Remember the “Hollow Men”

ChelseaAbortion, Fatherhood, MenLeave a Comment

I found this poem in a USCCB pamphlet on men and abortion:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men…
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless…
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

–T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

Abortion is not merely a “woman’s issue.” It takes two people to get pregnant and both of those people are inevitably impacted by the decision to end the life that both parties helped to create.

The Bishop’s pamphlet cites a 2007 web based study of 135 men who have experienced abortion which found that 48% of those men opposed their partner’s abortion decision and 69% reported moderate to very high stress following the abortion (Rue, Coyle & Coleman, 2007). Another review of how abortion impacts relationships reported that: (1) men tend to exert greater control over the expression of painful emotions, intellectualize grief, and cope alone; (2) men are also inclined to identify their primary role as a supporter for their partners, even after an abortion, and even if they opposed the decision; (3) men were more likely to experience feelings of despair long after the abortion than women; and (4) men are more at risk for experiencing chronic grief. (Coleman, Rue & Spence, 2007a) Read more

These “hollow men” are largely ignored and left out of the abortion debate completely. A tragedy considering how can deeply wound the soul of a man as much as it does a woman.

The Bishop’s pamphlet, which is an article by Dr. Vincent Rue, concludes:

Abortion leaves indelible footprints in the texture of masculinity, in the recesses of a man’s heart, and in his reproductive history. A father is a father forever, even of a dead unborn child. In the aftermath of abortion, the real choice for men is whether to accept this biological reality, grieve the loss and seek forgiveness, or to continue denying what is inwardly known and swell the ranks of the hollowed men. Irrespective of the law, both man and woman co-created the pregnancy, and both will live with the aftermath, regardless of how some may try to celebrate “choice.”

As we mourn the loss of innocent human life to abortion and pray for the women whose lives have been traumatized as a result of their abortion, let’s also keep in mind the men who are hurting and grieving as well.

Read this post at And Sometimes Tea: Abortion and Men

My previous post:
Abortion is Forever for Fathers, too!

Resources for post abortive men:
Men and abortion
Resources for men
Reclaiming Fatherhood

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