Why does Assurance meet with men? “Isn’t abortion a women’s issue?” As the coordinator of the men’s program at Assurance, I receive this question in many different forms. Perhaps the simplest and most powerful way to answer this question is to hear directly from the men themselves.
“I feel trapped with no way out. I have said everything that I can possibly say and she may choose to kill our child and I can’t do anything about it.” Nathan explained his frustration about the situation. He learned about Assurance from his father, who is a member at a supporting church. He brought his girlfriend to Assurance, where they had an ultrasound and received information on all their options. He was convinced that abortion was the wrong choice but did not know how to influence her decision. Nathan was in a crisis. He had no voice.
Anthony was also in a crisis. His girlfriend had just learned she was further along in her pregnancy than they had expected but was still convinced that abortion was the only way to solve their predicament. She was afraid of disappointing her parents and losing her scholarship. “I don’t believe in abortion but I want to be supportive of whatever she chooses,” Anthony shared. What does it mean to be supportive? In Anthony’s case, he felt that it was his responsibility to pay for the procedure even though he believed “it was murder.” Anthony did not know how to use his voice.
Jonathan called and asked to talk to the men’s coordinator. His wife had completed our ReKnew post-abortive program and had received a great deal of healing. He shared that he was holding a significant amount of resentment toward his wife. “I felt like I didn’t have a voice, her mind was already made up and I didn’t want to make the situation worse.” Jonathan stated that he wished he had gone to a place like Assurance before they went to the abortion clinic.
The privilege of the Male Client Advocate is to meet the client in the middle of their crisis. To bring support, encouragement, and sometimes clarity in the midst of the client’s storm. As MCAs, we educate men about abortion procedures and the risks involved; equip them with better-communicating language (“us” and “we” rather than “I” and “you”); and empower them to protect the ones that they love.
So what difference does this make? Nathan recognized his girlfriend was also feeling trapped. He acknowledged he had been living selfishly and believed God was giving him a wake-up call. “I’m in this situation because I have been living for myself, it’s time for me to grow up.” Anthony was reassured to have someone tell him that he did not have to pay for the abortion, he and his girlfriend have now made a plan to place their child for adoption this summer. Jonathan, like his wife, went through ReKnew and has experienced his own journey of healing and forgiveness. He accepted responsibility for his actions, has repented, and is restoring his relationship with God and his wife.
There are a lot of answers to the “Why men?” question. We know that the pregnancy and the choice that is made present significant implications for the father, too, and he also needs our support. We believe that fatherhood starts in the womb and want to empower and equip dads for their role. Surveys of post-abortive women indicate that the father speaking up for the life of the baby would have had significant influence on her decision. An unexpected pregnancy can be a crisis for everyone involved. Abortion is a human issue and Assurance is committed to supporting both men and women through the decision-making process. We take a “love them all” approach… mother, father and baby.
Special thanks to Her Knight for the Mission Partner Award, which helps to support our men’s program.