In the mainstream media and popular culture, abortion is seen almost exclusively as a woman’s issue. But every aborted child has two parents, and fathers, too, are impacted by abortion no matter what their role may have been.
In June, Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion – an initiative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (a project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life) focuses on fathers and the many ways they can be impacted by the loss of their child, or children.
“Today, I would do anything, I would give anything to have that choice back, to have had the courage to say no,” says Chuck Raymond of St. Louis, who aborted his first child to keep his college plans intact. He and his then-girlfriend, Linda, later married and had other children but both suffered for years, in silence, until they found healing through Rachel’s Vineyard.
Chuck’s story is echoed by hundreds of men who share their testimony with Silent No More.
“Given the current abortion statistics (more than 55 million since 1973) millions of men have been involved in some way in an abortion decision and procedure. Regardless of one’s moral and political position on abortion, the reality is that many men experience their participation in abortion as a confusing and highly stressful experience,” said Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and head of Silent No More’s Fatherhood Forever initiative. “For those men who were ambivalent, those who did not support the abortion and those who were powerless to stop it, the aftermath can be especially devastating. Men who advocated for or even coerced the abortion can suffer from crippling guilt. Fathers don’t come away from abortion unscathed.”
At the Shockwaves website, men can find prayers and testimonials, articles on men and abortion and referrals to healing programs.
“As Father’s Day approaches, we will intensify our efforts to reach men who carry guilt from an abortion, so that they will reach out for the help that is available,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Silent No More. "We urge Churches and all believers to do the same. Let the healing begin."