“Be prepared that the day – or parts of it – may be difficult,” said Support After Abortion’s Greg Mayo
NORTH PORT, FLORIDA—Men who have lost children to abortion can find Father’s Day celebrations challenging, said after-abortion healing expert Greg Mayo, who lost two children to abortion and leads Support After Abortion’s National Men’s Task Force.
“Men’s emotions and grief around abortion are often ignored or dismissed,” continued Mayo, who recently authored a white paper which included statistics from Support After Abortion’s national survey of men who experienced abortion through a partner’s termination. “But their pain and feelings are real, and Father’s Day can be challenging as their thoughts go to their missing children, perhaps even while celebrating the joy of the day with their living children.”
The Support After Abortion study found that 71% of men experience adverse change after abortion, regardless of their position on abortion or their involvement in the abortion decision.
Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe, a licensed mental health therapist and social worker, encouraged families, friends, and communities to be sensitive during culturally celebratory times like Father’s Day.
One in four men experience a home without a father, and others may have had difficult relationships with their fathers. Men may be approaching Father’s Day with fatherhood wounds from childhood, with their own lost fatherhood, and perhaps with pains from their own parenting of other children.
Grief is a common and natural response to loss. It varies for everyone, and grief after abortion is no different. It’s important to acknowledge the very real emotions that some men experience after their partners have abortions.
Just like women on Mother’s Day, men who have experienced reproductive loss including abortion should give themselves permission to grieve during Father’s Day. Releasing emotions in a healthy way – from doing yard work to talking to a trusted friend to going hiking – can bring a measure of peace and allow men to participate in the rest of the day, especially if they have living children who want to honor them as a father.
“Be prepared that the day – or parts of it – may be difficult,” advised Mayo. “This Father’s Day, if a man among your family, friends, or community is hurting after abortion, respect his grief, make space for his emotions, and ask how he would like to be recognized.”
Men and women who are struggling after abortion may contact the Support After Abortion team for confidential, anonymous support here.