Post-abortive women experiencing regret and shame is a well-documented fact. But research into the male experience of abortion shows that they, too, undergo overwhelming guilt, regret and loneliness even if they have no say, legally, in the decision to "take the baby out."
Such was the case of Carl Miller, 50, and Paul O'Callaghan, 47, who were both young when their girlfriends got pregnant. Carl didn't want anything to do with the baby as his career was about to take off while Paul wasn't looking for a serious relationship that time.
Decades later, they are haunted by the trauma of losing their children. Carl came out as gay three years after the abortion and missed the only chance he could have an offspring. Paul, who is now married to another woman, felt guilty because his girlfriend was in her late 30s that time and he felt responsible for depriving her of the chance of becoming a mother.
In his book, "Abortion: the Ultimate Exploitation of Women," Brian Fisher wrote: "Men often experience...harmful effects from abortion, whether they wanted the abortion or not. While abortion seems to bring a sense of relief, [men] also report feeling anxiety, grief, guilt, and powerlessness."
Psychosexual therapist Denise Knowl found that men whose children were aborted will experience problems that will manifest afterward in the form of employment problems, decreased sexual drive, depression as well as alcohol and drug abuse. They also feel being punished for their past actions whenever they experience heavy problems.
Margaret Cuthill, a former national coordinator for Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline, which supports people post-abortion, said 10 percent of their calls are from men. "This is particularly evident as men reach their mid-40s and look back on their lives, questioning what they did or didn't do, especially if they never had children," she said.