One thing to get started, the content we are going to talk about today may be difficult for some ears. It could fall under a PG rating: Parental Guidance or even RPG if there was one: Required Parental Guidance. The content is delicate but truthful and presented in the context that we cannot change what we do not acknowledge.  Or, as we have found in our various encounters in this ministry, change what we did not know. I fell into the “did not know” category.  However, since I am currently in the “now I know category,” I have the desire to spread the word.

To be clear, it is ok to be in the “I don’t know category” (just do not stay there). You will have a lot of company as I did. My/our commitment to you is to offer the truth as graciously as able. In some respects, it is “the rest of the story.”  For many, it is stuff we have not been told. 

Today, I want to shed light on a topic often overlooked in discussions surrounding abortion: the impact on men. While most of the discourse rightly focuses on women’s experiences and rights, it’s crucial to recognize that men, too, can be deeply affected by decisions related to abortion. I invite you to join me in exploring the often-unspoken struggles and wounds faced by men in the context of abortion. Let us delve into this important conversation with empathy and understanding.    

For every abortion, a man is involved. I am one of those men. At the time of the abortion in my 20’s, I had bought into the narratives and justifications of the time, some of which are still in play today of “it not being convenient, we weren’t married, what would our parents or friends say?”  Plus, and, after all it was not a child.  Over time through maturing emotionally and spiritually, I became an abortion-wounded man. What do I mean by that? The realization of it was not the blob of tissue but indeed a child. My wife and I had 3 great kids but I realized we really had 4. A nagging guilt was beginning to grow.

As God would have it, shortly after this nagging guilt continued to grow, I was asked to help at a pregnancy center in some sort of fundraiser around 2002.  I did not know what a pregnancy center was, but I immediately thought about my abortion and figured it would be a way to atone for the guilt.            In 2005, I moved to The Woodlands where a friend was volunteering for a pregnancy center and said they were looking for men volunteers. Oh boy!! An even better opportunity to atone. I had no idea how that would really work out.

During the volunteer interview, I was asked, if I had abortion experience and if I did, had I reconciled the experience. I did not know what “to be reconciled” meant, but it was a requirement to go through a post-abortion study to address that past. As God would have it, this particular center had a post abortion healing group for women and kind of a program for men.  Their program is called “C.A.R.E.”(Confidential Abortion Recovery and Education).

I went through a post abortion study “for men” lead by the CARE leader. It was a 10-week study focusing on who God is, with a strong emphasis on forgiveness and looking back to the event. Later, I had the opportunity to take several men through the same study. Through that, I realized that study was not particularly men oriented. That prompted a thorough search for men specific, abortion-wound recovery material.

Most I found were written, first as women’s recovery tool, and then somewhat edited to be, or claimed to be for men. That search led me to write what became the book, Healing the Father, Second Edition, which is essentially what I wished I had been told before my abortion involvement and what I did to gain a peace with that past. Another result, as God would have it, my experience with AA prompted a similar writing style and construction as found in AA’s “Big Book” a personal story, stories of other’s healing journey, and actions going forward supporting their sobriety.

I included how I came to decide on abortion (my story). I interviewed health professionals who described the women’s physiology of being pregnant and examples of resulting behavior. I included men’s experiences and women’s experiences. Most importantly for men, (who like to fix things) I included specific actions I took and as a hint, actions they can take to reach and maintain their peace with that past. I even included a list of books to read that together support forgiveness and peace, a list of songs supporting a new way of daily actions, and a check list of 31 questions to determine their current peace journey.

The book was published in 2018. I had no expectations of how it would be received.  But with the knowledge there were well over 40,000,000 men in the US at that time who would have their own abortion experience felt there was a deep need.

About 2020, I was asked by a pregnancy center in Florida with an active abortion recovery emphasis if I could help them with their overflow. I agreed and since have worked with about 200 men from all over the US, some in Canada, New Zealand, and France.  It became a test of what I wrote to see if it worked for others.  For the vast majority of men who have done it, this approach has worked. It is of note that France recently made abortion a constitutional right as there is those in the US who desire the same in our constitution.

