an After abortion

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Friday, August 20, 2004

The Zenit (Vatican) news agency has published Helping Men Heal from Abortion, an interview with Kevin Burke of Rachel's Vineyard.

Q: Why did Rachel's Vineyard Ministries decide to start reaching out to men, in addition to its service to women?

Burke: It began when we had the first few men attended our weekend retreats with women. We saw how effective the retreat was for women, so we were curious to see how the process would work with men involved.

The results were very encouraging and exciting. The men entered deeply into the healing process, grieved as intensely for their children as the women in the group and received similar benefits from the experience.

An unexpected benefit for the women in these groups was that the presence of men grieving deeply for their children added another level of healing. Many women experience their abortion in isolation and often after being used, manipulated and abandoned by a man.

To see a man repentant and openly grieving his child, acknowledging his failures and loss, and embracing the mercy and forgiveness of Christ -- this is an added blessing and healing element of the retreat all participants.

There is a gradual but steady increase in the number of men attending the over 300 Rachel's Vineyard retreats held across the United States and internationally. We now have a men's section on our Web site with e-mail support from men who experienced healing of their involvement with an abortion and want to reach out to other men.

Q: What issues do men who have been involved with an abortion typically face during post-abortion healing?

Burke: Men struggle with many of the symptoms of complicated grief as women do.

In an L.A. Times survey of 3,600 men, 66% reported guilt and anxiety after their involvement with an abortion; other research indicates that men do indeed struggle with feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction and anger after an abortion.

Perhaps men are better equipped to stuff these feelings, or compartmentalize their grief, but this has its emotional and relational cost.

Read the whole thing.

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