Unraveling the Roots of Men's Trauma

Leaders, clinicians, and counselors learn how to provide healing to men wounded by abortion

Men are hurting from abortion and other traumas. Often, we confuse their real pain with other issues like anger, substance abuse, work, and relational struggles. 

Everyone is welcome – Leaders, Directors, Counselors and Men seeking healing.

Free Training and Resources for helping men heal from abortion.

www.MenHealingFromTrauma.com

Helping Men Heal from Trauma - Videos and Blogs

Gregory Mayo share his abortion story and the road to healing.
Todd Reinschmidt discusses talking with men at pregnancy centers.
Greg Hasek helps identify trauma barriers to men healing after abortion.
Greg Hasek talks about the need for healing programs specific to men and why it is important
Greg Hasek discusses how men experience trauma differently than women
Greg Hasek speaks about the language used for men who are impacted by abortion
Pastor Marc talks about lost fatherhood and how to give unbound men's healing.
Help men heal from trauma by learning from Greg Hasek explain how to use the Right Brain.
Janine Marrone MR
Janine Marrone speaks about understanding the background of the healing landscape before Support After Abortion was founded
Janine Marrone gives insights into the importance of Consumer Research and it's influence on healing strategy for Support After Abortion and Pregnancy Centers.
Janine Marrone helps discover the groundbreaking insights from Consumer Research study with men who've been impacted by abortion
Hear a powerful first hand account of Jeff's story of wounds from childhood through adulthood, sharing the deep pain and tried all the ways our cultures says men cope with pain and hurt
Jeff shares a pivotal movement when he was called to authentic manliness which led to a Jerusalem piligrimage and learn his daily journey towards healing
Chris Rainey MR
Chris shares his abortion experience and his road to healing. Learn how he speaks to men about their abortion and guides them how to heal from the wounds of abortion.
greg hasek mr
Understand the difference between shame and guilt. As leaders, grow to see why shame causes men to keep from going through healing. Learn ways to create healing break throughs for those impacted by abortion.
lisa rowe mr
Experience the power of feminism and how it pushes women and men into roles and places that God did not intend.
greg hasek mr
Understand how men's previous trauma triggers his fight or flight response in his right brain. Learn how counselors can apply this understanding to helping men heal from abortion.
greg hasek mr
Discover how the God-given defense mechanism is designed to help people deal with trauma. However in men, this defense mechanism is triggered and engaged in unhealthy ways, creating difficulty in providing healing after an abortion. Learn how to help men heal and reset their defense mechanism.

Reclaiming Lost Fatherhood –
A Man’s Story of Abortion Loss and Recovery
with Gregory Mayo

Greg Mayo experienced an enormous amount of trauma by the age of 22. He suffered abandonment by his father at a young age, and then verbal and physical abuse from his step-father, Greg had also been personally impacted by two abortion decisions. Feeling alone and not being able to trust anyone, Greg started to run from the pain of abuse and abortion. He recalls, “I began running away from the pain, running away from the abortion issue. I felt like I did not have a voice and like I did not have anyone to talk to.

While others saw a charming, funny, life of the party, inside Greg was depressed, lost and scared. This feeling of isolation began to impact not only his mental health, but also his relationships as well. After years of running from the pain and shame after abuse and abortion Greg knew he needed help, but did not know where to start or where to go to find healing.

At the age of 18, Greg and his girlfriend found out they were pregnant. He did not agree with or support the abortion decision, but it happened, and sent him down a path of pain and confusion. He recalls, “one side tells you it is not a baby, which discredits the grief and sadness your feeling. The other side tells you, you are a horrible person, which brings pain and shame.” It was this pain, shame and confusion that caused Greg to engage in destructive behaviors. The unhealed trauma of abuse and abortion, caused Greg to get stuck in the same cycle of bad decisions, that led to his second abortion experience at the age of 22.

The lack of trust from his unresolved childhood issues and the shame of his abortions began to impact Greg’s relationships and increase his feeling of isolation. Before meeting his wife, he noticed that when he started to get close to someone he would find fault in them, and create a reason to leave. He recalls, “I moved from place to place and relationship to relationship to constantly reinvent myself, so that no one could ever really get to know me.

Greg eventually did meet and marry his wife but the pain of his abortion also had a direct impact on the relationship with his children. Greg became aware of his over nurturing and overprotective parenting style, that he developed as he puts it, “to make up for not being able to protect my unborn children.

Greg began attending church and his Pastor encouraged him to learn from “hard times“. This led to Greg sharing that he had two abortions in a men’s small group. To Greg’s surprise other men had been impacted by abortion as well, and in that moment it was affirmed for Greg, he was not alone!

Healing can often start with sharing your abortion experience, but abortion healing is an on-going process. Greg states, “as we change, our spiritual and recovery journey changes. We continue to grow, develop new insights, heal and move to the next insight and next level of healing.” Greg continued this ongoing process by finding and reading many books about abortion and abortion recovery. He continued to talk with his pastor about the feelings of pain, shame and isolation he had been experiencing for so many years. It was important for Greg to continue a relationship with his pastor because as he states, “when a man becomes vulnerable and shares his story he will need a mentor to walk alongside him and continue to guide him. He cannot do this alone.” For more information on the virtual healing groups for men visit our website at https://www.supportafterabortion.com/virtual-support-groups.

As part of his healing journey, he learned to name and honor his unborn children, Abigail and Benjamin. He decided to write a letter to each child, apologizing for the abortion decision. While sitting on a beach he wrote to each of them letters of repentance, forgiveness and love then read each letter out loud before letting it go in the river. This process gave life and dignity to his children and to past relationships.

Greg found hope, healing and heard a calling to help other men suffering from pain, shame and isolation after abortion. He has become a facilitator for Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. It is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our lives. He also wrote the book, Almost Daddy. This book, brings awareness to the need for abortion healing and starts the conversation for abortion healing with men.

Greg encourages all men suffering from pain, shame, and isolation after abortion to take the first small step towards healing. “Of course you are afraid, you are going to be dealing with uncomfortable emotions and experiences. But you do not have to do it all at once and you are not alone!

If you are a man suffering from pain, regret and shame after abortion, you are not alone. Please call our confidential hopeline at 1-844-289-HOPE. For more information on how to help men suffering from the pain and shame after abortion or to sign up for one of our virtual healing groups, visit our website at www.supportafterabortion.com.

Talking with Men at Pregnancy Centers
with Todd Reinschmidt

Men are impacted by abortion. Men stuff down their emotions and pain, particularly when our culture doesn’t validate that men hurt from abortion. Todd Reinschmidt from Venice, Florida developed a unique program that engages men who enter pregnancy centers with their girlfriend or spouse. He shared strategies and practical suggestions on how you can invite healing to men who’ve been impacted by abortion or pregnancy loss.

Todd spent several hours every week volunteering at his local pregnancy center. His initial objective was to help guide the men who stayed in the center’s waiting room as their pregnant partners sought medical treatment. As he helped these men navigate the fear and overall extreme emotions, it became clear to Todd that these conversations were actually saving babies’ lives. When both women and men were provided helpful information to their decision process, partners together were changing their decisions about abortion, to keep their future babies.

This positive effect drove the creation of Rookie Dads, a program designed as a support system from conception through birth and the early stages of being a father. Todd would train and equip volunteer coaches, who would take shifts –like the female volunteers– in the center, to be available when men would come in with partners to address the pregnancy situation at hand. Todd quickly understood that oftentimes, not only was there a current pregnancy situation, but that many of these men had previous pregnancy experiences, and a significant amount of those were aborted. Todd knew he needed to address current fears about the current pregnancy (finances, living situations, relationship issues, and all the other complexities) as well as their previous experiences. There was a tremendous need for healing and support in the post-abortion process. This was the start of Support After Abortion.

Todd knew that the foundation of the healing process was to allow men to reach a level of vulnerability and share their previous abortion experiences by talking and engaging with them in a non-threatening manner. To do that, it’s important to form a relational connection. Todd and other coaches would take time to speak with the men in the centers about more than just abortion because there is so much more to these men. He would ask them about work, sports, even the weather, to help put them at ease. By building this rapport, men felt comfortable enough to channel the emotions they were experiencing into words. This vulnerability only grew as Todd shared his own experiences of hardship in his own life.

As Todd spoke to dozens of men, he quickly acknowledged that the dominant emotions that most of those men were carrying were shame and not being good enough. For so many of them, the guilt and shame they carried from a past abortion were not simply repressed but truly buried. Todd witnessed an array of reactions, from agitated to weeping or tearful. Through these feelings of shame led to unraveling feelings of anger. Todd understood that these heightened emotions due to past trauma were quite possibly impacting these men’s ability to think clearly about the current pregnancy situation. These heightened emotions also stopped these men from seeing that, should they re-experience this trauma, those feelings of shame and not being good enough would deepen or worsen.

To help sift through these emotions, Todd helped discern lies from the truth, shifting away from lies of shame, guilt, and not feeling good enough towards the truth that everyone makes mistakes, does things they regret, but that that didn’t have to be a shame they carried with them through life. Moving toward a message of acceptance and love for who they each were as a person, regardless of their pasts allows Todd and the coaches to begin discussing the current pregnancy situation at hand.

Many men who had dealt with abortions wished that they had spoken up. The most common response to a pregnancy situation was, “It’s your body, I’ll support whatever you decide.” But Todd reminded them that while it is her body, that baby is theirs as well. While the men said that thinking it was a loving and supportive position to take, what the women really needed was honesty: regarding their opinion, their thought process, and a firm decision on their part. Todd encouraged the men that, whatever their opinion was, it was their responsibility to vocalize that, because she needs to hear a definitive opinion from her partner. He would explain that this lack of response is actually not a loving response, despite their good intentions. This was never a criticism and was what Todd would use as the platform to validate whatever it was these men were feeling. Validating the feelings of men in these situations carries particular weight, making sure no one feels judged or attacked. It doesn’t matter if a coach agrees or disagrees with an opinion: validation is a strategy that is critical to the success of the conversation.

When aiming for validation, Todd knows that mirroring the information shared with him goes a long way, making the men feel truly heard and listening to. Most often, the shame these men feel from their past abortion experiences tells that they’re not worthy of being seen. Being seen lays the foundation for these men to tackle their feelings head-on and have more challenging conversations. This is why it is so important for Todd that the coaches lay a foundation with the men first, breaking the ice and making it clear that this conversation is a safe space.

“If you don’t prepare your own heart for these conversations, you say things in a way that drives the person to shut down, you’ve eliminated the possibility of having an impact,” Todd shared.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Call our confidential hotline at 844-289-HOPE (4673). For women whose partner, loved one, or friend has had an abortion visit us at www.supportafterabortion.com to learn how to create a safe space, and create a dialogue so more men can receive hope and healing after abortion.

Trauma Barriers to Men's Healing After Abortion
with Greg Hasek

Unsurprisingly, 80 percent of people who seek out counseling are females. Greg Hasek, a licensed counselor with more than 20 years of experience, lightly shares that the 20 percent of men who go to counseling are being dragged in by their wives. Most men will tell you that counseling is the very last thing they want to do with their time and will only go if they are in a most precarious situation, usually when their own lives or marriages are hanging in the balance.

Those are the situations that Greg Hasek specializes in, most specifically in situations where men have sex addictions, are dealing with past trauma, or PTSD. But Hasek has another specialization: how abortion affects men. And, those roots run deep. Almost always, men aren’t coming to him for help with the aftermath of abortion. They are seeking him out because of an addiction that has nearly destroyed their lives.

From a counselor’s perspective, finding men who have been harmed by an abortion decision is no easy task for the reasons mentioned above. They are not walking into pregnancy centers asking for help. They are not walking into the offices of mental health professionals and asking for help to overcome their intense feelings about the abortion. But these men exist in droves.

Think about it: there are nearly one million abortions that happen in the United States alone every year. Even if only a small percentage of the fathers are suffering negative effects from the abortion, that is still a large number.

What does abortion have to do with those addictions? They are sometimes a root cause or they have made the addiction or behavior infinitely worse as the man tries to numb the pain of the abortion decision.

There are many reasons why men won’t seek out counseling in general, much less to deal with the pain from an abortion. The two biggest ones, according to Hasek are these:

1 – Our culture hardly ever validates men for the trauma they’ve experienced. The exception would be for war-related PTSD and trauma. But abortion trauma? Not a chance. Men shouldn’t hurt from abortion, our culture says, it’s a woman’s issue.

2 – Men have been conditioned since an early age to suppress feelings and not show emotion. Crying is out of the question. Showing weakness is frowned upon. This doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t there; it just means that men have had to find other outlets, including unhealthy ones, to release pent up emotions.

As a licensed clinician, Greg helps men and help them heal from not only their addictions and unhealthy behaviors and PTSD, but also from the trauma caused by the abortion experience. He has found that somewhere between 30 – 40 percent of men who come to him with sex addictions also have experienced abortion trauma in their past.

Remember that rock thrown into the calm lake? When a man experiences trauma from an abortion, the effects are felt far beyond his own life. His detachment from his partner and his children is very real and very powerful. When his partner was inside the clinic, he felt a double hit to his natural instinct to protect her and to protect his child, that fight response. His partner felt her natural flight response hindered while on that table. When he looks at her, he feels like he let her down. He feels like he let his child down. Those failures may predispose him to delve deeper into his addictions, no matter what they may be, and drive him away from his partner and family.

The good news is that there are resources for men hurting from abortion. They need not suffer alone. We will continue to have short, but powerful, discussions with Greg Hasek, who has been helping men find healing from past abortion will also be a key speaker at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Call 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.

Did you know that men heal from trauma differently than women?

Greg Hasek, a licensed clinician with more than 20 years of experience, helps men heal from addiction and trauma. He also has a special focus of leading men through the healing process after experiencing an abortion decision. Through his extensive experience working with men, Hasek understands men cannot sit in a circle and share their feelings like women do. It just doesn’t work like that and even people with the best of intentions in helping men heal from abortion cannot expect them to go through the same healing process women do.

During a discussion with Support After Abortion focused on helping men heal from trauma, Hasek tells a story of an Asian nation who experienced a devastating tsunami. After the disaster, psychologists sent to help noticed that the women who had all experienced the loss of a child had gathered on the beach to sit together, sharing their feelings, hugging, and crying. The psychologists couldn’t find the men anywhere. Eventually, they found them in the countryside and asked them why they weren’t supporting the women at the beach. They said they needed to get wood to rebuild homes, obtain material, and do the physical work. They didn’t have time to sit and share their feelings; they had tasks they needed to do.

This isn’t to say men don’t hurt from trauma or have a need to share with others their hurt. Greg shares the story to show that men often do not express their hurt in the same ways that women do. They aren’t wired for that kind of healing process and those of us in leadership, healing programs, churches or pregnancy centers who are trying to reach men cannot expect these men who have experienced trauma to sit around and talk to each other like women do.

Where are the men?

Have you ever watched men on a golf course sitting across from each other sharing their feelings? No, they walk next to each other, they don’t put themselves in a vulnerable position eye-to-eye.

“We can’t put guys in a group to look at each other and share their feelings. They are more likely to feel comfortable doing something active,” said Hasek. “It needs to be more action-oriented. We need to create curriculum that is not only focused on how to help men grieve differently but also that is more active.”

Men not only grieve differently than women: they think in a completely different way. Hasek says that when you ask a man how they feel about the abortion experience, they often don’t connect to the baby. Instead, they connect to the role that they lost. Men will say that the child would have been at the age to throw a baseball or go to a game together. Men connect to the loss of the child not so much in a physical way like the woman usually will, but more inside of a role they would have had when the child started to grow up and could share in physical connections.

Today’s culture tells men they shouldn’t hurt from abortion, much less be involved in one at all. That’s a woman’s issue, culture screams. And many men who come to Greg Hasek for counseling are going for something other than abortion such as a sex addiction, PTSD, or other trauma. Hasek has found that 30 to 40 percent of his patients who have an addiction also have an impact from abortion. They need healing from trauma just like women do but in a completely different way.

While we won’t be able to have a ropes course or physical activity, we will have experts like Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online. . We’ll be exploring this issue, 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.

Reaching men on a emotional level to heal from trauma

Have you heard men say they don’t ever cry except while watching movies? That’s because video and music are being used to connect the viewer to the situation, integrating the right and left brain to work together.

“If I can tell men aren’t connecting emotionally, I will bring video and music into our counseling session because they connect with the right side brain where a male’s trauma is stored. Say I show a video regarding abortion laws that is male-focused, those defense mechanisms will come down and the male starts to feel the emotions while watching the video. The video and music cause the right and left brain to integrate, causing the man to connect with his emotions.I can’t get to that point by just talking about the abortion,” explained Hasek.

Biology matters and organizations need to look at how men are wired and work with their nature instead of forcing them to sit in a room across from other men and sharing their feelings like women do.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with input from experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Call 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.

Viewing Men's Trauma Differently Than Women

In today’s culture, boys are conditioned from a young age to suppress emotions, to never reveal weakness, and to hold back tears when faced with hurt or injuries. Yet, men certainly experience a range of intense emotions, both good and bad, and oftentimes do not know how to express those feelings after they have experienced something as traumatizing as abortion. It will come out in some way though, and mental health professionals should be aware of those symptoms and how to help in the healing process.

Men are so often shoved aside in the abortion debate because “they don’t have a uterus.” Women are front and center as if gender decides who may be allowed to hurt following an abortion. Often, men aren’t given a second thought when it comes to abortion. They aren’t allowed to feel anything, much less be hurt by it. Our culture tells men to get out of the picture when an abortion decision needs to be made and let women handle it. Yet abortion is devasting for both women and men, regardless of cultural acceptance, and the effects play out differently within individuals affected by the abortion decision.

Greg Hasek is a licensed clinician who specializes in sex addiction, trauma, and PTSD. He has extensive experience – more than 16 years’ worth – in recognizing the symptoms presented by men who have been affected by a past abortion experience and leading them on the path of healing from the addictions they often present as well as the abortion. He is one of our most trusted experts at Support After Abortion to help men heal from a past abortion experience and will be a featured speaker at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online.

Hasek, knowing the lack of resources for men who have been hurt by abortion in some way, sought to figure out if there may be connections between sex addictions, past trauma, attachment issues, and abortion. Sure enough, he found that between 30 to 40 percent of his patients with sex addictions also had a past abortion experience. The connections were also apparent within patients who suffered some type of childhood trauma.

“Men, in terms of experiencing trauma or hurt, present differently than women. Oftentimes, they present through their symptoms, or act out their pain through their symptoms. So if we are going to say men don’t hurt from abortion in our culture, instead of looking for the evidence of the millions of men who had abortions but are not coming forward or showing that they hurt, we need to look differently for the evidence of their symptoms. And if we can say, maybe those symptoms tie back to the abortion experience then maybe we can say yes, there are more men hurting from abortion – it just looks differently,” Greg explains.

Men experience abortion differently than women and while both present some similar behaviors, men involved in an abortion decision, Hasek found, frequently present through anger or addiction. And the abortion decision usually exasperates the addiction. For example, if a man has a sex addiction, gets his girlfriend pregnant, and makes an abortion decision, that decision will almost always intensify the sex addiction. It may also cause attachment issues for him and his partner and even his future children. Between partners who have experienced abortion, 80% of them won’t stay together. Men can no longer attach to their partner, to their children, or even themselves.

Men typically bond with others on an emotional level through physical activity. With abortion, they never have that option with their unborn baby. Men are wired to have an attachment with their children and their partner. When an abortion happens, there is a critical attachment break. The trauma caused by abortion in men is very real and apparent and their needs are going to be naturally different than women in order to heal from the abortion.

At Support After Abortion, we are looking at new ways to approach the abortion decision. Men are often left out of this conversation, but they need healing resources, too. We have extensive content to help men who are wanting to explore healing from past abortion wounds at our website.