How did I decide to pursue an abortion then and how is it relevant today?

We were in our 20s when she became pregnant. We weren’t married or even engaged. We both were in school and didn’t have real jobs. When she told me she was pregnant, my first reaction was the thought that “we need to abort.” I had bought into a lot of the justification that is repeated today:

  • “It’s not convenient for us.”
  • “We aren’t married.”
  • “What would our parents say?”
  • “What would our friends say?”

In short, it was all about me, not either of us.

The decision to abort was made rather quickly. It’s just what one did in such circumstance… or so I thought as “the world” was telling me. I followed what “the world” was saying.

My focus was all about me. I did not embrace the reality there was a person we were talking about.

Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, I attended a Protestant church on a weekly basis. I was “churched” but not taught… and certainly not taught God’s idea of when life begins.

I had never been exposed to Jeremiah 1:5:

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.

I had never heard Psalm 139:13:

 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

At the time, abortion just wasn’t a topic anywhere… especially not in church. I don’t recall being taught when life began from a Biblical perspective.

Neither of us understood or knew the potential for emotional fallout that would result from having an abortion. It took me a while to figure out there were emotional consequences. In fact, this understanding didn’t set in until we had children of our own nearly 20 years later. Through maturing emotionally and spiritually and finding out it was a hurt I had carried all that time; I began to understand we had aborted an actual person. When I came to the full realization it was a person, guilt began to creep in. I had three blessings of great kids, and realized I really had four. This discovery was becoming an emotional burden.

Again, as God would have it, I deal with a significant number who have the same or similar background. When I share my experience, a “You too?” bond develops.

What do these guys say in the first conversation? They often mimic my abortion involvement. As well, there is significant consistency in their guilt and regret. Some had recent experience. Most parallel my trajectory in that the guilt and regret surfaced later.

None knew how to address their guilt, regret and for some, shame. Nor, did they readily know where to turn to address it.  My referrals come from pregnancy centers who have a men’s focus. It appears, there is an increased awareness for the men in the abortion process. I so wish it was a more common topic and I am thankful this church would embrace the conversation. My focus I share with others in the abortion-wound healing arena is two-fold:  helping abortion-wounded men find their peace and then spreading the word that there is a large abortion-wounded population among us.

So, what is the population we are talking about who might be termed abortion-wounded? Since Roe v Wade in 1973, and, according to The National Right to Tenth Annual Report January 23, 2023, based on data from the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute, the estimate is  64,443,118 abortions.  Boiling those numbers down to women and men, those with multiple abortions, both men and women and an estimate of who would still be alive today, it is conservatively estimated nearly 1 out of 5 adult Americans today are post-abortive. I am often corrected that it is closer to 1 out of 4. So, let’s use 1 out of 4.  The next time you are at a large event, imagine every 4th person standing up.  That is the statistical population we are describing.

How does it affect them? To be honest, for some, not at all.

For others, their guilt and regret begins to creep in after maturing emotionally and spiritually as did mine.  Some of the emotions triggered by guilt and regret can be anger, compulsive behavior or displacement activity, flashback to the abortion, self-condemnation, and a host of other dysfunctional behaviors. Much of their day-to-day life will mimic PTSD where they tend to relive the event and avoid situations that trigger memories of the event. It can lead to a sense of lessoned self-worth. At some point, they can reach their tipping point in regretting their decision and seek help or want to seek help. And that is where we can enter the picture.  We have been there and come back and welcome the opportunity to help another gain peace from that past.

Our/my approach is gentle yet resolute. I personally don’t tell a guy what to do but share with him what I did to gain my peace that is found ultimately in the miracle of forgiveness offered by our Savior Jesus Christ.

So, thank you for this platform and opportunity to share.  Our hope is I have shared some information not commonly discussed but prevalent in our society today. I hope you will begin to share this information with your children as appropriate.  We hope you encourage your pastors and counselors to seek out information on the abortion-wounded among us.  We/I am available to be called on us to help those hurting with the abortion-wound they are carrying.  There are many.




Written by:

Chris Rainey

Author of Healing the Father