Life Issues Connector
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President & Publisher………………..J.C. Willke, M.D.
The Impact on Men
by Bradley Mattes
Losing a child by abortion.
The mental pain and anguish suffered by women who abort their babies is well known and widely publicized within the pro-life movement. In addition, an extensive, grass roots network exists to assist women who face the aftermath of abortion.
What about a man involved in the decision to abort his baby? Does he too suffer negative psychological effects? If so, where can he turn for help to cope? As we investigate these questions and more, you will be surprised by the answers.
Peter and his girlfriend had sex only once. A short time later she phoned to tell him that she was pregnant, even though they had each used contraception. With him as a reluctant participant, she aborted their child. Their relationship was one of the first casualties of the abortion. Peter cited a lack of trust as the reason for the split. Within a couple of months he was using alcohol and drugs to get temporary relief from the pain. In an attempt to deal with his grief, he reached out to his brothers and sisters, only to be told that he did the right thing. His fear of women kept him from dating for 8 years.
Tad was divorced when his girlfriend got pregnant and they agreed to abort their baby. In the process, the relationship was destroyed. Not long after his second marriage, his daughter got pregnant and he assisted her to abort his grandchild. It wasn’t until his daughter planned her second abortion that Tad realized the humanity of the unborn child. In his effort to bury his feelings about the abortions, he assumed a “wooden demeanor”. During this time Tad said he did a lot of damage to his wife and children by being withdrawn.
These are just two of more than thirty-million men who are struggling to cope with the loss of their children through abortion. For many they willingly participated in the decision to abort and assisted their partners in securing an abortion. Several even pressured their partners into having an abortion. Sadly, some watched helplessly as their precious unborn child was aborted in spite of their pleas to give their baby life. Still others weren’t told of their fatherhood until after their child had already died in the abortion chamber.
In many ways men and women respond very differently to the loss of a child from abortion. To empathize with a man’s reaction to this profound loss, it is important to first understand what motivates the human male species.
Instinct drives men to achieve success in five key areas of their lives. Men are often defined by their ability to: [enjoy] pleasure, procreate, provide, protect and perform. Let’s briefly examine each of these instincts in the context of abortion.
Pleasure. The desire for men to enjoy pleasure extends beyond the need for sexual satisfaction and fulfillment. It also encompasses the enjoyment of having children, watching them grow, learn and become independent and productive citizens in their own right. Men also seek the pleasure of a life-mate, a wife who will provide companionship through the ups and downs along the way.
Procreate. Perhaps the most important element motivating man is his desire to procreate. Men provide an essential role in the continuation of the human race. Almost every man, whether he verbalizes it or not, values the idea of having offspring of his own flesh and blood – carrying on the family name or bloodline.
Provide. A man’s reproductive cycle ends with the act of sex – the same time that a woman’s cycle begins. Therefore a man’s priority shifts from procreation to providing for the mother and the unborn offspring he has fathered. He instinctively knows that this new family will look to him for many of the day-to-day necessities. In his mind it is important that he succeeds in providing for them.
Protect. Like providing for his family, man is highly programmed to protect his family. During his child’s lifetime there will be many dangers to continually guard against – the threats of illness or injury, making wise decisions and knowing when to say no to a myriad of tempting offers throughout life. The need for a man to protect his offspring should not be underestimated.
Perform. When talked about in contemporary society, this word most often refers to a man’s sexual ability. While this applies, it is not limited to sexual activity. Performance encompasses man’s ability to perform in various aspects of life. Job performance is often primary to defining a man’s success – the income it generates, the social standing it provides and the attained admiration of his peers. Successful performance in the social arena secures friendships and helps a man achieve his desire for pleasure.
Society often judges a man based on his ability to be successful at pleasure, procreation, provision, protection and performance. When a man experiences abortion, these key elements of life are seriously damaged, or often totally obliterated.
Perhaps the most consistent and evident symptom in men due to loss of a child from abortion is anger. A counselor, who personally experienced the abortion decision, indicated that every man he has counseled has a higher level of anger than before the abortion. In addition, each has acted on that anger in some way that was harmful to himself or someone else. Another counselor likened this anger to that of a “ticking time-bomb just waiting to go off.”
A man’s anger and frustration of not being able to protect and provide for his unborn baby, because of abortion, manifests itself in several ways. He often turns to alcohol and drugs to dull the pain of knowing he participated in or was too “weak” to prevent the death of his unborn baby. Many become workaholics to avoid contact with other people or in a desperate effort to succeed in a crucial aspect of their life.
The relationship most always fails after a decision to abort. In addition, future relationships with women are often difficult or impossible. A woman has total control over the decision to abort their baby, leaving the father no legal recourse. This lack of control regarding a critical, life-impacting decision often generates considerable resentment and mistrust towards women. As a result of a previous experience, they do not want to be put into another situation where another pregnancy may occur and they have no control of the outcome. Some men experiment with homosexuality because it allows them to have a successful sexual relationship with no commitment and no worry of pregnancy. Men may suffer from other forms of sexual dysfunction such as impotency and addiction to pornography and masturbation.
Other symptoms of a man struggling with a loss from abortion may be that he suffers from sleeplessness, panic attacks, poor coping skills, flashbacks, nightmares or self-imposed isolation. He may be unable to hold a job due to his inability to handle decision making, or he may be an excessive risk-taker in work and social environments, setting himself up for failure. This may come from the feeling that he deserves what he gets for being a loser and failing when it counted most – protecting his unborn baby.
Dealing with the symptoms
To be most effective, a man should receive counsel from another man when dealing with the grief and shame caused by an abortion decision. A man can better assist another man struggling with the loss of his child and fatherhood.
In general, men are more successful than women at burying their feelings after an abortion. If a man fails to face the emotional aftermath of losing his child to abortion within the first couple of months, he will often suppress it for many years, making it more difficult to face. Many men acknowledge various problems in their life without connecting them to a previous abortion decision.
Society makes it doubly tough for men to deal with the aftermath of abortion. First, most in the secular realm don’t even acknowledge the existence of Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) in women. Secondly, men are often taught as children that it is less than manly to show weakness or cry. As a result, men have no societal incentive to realistically deal with their abortion decision.
When addressing post-traumatic stress in men, it is not effective to approach it from the angle of PAS. Men tend to be compartmental thinkers. A vast majority of them have bought into the false rhetoric that abortion is solely a woman’s decision. Talking to them about PAS will only enforce their belief that this is something that affects only women.
A man may be more open to talking about and dealing with the loss of his child in the context of abortion. That loss has affected him dramatically. However, he may not yet be aware that it is the root-cause of his problems. It may be helpful to talk about the symptoms commonly experienced by other men after an abortion decision. When he realizes that he shares many of those symptoms, he is more apt to look at the cause for his problems in a new light.
Most experienced counselors advocate a gentle but direct approach. This is no time for subtlety. Tell him it’s OK to grieve for the baby he will never see or hold in his arms. Let him cry for his profound loss. Let him cry as much and as often as he needs to. He needs to grieve the loss and shame.
Almost every woman who has begun the road to recovery after her abortion has given credit to the fact that she returned to, or discovered, her religious faith. That has proven to also be true with men. Allow him to experience the joy of knowing he has complete, divine forgiveness. This will enable him to move on to the next crucial stage of obtaining that God-given peace within himself. This is likely the hardest step to complete. Because of his deep fear and distrust, he may feel unworthy of a relationship with God.
Counselors encourage churches to deal openly with this problem. “There are many Christian men, sitting in pews, who haven’t dealt with their abortion decision,” said one counselor. When speaking of his own experience he said, “If one man or the church had said something, I would have responded.”
For churches and organizations that deal with counseling from a religious perspective, there are men’s bible studies available, tailored to suit various groups. Other resources are also available when dealing with men and their grief.
These resources are still in their infancy, but will be able to assist men facing a post-abortive struggle. Please call or write Life Issues Institute for a free list of resources including experienced counselors who deal with men’s loss after abortion.
Life Issues Institute is working to network people and materials in this field. Please send us samples of any materials or information on anyone you have in your area, qualified to assist these men. Write to: Life Issues Institute, 1721 West Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45239. Or phone (513) 729-3600.