Until culture changes their view of men and seeing them as wounded by abortion, very few men are going to go to places for help. They won’t show up at a pregnancy center and most don’t even know there is help available or understand where their addictions are rooted. They may not even realize their destructive actions are caused by an abortion decision. One way to bridge the gap with men in your communities who are hurting from abortion is to connect with your local mental health professionals and let them know there are resources for men who are presenting a sex addiction, or another addiction, and ask to partner together to offer help.

Society must give men permission to hurt from abortion. Their feelings are valid and they need to know there are people and places that can help them. They don’t need to be prisoners to anger, addiction, and trauma.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Call 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.

Healing From The Wounds Of Lost Fatherhood After Abortion

When men hear the word “abortion”, it often means something entirely different than when women hear the same word and have experienced an abortion decision. However, there are so few people in our culture, including therapists, practitioners, partners, and medical experts, who not only speak to men in a way they can connect with about abortion but who are able to validate the feelings and emotions men are experiencing.

Greg Hasek, a licensed clinician with more than 20 years of experience, helps men heal from addiction, trauma, and after experiencing an abortion decision. He is adamant that men are being left out of the picture when it comes to validation that yes, they have been hurt by abortion, and that yes, they are allowed to seek help and healing from that decision.

Our culture tells us that men have no place in the abortion decision, that it’s a woman’s choice. This can leave men feeling isolated, alone, and unsure of how to get the help they need or if they even deserve it. Oftentimes, Hasek notes, men come to him dealing with other trauma or addictions and don’t realize the pain the underlying abortion experience is causing them, which almost always contributes in a negative way to their addictions.

But what if mental health professionals and those in healing ministries started approaching the topic of abortion in a totally different way? What if they started asking questions that no one has asked these men before in order to help them connect to the emotions surrounding the abortion experience?

Lost role of fatherhood

“Men don’t connect with the actual trauma that the women go through when they go to the abortion clinic- so we need to ask the question, what was it like for you not to be a dad, to lose that role of not being a father to the child that you lost?,” said Hasek.

As we’ve learned in previous podcasts with Hasek, men and women process trauma very differently. They also bond differently with others, which plays a big part when dealing with trauma and relationships.

Men connect best with each other by doing things together like playing golf, going on expeditions, or enjoying outdoor excursions. They bond by doing not just by talking, and it’s unfair to expect them to sit in a circle and talk about their feelings like women do.

Men bond with their children the same way as they do other adults. They connect with them through physical activity and through that activity, are able to connect with their emotions. This is why Hasek asks men who have gone through an abortion experience how they feel about losing the role of a father or losing that time they would have spent playing ball with their kid. By connecting to the lost role of fatherhood, they can connect to the emotions surrounding the abortion decision in a concrete way.

Hasek asks men this question, one that they most likely have never been asked before.

“It really throws them for a loop. Oftentimes, they freeze up because they are thinking and feeling for the first time ever. They feel so validated when someone asks them this question,” said Hasek.

This is a huge first step in helping a man to start their healing journey. Greg’s work has demonstrated that changes in how abortion is talked about with them can help them connect to their real emotions and makes the experience more real for them. At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with input from experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

Double father wound

One-third of children grow up without a father in the home. Before these kids even reach the age of 18, they experience a “father wound,” the distress of not having a father or father figure in their home to look up to, to guide them as they become men, to confide in.

This particular would often reveal itself when the man finds himself in a crisis pregnancy with his partner.

Hasek notes that these men don’t have a father to talk to about it. They have to make this crucial decision without ever having an engaged father in their life. They may freeze or default to the culture, which tells them abortion is a woman’s decision. It is in this situation where men may come across to their partners as uncaring, mean, or selfish. But, in reality, they are in a state of trauma and it comes across in ways that put the man in a poor light.

“A shift in perspective is needed when it comes to talking about not only abortion and men but how we can validate the feelings these men are dealing with,” Hasek said.

If a man has a father wound in his past and then experiences an abortion decision, he now has a double father wound. He has no father or father figure and the abortion decision has caused him to lose the role of fatherhood. This can be devastating for a man and lead him spiraling towards addiction or even PTSD. Compassion for men suffering a double father wound is key for healing to take place.

Men need validation

Remember, today’s culture tells men they shouldn’t hurt from abortion, much less be involved in one in any capacity. That’s a woman’s issue, culture says. And many men who come to Greg Hasek for counseling are going for something other than abortion such as a sex addiction, PTSD, or other trauma. Hasek has found that 30 to 40 percent of his patients who have an addiction also have an impact from abortion. They need healing from trauma just like women do but in a completely different way. They also need validation. They need someone to say, yes, I hear you, I see you, and what you are feeling is real.

Knowing that they need validation and doing it can be two different things. Most people just don’t know how to validate a man who has gone through an abortion experience.

One thing anyone should do first is not mention the word “abortion”, Hasek suggests. Men don’t process that word the same as women. They will be able to connect with the abortion through the role of lost fatherhood.

Validating their wounds can be as simple as saying, “This must be really difficult for you, not being able to fill that fatherhood role.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how to speak to someone who experienced abortion in the past and may be dealing with both the mental and physical ramifications of the decision, Life Perspectives offers excellent training and certification. And at Support After Abortion, we are hosting experts like Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online.  We’ll be exploring this issue, 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.

Lost Fatherhood and Unbound Men's Healing

Pastor Marc Little is the founder of No Longer Bound, an abortion and miscarriage healing ministry based in California. Since the ministry has been in operation, they have helped more than 400 men and women seek healing from abortion or miscarriage. He is a husband, father, and attorney in Los Angeles who works to heal parties who are broken. He is also part of the national, men’s task force at Support After Abortion who has generously donated his time to help men heal from an abortion decision.

Pastor Little recognizes that men have been systematically left out of the abortion conversation due to the position of culture, which says abortion is a woman’s choice, that men should have zero input. But that’s not how it works, as so many of our experts at Support After Abortion have figured out. Men hurt from the pain of an abortion decision and they need resources dedicated to their pain that is different from women.

Reconciling the past

“Men have been shut out of the conversation and once they are given that opportunity to talk about it, they want to,” said Marc Little.

This is a huge part of the healing process for men. Little suggests that men need to “speak the pain”. That’s the first step in this healing journey.

“Words have power. Ask God to heal your broken heart, that you feel unloved, that maybe your dad wasn’t there for you. As you begin to give voice to your pain, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and begin to heal you,” said Little.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculums to help men heal from abortion with input from experts like Pastor Marc Little. 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.

Headship of the home

As a pastor, Little is well-versed on the power of Christ to move within a man and facilitate healing. He also has witnessed the consequences of when the headship of the household has fallen into sin and disrepair and is in need of healing. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Jesus casted out demons from people and his critics thought he was acting in a spirit of evil. But Christ corrected the crowds, saying that there is no way an enemy can plunder a kingdom if the strong man is not bound, meaning that it would be futile to cast out demons if he was of evil.

