New study shows impact men have on women's decision to get abortion

A motorist passes a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.
A motorist passes a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. | Getty Images/Scott Olson

Nearly four-in-10 men with either a girlfriend or a wife who had an abortion say they had the most influence on the decision to terminate the pregnancy, according to a recent study.

A study of 1,000 men who had a female partner get an abortion and knew of their significant other’s pregnancy before their baby was terminated was conducted by Lifeway Research last year and was sponsored by Care Net, an Evangelical network of crisis pregnancy centers.

The findings were announced last week, with 74% of men reporting that their female partner talked with them before having an abortion. About 48% said their partners spoke with a medical professional, and 38% said she spoke with her mother.

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Thirty-eight percent of men said they had the most influence on the decision, followed by 18% saying it was a medical professional and 14% saying it was the woman’s mother. Only 4% said it was the abortion provider.

“In 2015, when we surveyed women who had an abortion, they indicated men were the most influential factor in their decision,” said Care Net CEO Roland Warren in a statement.

“Care Net recognized that despite this influence, the role of men had not yet been explored. This new study directly examines their feelings and experiences when the decision to have an abortion was made.”

The survey also found that 42% of men had either “strongly urged” or “suggested” that their female partner get an abortion, while 31% did not give her any advice. Only 8% said they “strongly urged” against having an abortion.

About 34% of respondents were married to the women who got an abortion, while 29% were “living together” and another 29% were “seeing each other.”

Of the unmarried men whose partners got an abortion, 40% said neither of them wanted to get married, while 24% responded that either they or their partner did not want to get married. Twenty-nine percent reported that both of them wanted to get married.

During a webinar last week, Lisa Hogan, executive director of the Sav-A-Life Vestavia pregnancy resource center in Alabama, said her clinic has “worked very hard” to better include fathers.

“When a mom calls to make an appointment for a pregnancy test or an ultrasound, specifically if they are abortion-minded … we encourage them to bring the father of the baby to the appointment,” said Hogan.

“We have male advocates who are trained to meet with [the fathers], one-on-one, to have a conversation, to coach them through this, to give them a voice in the process.”

Hogan noted that her clinic sees around 1,000 fathers every year, telling them that “if she is pregnant, then they are already a dad.”  

“We know that if the dad is engaged, that we’re going to have a better outcome longterm in the life of the child,” she added.

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