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The abortion debate needs to include the forgotten fathers

If the father of an aborted child can feel the emotions as the mother, why not include the dad in the discussion - as the Supreme Court might well do?

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Anti-abortion advocates have long contended that abortion produces two victims: the unborn child, and his or her mother, who, a mounting body of research affirms, risks physical and emotional injury.

But there is evidence that abortion often involves a third victim, one who is typically dismissed when he is acknowledged at all: the child’s father.

Postabortion syndrome, a variant of post-traumatic stress disorder, is a subject of considerable controversy. Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocacy groups maintain that the emotional effects of abortion are “largely positive.” But it is now beyond dispute that after having an abortion, many women experience negative emotions, running from mild regret to deep depression.

There have been at least a dozen studies in peer-reviewed journals that point to a significant link between abortion and depression. Beyond the data, rising prominence of groups for women who have abortions like Project Rachel and Silent No More punctuate that abortion’s emotional impact can be profound and wide reaching.

Recognition of this has made its way to our highest court.

The US Supreme Court cited postabortion pain in its 2007 decision upholding a ban on certain types of late-term abortions. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that it was “self-evident” and “unexceptional to conclude” that “some women” who have abortions suffer “regret,” “severe depression,” “loss of esteem,” and “other ills.”

If it is no longer remarkable that many women are harmed emotionally by abortion, it is worthwhile to consider whether some men areas well.

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