“If the strong man is bound, that’s the only way a house can be plundered,” Little said. “Our culture has decayed and our children have been lost because the headship over our homes has been bound. This doesn’t just mean physically strong. It means both physically and mentally strong. The enemy cannot have our children if our strong men are at their post, to protect not only their household and cover it in prayer but to protect their children. We were made to produce and to protect.”

Little encourages men who come to him for help to take their God-given authority and walk in that authority with their family, not as a dictator but following the example of Christ, laying down their lives for their families and loving them like Christ loves His church. That’s the model that Christ gave us.

You, as a man, have a God-given authority, a position to walk in authority. This doesn’t mean you get to be a dictator. It means that you are representing the model that Christ gave us.

And at Support After Abortion, we are hosting experts like Pastor Marc Little at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online.  We’ll be exploring this issue, as well as others that are overlooked when it comes to men healing from abortion trauma. Marc can be reached through his website at No Longer Bound Ministry.

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 a dialogue so more men can receive hope and healing after abortion.

Healing from Trauma Using the Right Side of the Brain

Greg Hasek has more than 20 years of clinical experience helping men heal from addiction and trauma, with special focus on healing from abortion. He has discovered just how differently men process trauma and grief than women and has found ways to connect them to their emotions using techniques better suited for how their minds work.

“For years as therapists, we have been told we just need to talk to our clients and use talk therapy. But it’s so limited in connecting with males in their trauma,” explains Hasek. “Therapy has been modeled for so long on how women process their grief but men don’t grieve the same way as women.”

Right and left brain therapy

Through Hasek’s experience with men and trauma, he has found they often store their emotions connected through trauma in the right side of their brain. These are where memories that connect with music and video are also stored. So when Hasek was only using talk therapy, he was attempting to connect with the wrong side of the brain of these men – and it didn’t work.

“About 15 years ago, I started using PowerPower slides to add music and video to counseling sessions with men and found that men were connecting to this more than they were in just talk therapy,” said Hasek.

Now, Hasek looks for the right opportunities to use audio and visual components to help men walk through healing from an abortion experience. One of the videos he uses is a rap music video about a man who has lost a child from an abortion decision. The video has more than eight million views yet culture continues to tell us that men don’t hurt from abortion. The rap video demonstrates the grief the artist is going through by showing the decision of lost fatherhood as it plays out with empty swings and hand-drawn Father’s Day cards he will never receive.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with input from experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

Caution on sharing resources

While men absolutely do need healing resources when it comes to addressing hurt caused by an aboriton experience, even people who have good intentions can unintentionally cause more trauma if they choose to share compelling videos about an abortion experience like the rap video we share in our interview with Greg Hasek.

Videos like this are used in counseling sessions with Hasek, who uses years of experience and proven methods to help men heal from their abortion experience. No matter how well-intentioned people are who want to help men heal, these videos should not be haphazardly sent to anyone. Hasek is careful and methodical in how he handles the emotions men have been handling.

“By showing videos like this to men without proper therapy and healing resources in place, it can put that person into more trauma,” Hasek explains.

For those who work in healing ministires and for those men who don’t know where to turn for help after an abortion experience, Support After Abortion is hosting experts like Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his presentation is available to watch online. We’ll be exploring this issue, 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.

Background and Overview of Consumer Research

Support After Abortion and Burger King Have Something in Common

What does Burger King and Support After Abortion have in common? It’s not that they both enjoy burgers, however tempting that answer may be.

The answer is that they both utilize consumer research to understand their audiences, to hone services and products, and to ultimately deliver what people want, or in the terms of healing from an abortion experience, what people truly need.

People want to heal from an abortion decision

Janine Marrone is the Board President at Support After Abortion who has an extensive background in consumer research. When Support After Abortion was in its infancy stages of development, they began learning about what kinds of healing programs were available for people who have had an abortion experience in South Florida where they were located.

“The demand for healing was beyond our local scope,” Janine observed. “We had these programs but not necessarily a lot of demand so it was clear it was a marketing problem or a product problem, where the programs we had were not appealing to the people who needed them.”

Using her consumer industry background, she knew they needed consumer research to size it, to understand the market and modify the product around the demand. Otherwise, they were going to be subject to an endless number of biased opinions.

What is consumer research?

Most any company will use consumer research to understand their consumer base and figure out the best marketing for those products.

“We wanted to pull a sample that looked like America and then pull sample questions based on that sample size,” said Janine.

This is where Burger King and Support After Abortion cross paths. When Burger King launched their plant-based Impossible Burger, they likely did a significant amount of surveys and consumer research to understand their consumer base – where is their target market, what age, gender, and income level are interested in this burger. And they did exactly this. They rolled out the Impossible Burger in dozens of areas around a large town in the Midwest, gathering data on who was buying it, how old they were, what gender they were, where they lived, etc.

In a similar way, Support After Abortion commissioned consumer research when they realized they needed to understand who was impacted by an abortion decision. They sought out a sample of people who had personal experience of an abortion and talked directly to them.

What does consumer research have to do with abortion?

Support After Abortion ultimately did four different consumer research studies, all done anonymously, speaking to both men and women about their experience with abortion. The first two studies focused on women and the second two focused on men. It was through the fourth study that Support After Abortion found the most compelling data that indicated men were extremely impacted by a personal abortion decision.

“Many men in the study wanted to talk about pregnancy loss and miscarriage,” said Janine. “We ended up talking to 100 men who had experienced abortion directly and had remarkable findings. Our culture tells us men don’t care about abortion, that they encourage abortion – our study shows that couldn’t be further from the truth. Men are adversely affected by abortion and are interesed in gaining healing from abortion. They are not not necessarily encouraging abortion at the rate our culture would lead us to believe.”

Men are looking for healing resources

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.

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.

Overview of Men's Consumer Research and Its Influence on Healing Programs

Research involving men who have had direct experience with abortion is scant to say the least. This is not surprising given our culture’s view of men when it comes to abortion: “it’s a woman’s choice alone” culture says. They leave men completely out of the decision. This does not mean they don’t hurt following an abortion. They do. And they often don’t know where to turn when they experience those emotions.

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.

Men are searching for healing resources

So what does our in-depth consumer research reveal about men who have experienced abortion? Quite a few remarkable findings it turns out.

Consumer research is standard practice for most large companies as they develop and roll out new products. Janine Marrone, Board President at Support After Abortion, has extensive experience in this area and she used that expertise to conduct polling and surveys of both men and women who have experienced abortion. For the purpose of this podcast, the focus is on the research of men who have direct experience with an abortion decision.

“We learned nearly 45% of men said they didn’t have a voice in the decision and 50% said it was hers or someone else,” said Janine Marrone. “Only 5% or so said it was their decision.”

In other words, 95% of men who have experienced abortion had little to no say in the decision, even though it was their child as much as it was their partner’s.

Additionally, the research found that half of the men sought healing after the abortion loss usually did so within the first two years following the abortion. They were looking for help, Googling with words like “help after abortion,” “shame after abortion.” Many of the men searching for help after an abortion also trended younger, between the ages of 25-44 years old.

The surveys found that most of these men were just not finding the relief or closure they needed.

“Based on what we know in this study, at least 13 million men have been impacted by abortion and would be interested in some kind of healing process for their own personal experience,” said Janine. “Use your imagination. The ability to influence 13 million men in healing from their abortion, what kind of change can we make about the demand for abortion in the United States?”

Abortion Healing Program preferences

Most programs offered for abortion healing for women are faith-based. Support After Abortion wanted to see if men were interested in similar programs so they asked if they prefer faith-based or non-faith-based healing solutions.

The majority of men said they didn’t care either way. They are just looking to help when it comes to healing from their abortion.

Additionally, for women who have had an abortion, research shows they are less likely to go to religious services. But for men, our research indicates it’s the opposite: they are more likely to be pro-life than their partners and they go to religious services.

“Both of these findings we found remarkable,” said Janine Maronne.

Men and their emotions after abortion

Men express their emotions differently than women, to no one’s surprise. As interviews with previous guests on the podcast have shown, men may ask for help when they are facing addiction, PTSD, or anger issues. It comes out later than many of them have had an abortion in their past.

“When we see angry men related to abortion, it’s not because they had the abortion, it’s because they couldn’t prevent it,” said Janine. “This is remarkable in terms of what it is saying about our culture and men’s role in the abortion decision, counter to what we’re hearing in the abortion industry.”

Support After Abortion did not expect these findings and sees a huge opportunity to be that catalyst for change and address this market, these men, who are not being heard. 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 a dialogue so more men can receive hope and healing after abortion.

Discover Key Insights into Consumer Research of Men Impacted by Abortion

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.

Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Men and Women

Defining trauma and understanding its symptoms

Greg Hasek has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and has been a licensed counselor for more than 20 years. Many men come to him for help in handling sex addiction but he started abortion recovery work in 2004 after realizing that around 40% of his patients also had an abortion decision in their past that contributed to their current behavior. Because of that focus, Hasek has unique insights into the symptoms of men who have experienced abortion and best practices to aid men in recovery and healing from that trauma.

Trauma and its symptoms

Hasek explains that trauma is “any event that happens to you that catches you off guard, that is overwhelming and too much for your ability to cope.”

Trauma causes a host of symptoms, some severe like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms of trauma can also also be pieces of PTSD like anxiety, numbing of emotions, intrusive thoughts, and shock, especially when someone finds out about a crisis pregnancy.

An unplanned pregnancy can be a moment of shock for both the man and the woman. Even prior to abortion, this kind of shock would fall under the definition of trauma. Men who have experienced trauma in their past could be triggered by a crisis pregnancy and exhibit anger, withdraw into themselves, or relapse back into an addiction as their presenting symptoms of trauma.

Abortion trauma affects men and women differently

Physically, women are affected by abortion in totally different ways from men for obvious reasons. Medical abortion is a physically intrusive procedure for women, can be a painful experience, and even cause physical harm to their bodies. During the surgical abortion at a clinic, they cannot escape what is happening and feel trapped.

For a man, when they first find out their partner is pregnant, that moment could induce symptoms of trauma. When they are sitting in that clinic waiting room, they are unable to fight for their partner and child. Men are designed to be protectors and providers and they cannot fulfill that role when an abortion happens.

“When a male walks out of the abortion clinic…they were not able to act on their fight. Women walking out were not able to act on their flight,” said Hasek. “Oftentimes I hear from men about how difficult it was to not provide and care for their partner going through that procedure and not be at their bedside while they were recovering so that’s very difficult to not live out that role again to take care of their partner.”

Chemical abortions are also traumatic

Research has shown a dramatic rise in medical abortions (when the pregnant woman takes pills to induce abortion at home early in pregnancy) in this country. This type of abortion is not without trauma.

For women experiencing a medical abortion, oftentimes at home and even alone, the physical trauma is not insignificant. There is intense pain and cramping and the action of bleeding and expelling tissue, blood, and the embryo from their body can induce visual trauma. Men cannot intervene and feel helpless and may internalize their emotions, which could present themselves later on as addictions and other negative behavior.

The culture shuts men down

Today’s culture fails to validate men’s trauma – sex abuse, domestic violence, abortion. However, men are viewed as perpetrators of trauma, not victims. Their pain comes out in addictions or anger usually, giving society proof they can be dangerous.

“Their pain comes out in symptoms such as anger, addiction, and other issues. Because male trauma is not validated, their symptoms send a message to our culture that perpetuates the very belief culture has about men. Their trauma comes out in addiction and abuse….and they are seen as perpetrators of female trauma. This is a terrible cycle,” explains Hasek.

This is a serious and immediate need in our culture today, to validate men’s emotions, acknowledge their trauma, and help them find healing.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculums to help men heal from abortion with clinical experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

Healing Resources for men are available

Consumer research done by Support After Abortion reveals that nearly three-quarters of men will seek out help and healing within two years of abortion. But many have no idea where to go.

Even in Hasek’s established practice, men do not often come to him asking for help in healing from an abortion experience. They are asking for help with their sex addiction or their anger issues. But Hasek has found that 40% of his patients have an abortion in their past, sinking them deeper into their addictions.

Hasek works with men to deal with the root causes, including abortion, of the presenting symptoms to heal from past trauma so they do not relapse into harmful behaviors and emotional roller coasters. Leaders in healing ministries and clinical technicians and therapists need to get to the root of that anger and addiction that is contributing to their presenting problem of addiction.

“We as leaders need to look, if we are going to help men, is the most likely are not going to come forward with an abortion trauma as the presenting problem. We need to look at how we can make those correlations and tie back opportunities based on symptoms to help those men who have abortions in their history,” said Hasek.

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 Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his 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.

Understanding Men's Role in Abortion and the Impact of PTSD

The influential role of men in an abortion decision and how they best heal from abortion

Men are highly influential over their partner’s decision on whether or not to keep the baby, whether they know this or not. Research shows about 80% of women say they would not have had an abortion if they had a supportive partner.

“It’s a shocking number,” said Greg Hasek, who has more than 20 years of experience as a licensed clinician helping men heal from trauma, addiction, and abortion. “Men in our culture have bought into this idea that we don’t have a choice, that we don’t have influence [over their partner’s decision] – but they do.”

Ways that men have influence on an abortion decision

Men have influence on the abortion decision when they support or encourage their partner. This usually includes some kind of acquiescence of the decision by the man, often when they say to her that they will support her either way.

