There is no one-size-fits-all healing model
Janine Marrone has decades of experience using consumer research to better understand an audience. When she became the Board President for Support After Abortion, she put those skills to immediate use after finding that so many people who were looking for healing from abortion had no idea where to go or that the programs that did exist were not meeting their needs.
Support After Abortion commissioned four surveys, two of women and two of men who had experienced a reproductive loss. Much of the data points to the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all model for healing from the trauma of abortion. The data also reveals counter-cultural information about men who have experienced abortion.
Men are looking for healing resources
One of the more striking pieces of data that the consumer research revealed is that only a quarter of women who have been adversely affected by abortion try to find help and healing resources. But for men? About 70% of men will try to find healing following an abortion experience.
Why is that?
“Because in the case of men, what we’ve learned from the research is that they were not part of the decision and in many cases, they didn’t want it,” said Janine. “If you read the verbatim, they are talking about the mother of the child killing their child.”
That is hard to hear but it’s what men were revealing in the surveys. The research shows that around 95% of men had little to no input when it came to the abortion decision. That’s quite a helpless feeling.
In previous episodes of this podcast, experts who help men heal from abortion talked about how grief reveals itself in men. They are angry, turn to drugs and alcohol, and develop unhealthy addictions. It’s important for clinicians to recognize these emotions and dig deeper to find if there is an abortion in that man’s past and take steps to address the healing process.
At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with clinical experts as well the findings from our in-depth consumer research. We are aiming to get at both the heart and mind of a man who has experienced abortion. We currently have extensive content to help men who are wanting to explore healing from past abortion wounds at our website.
What pregnancy resource centers can do
Pregnancy Resource Centers vastly outnumber abortion clinics in the United States. And they are the most numerous resource in terms of pro-life ministries in existence. But many do not have in place healing programs for men, or if they do, they are not reaching men who need it or the programs themselves are not what men are looking for.
“They need to take inventory – do they have a men’s healing ministry? Men are consistently being ignored,” said Janine.
One way that some pregnancy resource centers have successfully reached men hurt by abortion is by partnering with local clinicians and therapists to help with intakes. If a man who comes to a counselor or clinician with a seemingly unrelated issue (i.e. anger, PTSD, addiction), there is a good chance that he may have experienced an abortion decision in their past. If that’s the case, by partnering with these therapists, pregnancy centers can be a known resource with men-specific healing programs in place.
As a movement, those in pro-life and healing ministries need to take the research to heart and figure out ways to reach those most in need of healing from an abortion and tailor the programs to fit the needs of the men and women who have reached out for help.
“One of the things I’ve heard from pregnancy centers is, well, my board doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Well, invite your board to listen to these podcasts, to learn about what really is happening in society today,” said Janine. “This is not the culture we had 50 years ago. This is 50 years later and the damage that has been created by abortion is immense and the healing is necessary.”
Where to go for help if you are hurting from abortion or work in a healing ministry
Support After Abortion is focused on being a catalyst for change and helping prospective healing partners to become a part of what they already have.
For those who work in healing ministries and for those men who don’t know where to turn for help after an abortion experience, Support After Abortion is hosting experts like Janine Marrone at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and her presentation is available to watch online. We’ll be exploring this issue of culture telling men they don’t need healing from abortion, as well as others that are overlooked when it comes to men healing from abortion trauma. They need to connect to their emotions in order to start healing and connection to feelings isn’t always easy for men.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Call or text our confidential hopeline at 844-289-HOPE (4673). Women, this is your call: if your partner, male loved one or friend has had an abortion, visit us at www.supportafterabortion.com to learn how to create a safe space, and create dialogue so more men can receive hope and healing after abortion.