- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 21, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Some kids will be surprising their fathers with breakfast in bed this weekend, while others will present a gift inscribed with the phrase, “world’s best dad.” Some men, though, will only be reminded of the heartache from losing the opportunity to become fathers. They are the third victims of abortion.

The story of a man abandoning a woman after getting her pregnant has become the stereotypical image of pro-abortion activists and some pro-lifers. The male shirker is central to the abortion storyline and often is used to rationalize taking the life of a baby.

Arthur B. Shostak, professor of sociology at Drexel University, is one of a team of academics who took a hard look at men and abortion over a 20-year period. Their findings shatter the common myth that men are more likely to abandon women who get pregnant rather than support them.

Most men in the survey reported that ending a pregnancy was a mutual decision, and only 5 percent didn’t support the abortion. However, nearly half of single and divorced men said they had suggested getting married and having the baby. As many as 1 in 6 men are never told about a pregnancy or an eventual abortion.

Almost 50 percent of men don’t show up at an abortion clinic to accompany the mother on the day of the procedure, according to Mr. Shostak and his team. While in some cases these fathers might fit the stereotype of the rogue who is abandoning the mother of his child, a large percentage opposed the abortion or were too distraught to come along.

Mr. Shostak’s study found that more than 1 in 4 men equated abortion to murder. A little over 80 percent surveyed said they had already begun thinking about the child that might have been born, with 29 percent saying they had been dreaming about the child “frequently.” Fully 68 percent said men involved in abortions “did not have an easy time of it,” and 47 percent worried about having disturbing thoughts afterward. Mr. Shostak reported that many men began to cry during his interviews.

Accompanying the mother to the clinic does not mean the father will be allowed to give comfort and support. According to the study: “Sixty-five percent of waiting-room men in 2004, 73 percent in 1999, and 69 percent in 1983 would have liked to have accompanied their partner throughout the abortion - provided she first agreed. But only 23 percent of the clinics in 1999 made this possible.” Mr. Shostak and his team of sociologists also found, “Eighty-seven percent in 2004 and 92 percent of the men in 1999 wanted to hold the hand of their partner in the recovery room, but only 24 percent of the clinics in 1999 allowed this.”

Abortion is a tragedy. The irresponsible, coldhearted man makes an easy scapegoat, but the sad story is rarely that simple. Many men want to keep their babies or to help comfort their partners during the horrors of abortion. These are inconvenient truths for the abortion industry, which would rather demonize men and keep business flowing. There are many men out there who wanted to be fathers but didn’t have a choice.

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