Paul Tuns:

A CareNet study released in January showed that men play a significant role in the abortions women get.

Based on a survey of 1000 American men whose partners had an abortion, the CareNet study found three-quarters of men talked to their spouse or girlfriend about the abortion prior to the woman making her decision to have an abortion. There were about an equal number of men who were married, living with their partner, and dating but not living together.

42 per cent of men said they either “strongly urged” (12 per cent) or “suggested” (30 per cent) that their partner have an abortion when he learned she was pregnant. Nearly a third of men (31 per cent) said they did not give any advice one way or another about having an abortion. Just 19 per cent of men surveyed said they suggested their partner not have an abortion and eight per cent strongly urged her to kill their preborn child.

Nearly four in ten (38 per cent) men whose partner had an abortion said they had the most influence on the woman’s decision, followed by the medical practitioner or abortionist (22 per cent), the partner’s mother (14 per cent), a friend (seven per cent), and her father (three per cent).

The survey found that the top reason men suggested or urged their partner to have an abortion was financial, with 46 per cent saying they could not afford a child at the time of the abortion. 

Almost four in ten men said “I was not ready to be a father” and almost three in ten said “there were already enough kids in the picture.” Nearly a quarter of men said “I didn’t expect the relationship with her to be long-term” and about the same number said “there was conflict in our relationship.”     

Other reasons men offered were that they wanted to complete their schooling, they did not want others to know she was pregnant, and they did not want to pay child support. Respondents could offer more than one reason as to why they counseled their partner to have an abortion.

Roland Warren, president of CareNet, said the data suggests “men play a key role in breaking the cycle of abortion and building strong families.” Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center told The Daily Signal husbands and boyfriends “are particularly important in the advice and support they offer to pregnant women.” Anderson said, “the study confirms once again that, far from being solely a ‘woman’s issue,’ everyone has a role to playing building a culture of life.”

Still, the CareNet suvey found that nearly two-thirds of those who said they did not offer advice one way or another did so because abortion was solely “her choice” to make and 61 per cent said they were “ready to support her either way.” One in five men who did not offer any advice on abortion “didn’t feel they could say anything.”

Respondents were asked how they felt when they first heard that their wife or girlfriend was pregnant, and most suffered from negative emotions. Respondents could give more than one answer, and more than half (53 per cent) said they were nervous and 42 per cent said they were scared, while 15 per cent said they felt indifferent, and 14 per cent were angry or embarrassed. 

Just 30 per cent said they were happy.

About four in ten men whose partner had an abortion attended a church service at least once a month. More than a third of the men were Catholic and 32 per cent were Christians (Protestants, non-denominational or Orthodox), while 13 per cent were either atheist or agnostic, and 10 per cent had no preference. Catholic men were more than twice as likely as Protestants to “strong urge” their partner to have an abortion while Protestants were 50 per cent more likely than Catholics to suggest their partner not have an abortion.

Nearly three-quarters of men surveyed said “church members judged unmarried couples who are pregnant. Nearly half of men say they do not think someone should discuss an unplanned pregnancy with someone at their local church. Furthermore, 45 per cent of churchgoers say that no one at their church knows their partner or spouse had an abortion.

The survey also found that 21 per cent of men said their spouse or partner had two to four abortions in their life and six per cent said their partner had five or more. Three per cent said they did not know how many abortions their partner has had.

The survey was carried out by Lifeway Research in February to March 2021.