Life Issues Today
with Dr. J. C. Willke
The Class of ’96
Graduations have come and gone. This year’s high school grads are the lucky ones. They were chosen to survive. One-third of their should-have-been classmates didn’t. If we had had the opportunity to address this class, we would have said:
“To the graduating class of 1996 — Congratulations on your graduation and condolences to your classmates who did not make it. Over three million of you were born in 1978, but 1,500,000 of your Class of ’96 were aborted in that same year. We might call this the massacre of 1978.
“At today’s commencement exercise, look around. Next to every second of your classmates should be a third person waiting for a diploma. But every third member of your Class of ’96 did not make it, and you are the survivors. Your class is part of the aborted generation.
“Because of your unnaturally smaller numbers, you will have to work harder to provide health care, retirement benefits, military service, Social Security and other benefits we expect in our society, and to provide these benefits for those very adults who have destroyed one-third of your Class of ’96.
“The year you were born in ’78, the US national debt was about 6 trillion dollars. Today it is over 35 trillion.
“When you were born, there were four taxpaying adults paying Social Security taxes to support one retired person. Today it’s closer to three. If the present abortion rate continues, by the time you expect to retire, it will be about 1 1/2, which means that there will be no Social Security for you.
“Because of your unnaturally smaller numbers, you will have to work harder to compensate for the taxes that would have been paid by your aborted peers who should be graduating with you, and soon becoming workers. Over your working adult lifetime, as you can see, this will be billions of dollars more than what you would have had to pay had your classmates been allowed to live. You will miss these 1,500,000 potential coworkers who were killed.
“You are not to be faulted if you were to tell those responsible to have themselves and their own children serve first in the military, to pay their own Social Security, to pay their own health care. You are not to be faulted if you tell those adults who aborted 1/3 of your class that they have lost all rights to the fruits of the toil of the remainder of the Class of ’96.
“But to do that would be even more detrimental. In spite of what happened to your class, we hope you will not be bitter, but instead will re-establish the American, God-centered Declaration of life, then liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as priorities in your life, and in that order. Congratulations on your present achievements. Push on to more success. And, above all, Have Your Children. Love them. Protect them.”
Thanks to Sam Nigro, MD for the above thoughts.
The Price of Clinton’s Veto
Clinton’s recent veto of the partial-birth abortion bill is not news. However, the reaction to the president’s cruel and calculated political move has not been publicized as widely.
The following is a brief summary of much of the fallout after the veto.
All eight American Cardinals signed a letter to Clinton denouncing his action.
Thirty major churches signed a joint statement against the veto.
Paul Weyrich, head of the Political NewsTalk Network,
“The stain of blood on the body politic from this hideous, cowardly decision of Bill Clinton will not go away….”
James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, expressed outrage on his widely heard radio program, “The blood of these tiny infants will be on Mr. Clinton’s hands.”
Rev. A.L. Barry, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, wrote to Clinton condemning the veto.
Pope John Paul II criticized Clinton’s veto in an unusually strongly worded statement, reserved in the past for only four other heads of state, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro.
Rev. Billy Graham, told Clinton he was “dead wrong” to veto the partial-birth abortion bill.
The Hibernians, an Irish Catholic organization with over 100,000 members, rescinded their invitation to Clinton to speak at their annual meeting.
Gary Bauer of Family Research Council and Beverly LaHaye with Concerned Women for America also weighed in against Clinton’s veto. Each is a major pro-life, pro-family organization with a wide following.
Former presidential candidate, Steve Forbes, wrote that the veto was, “….unconscionable – politics at its worst….its stomach-churning….to see the President of the United States so devoid of any genuine moral sense and fiber.”
Ralph Reed, with the Christian Coalition, stated that it would be almost impossible for Clinton to expect the votes of Catholics and Evangelicals in the November election.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops is distributing millions of flyers to Catholic churches nationwide to educate churchgoers on the partial birth abortion method. The brochure urges Catholics to contact their congressmen and senators, and ask them to vote to override Clinton’s veto.
1.5 million readers of Columbia Magazine, the official publication of the Knights of Columbus, read the following headline, “Brain-Sucking Monsters Attack Children!”
