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71% of all men suffer adverse mental health effects after a partner’s abortion

NORTH PORT, FLORIDA—A newly-released study found that 78% of men who identify as “pro-choice” struggle after losing a child to abortion, and that abortion caused 71% of all men to suffer adverse mental health impacts.

The study was commissioned by Support After Abortion, which provides research-based training to mental health professionals and lay counselors. It found that adverse effects—such as depression, sadness, guilt, anger, and substance abuse—often last for years.

“Our culture tends to portray abortion solely as a women’s issue, but this study shows the real impact abortion has on men—which then creates more negative effects for women,” said Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe, a licensed therapist and social worker. “Men suffer when they experience abortion, regardless of personal beliefs about the issue. This can hurt their relationships with the people around them, including sexual and romantic partners.”

Greg Mayo, who chairs Support After Abortion’s National Men’s Task Force, said some of the study’s findings suggest that men are disenfranchised. “Forty-five percent of men said they had no voice or choice in the abortion decision, and 57% of men weren’t part of the decision,” said Mayo. “This matches my experience—I lost two children to abortion, and both times I was told the decision wasn’t mine. Later, even a therapist dismissed my pain as irrelevant.”

Support After Abortion commissioned the study as part of its research on the experiences of women and men after abortion. The majority of after-abortion healing options are religious and in-person, but over half of men said they rarely or never attend church, and 77% said they preferred options that would protect their anonymity.

“Most after-abortion healing programs are one-size-fits-all,” continued Rowe. “But the best healing happens when clients are provided programs that meet them where they are.”

The nationally representative study’s methodology, sample size, and full set of questions are here. A related white paper authored by Mayo on men’s after-abortion suffering is here.

About Support After Abortion

Support After Abortion provides gold-standard research and education that promote compassion, collaboration, and capacity to create high-quality care for men and women suffering from abortion’s adverse impacts. Its free resources include an After Abortion Help Line, a national therapist and counseling directory, and an introductory abortion healing program.

UPDATE on 5/9/23: This article has been updated to reflect corrections about the percentage of pro-choice men who struggle after abortion. Support After Abortion regrets the errors.