger issues, substance abuse, and difficulties concentrating at work. Some of the other emotional and psychological symptoms of abortion trauma in men include:
- Low self-esteem.
- Panic attacks.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Abortion trauma doesn’t just reveal itself through emotional symptoms. Men also might exhibit some uncharacteristic behaviors as well. They include:
- Alcohol or drug addiction.
- Frequent job changes.
- Lacking trust.
- Social isolation.
- Withdrawal from normal activities.
Men who experience any of these signs of abortion trauma can seek help.
Getting help with after-abortion trauma
Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque offers after-abortion care resources to both men and women. Contact us to discuss your needs confidentially. We can help you find a support group location near you.