“They won’t stand up and say what they really feel. Men think they are being loving by asking their partner what they would like to do or to say that they will support her in whatever decision she makes,” said Hasek.

Love is not doing whatever his partner wants and in many cases, this is what not women are looking for. In reality, this is not a loving approach taken by the man, who feels that it’s not his decision as culture has drilled into society. Women recovering from abortion often say that if only her partner would have said yes to having the baby, yes to stepping into the role of a father and supportive partner, she would have made a different decision.

Women want a leader and men need to take that leadership role in the relationship by standing up and saying they will get through this together and make it work somehow.

Another way men influence the abortion decision is when they pressure their partner. This is the angle culture zooms in on. How often have you seen a movie or television show or read a book where the man threatens to leave the woman if she doesn’t have the abortion or even offers financial assistance to “take care of the problem”?

“Women are very fearful of the loss of that relationship and oftentimes will choose that relationship over keeping their child because they don’t want to lose that relationship,” said Hasek.

Men experience pain from abortions, too

Research from Support After Abortion indicates that more than 22 million men in the United States have been affected by abortion and half felt they didn’t have a voice in the decision.

“The most painful way a man experiences an abortion decision is when his partner tells him about the abortion after it happens. For a man to be told afterwards that their child was aborted, imagine the trauma a male experiences,” explains Hasek. “The whole way a man is wired is to provide and protect for that child and now they are being told that child is gone. It’s very traumatic for them. In fact, I see, when that happens, men tend to have the worst symptoms….like post traumatic stress disorder, anger, helplessness, addictions.”

Men experience abortion in significantly different ways than women and while they don’t have physical wounds like women may, they can have traumatic emotional wounds that present as these symptoms that Hasek describes. Yet our culture tells men they should not be hurt by abortion, that is nothing to do with them.

But it does. They hurt, too, just in different ways.

The road to healing after abortion

As a trained clinician, Hasek assesses the presenting problems such as anger, addiction, or PTSD. Then he evaluates the symptoms, like intrusive thoughts about the child they could have had, or nightmares, or numbing of emotions to not feel the pain of the loss.

“We are treating the symptoms first, treating the addiction first, and oftentimes down the road, we get to the abortion experience and work through the forgiveness process and the grieving process,” said Hasek.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with clinical experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

Men heal differently than women

There are healing ministries available in many places around the country but men are not showing up. Yet we know through research from Support After Abortion that nearly three-quarters of men will seek out help and healing within two years of an abortion. But many have no idea where to go or if they do find a place that offers a healing program, it’s not something they feel comfortable going to. Men don’t go to support groups – they aren’t wired to sit down in a group and talk through their experiences.

Men looking for healing are finding that programs are using the same model of healing for them as they do for women, which is just not what they are looking for.

“Men tend to think through their grief, they are less likely to want to sit across the room and share their feelings like what a female support group would look like. Men are more experiential….the doing of things through experiences allows their right and left brain to integrate their emotions versus just talking,” said Hasek.

Hasek has found that men connect more with their emotions through physical activity like outdoor adventures or sports as well as the use of both audio and video, which helps to involve less of their left brain thinking and more of their right brain emotions.

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 Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his 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.

Understanding the Impact of Abortion on Men Through the Lens of Abandonment

Understanding the impact of abortion on men through the lens of abandonment

Childhood wounds extend years past childhood and have an enormous impact on future behaviors and decisions, says licensed counselor Greg Hasek. 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 contributes to many of their present unhealthy behaviors and addictions.

But one wound, in particular, causes extensive trauma in both men and women: attachment wounds from early childhood.

Attachment wounds in early childhood

Normally, bonding happens between children and their parents during the first couple of years of life. They know they are loved, they feel secure and safe with their parents. Both the parent and the child are able to bond – to attach – to each other in healthy, normal ways.

When this does not happen, it affects men and women later in life in different ways.

If healthy attachment does not happen for men, they will often develop insecure attachment issues, making them fearful of bonding with anyone, including their partner, children, or future children.

For women, they often develop something called insecure preoccupied attachment, Hasek explains. This means that that if they don’t develop that initial bond when they were babies and little girls, they develop co-dependent issues. This can manifest itself as unhealthy codependency relationships where they are needy, cannot derive satisfaction anywhere but from their partner, and feel generally worthless.

Attachment wounds and the abortion decision

When two people who have childhood attachment wounds become partners and the woman conceives, abortion is a very common choice.

“The [codependent] female goes to the [avoidant attachment style] male, because he has a wall up and does not feel, he has a fear of attachment, he’s unable to respond to the female in a way that says, I’m going to be there for you emotionally, to support you, to have empathy, he’s more likely to abandon her, to let her make the decision for herself,” said Hasek.

The female has a deep-rooted fear of abandonment, due to those first couple years of her life where the necessary bonding and attachment to her parents did not happen, and ends up choosing abortion as to not be abandoned by her partner.

Oftentimes, this choice is made subconsciously due to her early childhood trauma of abandonment but also due to her partner’s lack of support. For women who have been in these situations, Hasek has a very direct message:

“I want to validate the pain it must have been for you. I want to validate that part of your healing process comes from understanding that early attachment wound that you went through as a child, that fear of abandonment established when you were a child. Once you understand that, you can provide yourself grace and self-forgiveness. It’s not something you did on purpose. It’s deeply rooted in your unconscious from your childhood. God understands where the fear of abandonment comes through. As a woman, being able to understand this as yourself, that you can forgive…that you can move on and have hope.”

For those who work in healing ministries and for those men, and the women in their lives, who don’t know where to turn for help after an abortion experience, Support After Abortion is hosting experts like Greg Hasek at the Unraveling Roots of Men’s Trauma conference and his 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.

Attachment wounds are a determining factor of an abortion decision

Research has shown that about 80% of women would not have chosen abortion if they had a supportive partner. The attachment wounds in both men and women manifest so powerfully at this point in a person’s life and the abortion decision plays directly into the fears and emotions wrapped around those wounds.

The effects of attachment wounds are compounding and create complex issues in the life of someone affected by these wounds. Hasek explains that other symptoms of these childhood attachment wounds show up as holding back from interacting with their own children or other children, especially after an abortion decision. Bonding becomes difficult with their partners and children and the walls they put up are strong and high to protect them from further trauma.

Can these attachment wounds be healed, especially after abortion?

Hasek has had plenty of experience helping people who have experienced an abortion and are experiencing compounded attachment wounds.

The good news is that he says there is hope for healing but it will take work. Healing is focused on walking through the grief of the abortion as well the grief of those childhood attachment wounds that individuals are so deeply affected by.

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion with clinical experts like Greg Hasek. 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.

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.

