Women are harmed in ways they didn’t expect after abortions. Motherhood runs deep and abortion doesn't end it but only changes it. For those coming to grips with the truth, programs like Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel's Vineyard administer to their hurting souls.
But what about men? They had no real choice in the matter; only the possibility of making a suggestion if they were the type to stick around.
In the abortion drama, men’s pain was overlooked for a long time. Dr. David Russell is one of those men. He actually overlooked it himself for a time. But death is not nothing. So one cold February morning, he started to remember.
Outside an abortion facility with one-hundred-and-fifty other people, the past became the present. Russell had converted to Catholicism, became a veterinarian, and is now a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M. But before all that, he had come to that very facility before, and not to pray. In 1983, Russell had gone inside with his girlfriend for an abortion. That is how his son Matthew died.
Russell was an agnostic, yet, he tried unsuccessfully to convince his girlfriend not to abort their child. He numbly sat in the waiting room during the procedure. No one spoke to him. The relationship soon ended and he stuffed the abortion experience away, but a light went out from him that day.
The whole flashback was entirely unwelcome. Russell didn’t even want to be outside the abortion facility that morning. He thought only fanatics did that, but it was assigned to participate in a prayer vigil for his church class.
Emotions and memories broke out of hiding and Russell filled with regret. If only he had known that fatherhood cannot be erased! If only he had realized he had a son and not a blob of tissue, he would have tried harder to convince his girlfriend not to choose abortion.
|Dr. David Russell|
His conversion to the Catholic Church nineteen years ago began Russell’s healing, starting with the sacrament of reconciliation and the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life. He is now 62 and happily married with one daughter and two grandchildren.
Russell’s abortion experience, however, is still a part of his life. He wants to help other men avoid making the same mistake and if it’s too late, he wants to help them heal. The result is his new book, Through My Father's Eyes: What Every Man (and Women) Should Know About Abortion.
“In one sense, I had never thought about it very much, and yet in another sense, it was never far from my thoughts,” he wrote. “It’s affected my life in many ways and for many years.” Russell’s book is everything he wished he had known. He reaches out to other men to explain the history and reality of abortion and also includes information on healing and support.
The Culture’s Wrong Turn
The sexual revolution became the major catalyst of the cultural delirium Russell came of age in. Abortion was legalized to take care of accidental parenthood. There are many, ways that women became losers in the sexual revolution. But even for men, sex without marriage was not getting their cake and eating it too. There is no comfort in a sleeping around. And ending the lives of sons and daughters that result from it is not real freedom.
In an interview with Russell about the cultural climate that led to his child’s abortion, he shared how the sexual revolution warped society’s sense of real manhood. Prior to the Sixties, he said the culture expected mutual respect between men and women and sex was understood to be reserved for marriage.
“All that changed, seemingly overnight, with the advent of “the pill”, and the sexual revolution,” Russell explained. “Gone would be the fear of the consequence of sex, pregnancy.”
“What we failed to realize,” he said, “is that in separating sexual love from marriage, we also separated it from the total commitment that makes that love worthwhile. Rather than the sex act being a total gift to each other, it became a moment of using one another.”
The fallout has been profound, Russell noted, with marriages faltering, weddings diminishing, and children raised without both parents suffering from all that it brings. “We find the wreckage of lives ruined by the after-effects of abortion,” he said. “Despite the promises of an easy “fix’ we know that many of those people become crippled by a constellation of emotional and spiritual maladies now known as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS). Literally, lives will be lost, careers ruined, families broken apart, and wives and children left destitute due to drugs, alcohol abuse, promiscuity, depression, and anxiety disorders- all in the wake of abortion.”
Men bear a special burden, according to Russell. “We are created to be protectors, providers, and teachers, and leaders of societal mores,” he said. “These roles define our concepts of manhood and self-worth. Yet, with abortion, those critical and necessary roles are torn from us, leaving many men doubting their value and abilities as men and as human beings.”
Russell stated that relationships between men and women have weakened and so therefore has the basic unit of society--the family. “As a result,” he said, “we are all diminished.”
“Centuries of experience in the human condition have taught us that marriage and sexual love have a sacredness that compromises a major part of our basic humanity.
Men have a unique responsibility to lead the battle to restore our cultural attitudes towards marital love and the sacredness of human life,” Russell said. “Edmund Burke had it right: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.,” he said. “We’re in dire need of good men who will do something.”
Click here to see more post abortion resources for men.
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