Women will always bear the brunt of pregnancy-related challenges. That’s why men should be responsible fathers, even if their reason for stepping up starts with cultural pressure or legal requirements. Of course, experiences vary, and Support After Abortion’s women’s and men’s surveys notably indicate that men may suffer psychologically after abortion more frequently than women. Sixty-three percent of women who experienced medication abortions sought help or could have used someone to talk to afterwards — 20 percent less than men. And 34 percent of women — less than half the proportion of men — reported adverse effects from an abortion. It took me decades to unravel the impact of childhood abuse and lost fatherhood. I made many mistakes carrying pain and grief for the children I never knew. But healing helped me let go of the regret and shame that haunted me, and to make peace with the past. Today I have a wonderful wife, four grown sons, and three grandchildren who bring more joy than I can hold.

The current national conversation about abortion provides a unique opportunity to improve how we view men’s roles in families. It starts with a legal and cultural framework that encourages men to fulfill their role as fathers and partners — but it can’t end there. Men must also have a voice in the abortion conversation and the space to grieve their lost fatherhood.


Greg Mayo is an award-winning author and speaker who helps men suffering from abortion-related lost fatherhood. He wrote the novel Almost Daddy and chairs Support After Abortion’s Men’s Task Force.

Originally published at Newsweek.com. Reprinted with permission.