My Story of Woundness as a Man

Introduced to pornography at 10 years old, Jeff Joaquin shares his wounds and healing

Jeff Joaquin serves on the Support After Abortion National Task Force, has been married for 22 years, and is a father to one 19-year-old girl and a boy who would have been 34-years-old. Jeff shares his story in hopes of “boasting of his weaknesses” like St. Paul to demonstrate that deep wounds can be healed, that the power of Christ is infinite and bigger than the wounds and bad decisions that we make.

Childhood trauma

Jeff’s story is likely similar to many men who are suffering from childhood trauma and wounds. He can pinpoint when it happened and the downward spiral to the depths of hell that it caused.

When he was only 10-years-old, Jeff was at a friend’s house for a pool party. Afterward, his friend, the same age, suggested they watch a movie. It turned out that the film was hardcore pornography.

Most studies show that kids are exposed to pornography around 12 or 13 years old but could be exposed as young as seven or eight years old. One national study of kids in the United States revealed that the majority of teens between the ages of 14-18 had seen pornography. Numbers were much higher for boys, 84.4% than girls, 57%.

Jeff would never be the same after that night. Introduction to pornography at such an impressionable age has devastating effects in relationships, in self-esteem and self-worth, promotes sexual violence, unrealistic intimacy expectations, and can lead to addictions.

The aftermath of Jeff’s trauma

Jeff’s introduction to pornography at such a young age left lasting effects on him, not to mention a giant space in his heart, a wound, that needed to be filled.

“That left a big hole, a big wound, and that hole has to be filled with something. I chose the not appropriate way to fill that wound and started drinking when I was 13-years-old,” said Jeff.

Between the ages of 13 and 21, Jeff got three DUIs. At 14, he started smoking marijuana and calls it his gateway drug. Beyond getting just “dumb and hungry”, it led him to a cocaine addiction.

He was a full blown alcoholic by age 21 and he was suffering.

“I never found happiness. I never found joy. All I found at the bottom of a bottle was a worm from tequila,” he said.

Somehow Jeff managed to be a star athlete and was being recruited for college football. But he left an opportunity to meet with a recruiter after a game to go party and do drugs. It was there that he nearly died of a cocaine overdose. He cried out to God to save him.

By that time, his wound was even deeper than the gash pornography, drinking, and drugs had left in his life.

The abortion decision

At 17 years old, Jeff’s girlfriend called him, said they had a problem. She was pregnant. He told her he would call her back the next day.

He did call her and told his girlfriend, “I’m not ready to accept fatherhood. You set up the abortion and I’ll get the money.”

He consulted no one about the decision, he didn’t pray about it even though he grew up in a good, Catholic Christian home. He only consulted one friend and it was to get the money I needed so I could pay a complete stranger to murder my innocent child in the womb of my girlfriend at the time.

“I thought the pain from pornography was bad. The pain and regret that I’ve had for the last 34 years because of that abortion that took place in 1987 – there’s not a day that goes by that that pain doesn’t just cripple me,” said Jeff. “Alcohol didn’t work. Drugs didn’t work. Very poor decisions throughout my teenage and early 20s, just one bad decision after another.”

At Support After Abortion, we are developing new curriculms to help men heal from abortion. 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.

The beginning of the healing journey

Jeff shares his story because he’s not the only one who has gone through this kind of trauma, who has these kinds of deep wounds.

“I bring these weaknesses to you not to glamorize them but because I want everyone to know one thing, and these words come from the prophet Isaiah, this is the God of the universe speaking to me and speaking to you, he says, ‘that you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you,’’” said Jeff.

While it’s been a long journey, this is where it started.

It was through Jesus, through His wounds, that ultimately saved Jeff. 1 Peter 2:24 says “By his wounds, we have been healed.”

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.

 

Footnote:
 British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC

My Road to Healing and Hope

Being Set Free from Addiction and Abortion Wounds

Jeff Joaquin told his powerful story in our last blog. As a recap, he was exposed to pornography at 10 years old, which led to drinking and drugs at 13 and 14 years old. He experienced an abortion decision at 17 years old, which led to an even deeper walkthrough intense darkness.

By the age of 35, Jeff had a beautiful wife and a daughter but still remembers he was selfish and thought everything was about him. He will tell you that he thought the Holy Trinity meant “me, myself, and I.”

Then when he was in his late 30s at Sunday mass, a speaker got up and spoke about authentic male leadership, about how men are spiritual leaders for their family, how they need to sacrifice for their family.

“I looked over at my wife and thought she was going to affirm what I was silently thinking – that there was a big football game in a little while and we needed to get out of there,” said Jeff. “But she looked at me and said ‘this is for you.’”

It was then he realized he wasn’t the husband his wife needed, wasn’t the father his daughter needed. The man at that mass was speaking about a program called “That Man is You”. Jeff jumped right in and that was the beginning of his journey back to God. He started committing himself to God and realized just how immense God’s love was for him.

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

It was through an incredible encounter with God at the church of the Holy Sepulchre (where Jesus rose from the dead) in Jerusalem that Jeff became truly convicted. Mass was being said there and at the moment the priest was to give Jeff the Holy Eucharist, he heard the voice of Christ in a special way:

“Jeff, I don’t recognize you for who you were. I recognize you for who you are and you are a beloved child of God and I allowed myself to be crucified on the cross to set captives free and you, my son, are a captive worth setting free.”

That moment was a catalyst that moved his spiritual life full speed ahead. It was the beginning of not only his personal journey but also towards working towards helping men just like him who need healing. Support After Abortion has extensive content to help men who are wanting to explore healing from past abortion wounds at our website.

Sharing weaknesses to help others

Once Jeff recognized he was healed as a child of God by the wounds of Jesus, he realized he could show his wounds to others in order that they can heal He doesn’t like to be known for his past sins as an alcoholic, addict, someone who chose abortion, a workaholic because it’s not what his life is about right now.

This kind of vulnerability through humility has been incredibly beneficial for others. Jeff says that so many men have been able to relate to his story and his wounds and open themselves up to God for the healing they so desperately want.

He wants people to know that God loves them no matter what and He wants to set them free from their addictions and sin.

“The devil knows your name and he calls you by your sins. God knows you by your sins and calls you by your name,” said Jeff.

Spiritual disciplines

Since his personal encounter with Jesus in Jerusalem in 2008, Jeff has been going to Mass daily. He has cut meetings short so he can go to Mass, which is a wonderful way to evangelize.

He also goes to the sacrament of confession weekly. But more than anything, reading the Word of God has been so crucial in his healing as he has come to know who God really is. He reads Scripture for one to two hours a day.

“You can’t get healing from God if you don’t have a relationship with God and the only way to have a relationship with God is to spend time with God and the way to spend time with God is to understand him in the word,” said Jeff.

Jeff was an alcoholic, a womanizer, a drug addict, and someone who chose abortion. He invites anyone who wants to be healed, those who want to be set free to turn to Jesus, to let God heal them.

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.