Culture often dictates that men should hide their emotions and never seek help for wounds they have experienced, especially on an emotional or mental level. It’s an unfortunate reality of society because so many men have experienced trauma in some way – physical, sexual, emotional – that their emotions are glazed over and never acknowledged. The only widespread programs that exist for men dealing with trauma are those related to combat or war. Yet millions of men are in need of healing, not only for themselves but for their partners who have experienced the unhealthy reactions of men to a crisis pregnancy.

Greg Hasek has more than 20 years of experience in counseling and therapy, mainly working with men who are struggling with addictions, anger, and substance abuse. He estimates about 40% of his patients also have an abortion experience in their past, which contribute to many of their present unhealthy behaviors and addictions. His experience has shown that it is crucial for mental health professionals to learn how to guide men and their partners through healing from previous trauma and why a crisis pregnancy can trigger unhealthy responses from men who have experienced previous trauma.

Support After Abortion has extensive content to help men who are wanting to explore healing from past abortion wounds at our website, which anyone, from mental health clinicians to pregnancy centers, can take advantage of. To view speakers and presentations from the Unraveling the Roots of Men’s Trauma conference.

Statistics of male trauma

Here’s the context of the world men are growing up in and why it matters when they face an unplanned pregnancy:

  • One fifth of men by the age of 18 have experienced some form of sexual abuse,
  • One third of men will experience physical abuse,
  • One third of males grow up without fathers in their home.

Men who want healing from previous trauma often have no idea where to turn. Most programs addressing men’s mental health are for those who have experienced war-related trauma. But there are plenty of men who are dealing with the repercussions of childhood trauma – and it affects them in big ways as an adult when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy.

“Because a male has previous trauma in their life, they are going to respond to an unplanned pregnancy differently than if they did not have previous trauma,” said Hasek. “If a male has had previous trauma, he is more likely to be reactive.”

Behind the scenes in a man’s brain during an unplanned pregnancy

The right side of the brain is where the previous trauma is stored. If a man has experienced previous trauma, that is where it is held and when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, the right brain is triggered, which tells the man to go into a reactive state of either fight or flight, Hasek explains.

“The brain says, ‘we need to settle this quick and fix this’. The left side of the brain, the rational part of the brain, goes off line,” said Hasek. “What the female doesn’t realize when she looks at him is that his reaction to those words from his previous trauma is going to have a big impact on the outcome of that decision and how he responds to the female, whether by coercion or abandonment or acquiescence to her decision.”

In summary, if a man has had previous trauma, he is going to be predisposed to a more reactive response when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy. Logic is completely thrown out the window. His partner is only seeing that reactive part and almost always does not understand what is happening behind the scenes in his brain.

Understanding this reaction is key to abortion healing

Obviously, the female is greatly impacted by how he responds to this trigger – whether he abandons her, coerces her, etc. What she doesn’t see is his previous trauma that is influencing that reaction.

A lot of Hasek’s work in counseling with couples is helping the woman understand where the man is coming from, which can be incredibly difficult given her resentment and anger towards her partner in many instances of abortion.

“If the couple is married and experienced a previous abortion together, often the woman has a lot of unresolved anger and resentment towards her partner for his reaction.,” said Hasek. “If counseling can intervene here and they can work through healing, a marriage can be saved.”

Hasek walks the woman through the previous trauma of the male and explains how that trauma makes his brain react the way it does and why there was no logic to his decisions. The male discloses his previous trauma to his partner during these sessions, which is often a powerful moment for the couple.


Forgiveness is so crucial for couples seeking to heal from an abortion decision. When the woman understands why her partner reacted the way he did, it paves the way for empathy and hopefully, forgiveness.

When she is able to open her heart and understand what was happening in her partner’s brain at the time of the crisis pregnancy and how he was triggered because of previous trauma, even though she felt so incredibly abandoned, she can move towards forgiveness. Hasek says she begins to understand why her partner made the decisions he did and how his previous trauma played so heavily into it. He says this process takes a lot of grace and empathy.

It’s important to note that the woman’s trauma and pain is never invalidated.

“She is being asked to see her partner through the same lens that God him sees through,” Hasek said.

He has seen such forgiveness working through this process for women especially, as they are the ones hurt so deeply by men when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

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 to learn how to create a safe space, and create dialogue so more men can receive hope and healing after abortion.