The Wall Street Journal said, “No one would think of doing this to another human being, even the Unabomber, but the President of the US stands four-square for doing it to babies still in the womb nearing birth.”
Rush Limbaugh and other well-known conservative talk show hosts condemned the president’s actions to millions of listeners.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis, discouraged students from attending a speech by Clinton. Six Catholic schools were invited to attend, but vicar general Monsignor Joseph Naumann said, “It would be an erroneous message if we’d see the president with all these kids in Catholic uniforms.”
Senators in Chile passed a resolution urging the US Congress to override Clinton’s partial-birth abortion veto. It was signed by 40 of Chile’s 46 senators.
Life Issues Institute encourages everyone to educate others regarding the partial-birth abortion procedure and the efforts to override Bill Clinton’s veto.
Kevorkian – The Messenger Who Kills
by Ed Rivet
On June 4, 1990, Jack Kevorkian took the life of Janet Adkins. Nearly six years later, in the middle of his third trial for assisted suicide, Kevorkian assisted in his 28th killing – a Canadian man with Multiple Sclerosis. The odyssey he has led Michigan on holds a lesson for all of us in the pro-life movement. Despite his being “officially” shunned by organized medicine and pro-euthanasia groups, he still carries the same message that alleged mainstream euthanasia advocates are constantly spinning.
Kevorkian’s actions led the Michigan Board of Medicine to revoke his medical license. That’s why his last 26 suicides have used carbon monoxide – he no longer has access to lethal medications. His activities eventually led the Michigan Legislature to pass a temporary ban on assisted suicide, and to set up a commission to study the issue. He and other euthanasia proponents brought constitutional challenges against these restrictions all the way to the US Supreme Court. The courts sustained both the Legislature’s ban and Michigan’s common law prohibiting assisted suicide.
But prosecutions under both the statute and the common law have ended in acquittals. It is the reasons for these acquittals to which pro-lifers must be attuned. Kevorkian and his attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, are fear mongers. They exploit the prevailing fear most people have of a future death that is pain-racked, excessively high-tech and stripped of dignity. “But fear not,” Kevorkian says, “I have the compassionate, humane answer to your fears.” As an added bonus, he is able to appeal to Americans’ self-centered, rugged individual mind-set. “This is about choosing for yourself.” As with abortion, we hear the tiring lines, “It is my body, my choice. No one, especially the government, is going to tell me what I’m going to do with my body.”
There are actually silver linings in Kevorkian’s activities. He is the personification of two of pro-life’s strongest counter arguments. The first is about power. Euthanasia advocates spin the line that this is about “personal choice,” and “patient autonomy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This is about taking patients’ control from them and giving doctors the power to kill. Kevorkian has received requests from virtually hundreds of people for suicide assistance. Why have only 28 died in six years? Who selected the 28? And who had the power to make those selections? We pro-lifers needn’t spend a lot of time talking about Jack Kevorkian himself. We do need to talk about what he personifies: the power to kill in the hands of the doctor.
Kevorkian also demonstrates the slippery slope of who will die. Approximately half of Kevorkian’s victims had a “terminal” illness, namely cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The other half were not terminal at all. They had Multiple Sclerosis, emphysema, arthritis, heart conditions, etc. To convince people that euthanasia will spread beyond those who are near death, we can simply show them Kevorkian’s track
record to demonstrate that this has already been accomplished. This can be done before you even mention the infanticide that is now going on in the Netherlands in the name of compassion.
For now, it appears that Kevorkian has free rein to continue killing. Because he has cleverly learned not to leave behind evidence of his killing, it will be nearly impossible to ever charge him again. There simply is not enough physical evidence.
He will be looking to set up his “obitorium” soon with the $20,000 grant he received from the California-based Sovereign Fund. No one can guess how high the body count will go before he is finally stopped. There will come a day, however, when he will take his actions too far. Justice and truth have a way of prevailing in the end. We must remain diligent in spreading the truth and fighting for justice.
Ed Rivet is the Legislative Director for Right to Life of Michigan and served on the Michigan Commission on Death and Dying.
THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH
Long before the time of Christ this pagan physician called for a separation of the healing and killing functions of physicians. This new ethic passed into the Christian era and guided physicians until our time when, through abortion, certain physicians reestablished the dual role of healing and killing by doing abortions. With this, graduating classes of medical students across the country either (1) dropped the Oath completely, or (2) left out the abortion part and/or re-wrote the entire thing, leaving it only a bit of pseudo-ethical mush.
DECLARATION OF GENEVA
After World War II and the Nazi doctors, the World Medical Association issued the Declaration of the Geneva to update the Oath. Sadly, this one has been largely
forgotten. The text follows:
“I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity. I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due; I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; the health of my patient will be my first consideration; I will respect the secrets which are confided in me; I will maintain by all means in my power the honor and noble traditions of the medical profession; my colleagues will be my brothers; I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient; I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity. I make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honor.”
The World Medical Association
Declaration of Geneva
MODERN DAY HIPPOCRATIC OATH:
Last year a prestigious group of US physicians issued this restatement of the Oath in modern but dignified verse, relevant to our times, but true to the original ethic. The text follows:
I swear in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgment I will keep this Oath and Stipulation:
To reckon all who have taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents and in the same spirit and dedication to impart a knowledge of the art of medicine to others. I will continue with diligence to keep abreast of advances in medicine. I will treat without exception all who seek my ministrations, so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby, and I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled physicians where indicated for the benefit of my patient.
I will follow that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform act or omission with direct intent deliberately to end a human life. I will maintain the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.
With purity, holiness, and beneficence I will pass my life and practice my art. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither treat any patient nor carry out any research on any human being without the valid informed consent of the subject or the appropriate legal protector thereof, understanding that research must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and further from the seduction of any patient.
Whatever in connection with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear in the lives of my patients which ought not be spoken abroad I will not divulge, reckoning that all such should be kept secret.
While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot.
If you’re interested in copies to frame, please write us for more information.
Norma McCorvey at Her Best
You’ve likely heard of the transformation of Norma McCorvey. Norma was Jane Roe in the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling, Roe vs. Wade. Roe, along with its companion case, Doe vs. Bolton, resulted in abortion on demand during all nine months of pregnancy. Since that time over 30 million babies have died from abortion while millions of women and men have suffered the devastating physical and psychological aftermath of that procedure.
Recently Norma experienced a complete change of heart on abortion and converted to Christianity. Her social metamorphosis sent shock waves throughout the ranks of pro-abortion activists and the secular media.
A new video has just been released detailing the events leading up to her conversion. It’s called REVERSING ROE: The Norma McCorvey Story and is produced by Donehey & Associates.
While an abortion-rights activist, Norma’s public appearances were carefully scripted, sharply limiting her exposure by leaders of the pro-abortion movement. She was considered a “loose cannon” and a poor spokesperson in front of the media. According to McCorvey she was exploited by pro-abortion activists while being treated like a second-class citizen.
It is amazing to see the difference in Norma since her conversion. This is Norman McCorvey at her best. She is articulate, and her appealing what-you-see-is-what-you-get personality is unmistakably sincere. The video debuts her hidden talent as a poet. Her penned lyric describes the climactic moment she became pro-life. It was set to music and sung by Christian singer/songwriter Phil Keaggy, and is part of the video.
Dan Donehey, producer/director of the video, credits Norma’s physical transformation to her conversion to Christianity. “Norma’s face radiates that change,” he said.
The video takes viewers through the dramatic steps leading to her change of heart on abortion. You will witness the heartwarming chain of events that led her to Christianity. And you will be surprised by the ironic twist of events, revealed at the end of the film, that demonstrate how God truly does work in mysterious ways.
The 30-minute video is decidedly Christian and ideal for religious settings. However, it will also prove effective with other audiences. It packs a persuasive and powerful message.
The cost for a single copy is $24.95, which includes shipping. Quantity prices are also available. Orders can be placed by contacting Donehey & Associates, PO Box 236, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Or phone (800) 371-3404.
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The official quarterly publication of Life Issues Institute. Vol. 5 Number 11 Subscription $25. Copyright Life Issues Institute, Inc. 1997. Used with permission. Last updated: 11/03/06
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