The Knights of Columbus-sponsored “Reclaiming Fatherhood” conference was held in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the effect of abortion on men. Psychologists, counselors, academics, and clergy argued that not only women but also men suffer the “invisible problem” of profound grief and suffering as a result of abortion.
Monday’s speakers included several fathers who had lost their children to abortion.
Psychologist Dr. Vincent Rue, a practicing psychotherapist who has served on the faculty of two California universities, argued that the grief of such post-abortive men challenges the American Psychological Association’s (APA) recent claim that abortion is psychologically safe for women.
“The APA has missed the boat and has misguided the American public,” Rue said. “It is out of touch with reality and the pain and suffering of these very real people.”
He noted that the APA’s position is also contradicted by a statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain which warned that the issue “remains to be fully resolved” and called for further study and counseling for women about possible consequences.
The speaker also cited an August 23 article in the British medical journal The Lancet, which conceded that there is no causal link between abortion and ill health, but also warned “the fact that some women do experience psychological problems after a termination should not be trivialized.”
Rue added: “Perhaps it’s time to include discussion of the psychological risks for their partners and their relationships as well since the majority fail after abortion.”
Psychologist Dr. Catherine Coyle said that those grieving after an abortion “need to realize that they are not alone. It is the compassionate thing for us to do to recognize that some people – men and women – have profound grief and suffering after an abortion. And if we are to be a compassionate society, we must validate their pain and provide the help they need regardless of where we may stand individually on the issue of abortion.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Evangelization joined the Knights of Columbus in sponsoring the “Reclaiming Fatherhood” conference, which was organized by the Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing.