As if we needed to be told: abortion is not just a woman’s issue

By Dave Andrusko

The McClatchy-Tribune News Service columnist calls what he writes, “Ask Mr. Dad,” and earlier this week the headline on Armin Brott’s column was “Abortion not just a woman’s issue.” Needless to say, that caught my attention.

To be fair—or to start with the less helpful part—Brott does get bogged down in a discussion the gist of which is that it can be doubly “unfair” for an unmarried man whose girlfriend is pregnant. On the one hand, he has no voice in whether he pays child support for the  “unintended” child he wanted his girlfriend to abort; and on the other hand, he has no voice in saving the baby he does not want her to abort.

At the risk of  stating the obvious, they are not in any sense equivalent situations. The former is a cowardly attempt to evade his responsibility by ending the child’s life, the latter is owning up to responsibility for his behavior by trying to save the baby from the abortionist.

But all that rhetorical running around in circles/grousing is surrounded by some serious reflections on post-abortion complications. Brott writes

“There’s been a lot of research done on the psychological effects of abortion on women and we know that women usually grieve – often for years – afterwards. But men grieve too. And in cases like yours, where you want to keep the child, isn’t your grief just as real or worthy of compassion as hers? I think it is. Under the law, she can do what she wants, and when she does, you’ll be left to mourn the loss of the child that might have been.”

We have made a lot of progress in many arenas of the multifaceted abortion debate. Pro-lifers have raised the nation’s consciousness about partial-birth abortion. More recently, we have educated the public to the capacity of the unborn child to feel pain and the lethal sex discrimination known as sex-selection abortion.

But we have made very limited progress is moving the dial on the fundamental truth of the decision to abort: it does not affect ONLY the mother and her baby, but also the baby’s father, grandparents, and siblings, to name just a few.

But the Movement will continue patiently teaching and educating, in the process prodding consciences. And as a result the day will come when fathers will be more fully brought into this life-and-death decision on behalf of life.

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