In a heart-wrenching article for The Daily Telegraph, journalist Corrine Barraclough has uncovered a little-known truth in Australia: that male suicide and abortion-related mental health issues are interrelated.
Barraclough interviewed Abortion Grief Australia national director Julie Cook, who said there is widespread ignorance of the fact that abortion can hurt men too. She cited 2011 research by Dr Kaeleen Dingle from the University of Queensland who found that young men whose partners aborted were twice as likely to use substances and suffer depression than those whose partners had not had an abortion.
Anecdotally, the evidence is devastatingly clear.
“A woman called recently crying hysterically. It would have been her wedding day, she was inconsolable,” Cook said.
“Her fiance had taken his life a few weeks before. She had been pregnant and thought it was too soon to add a baby to their relationship, so went for an abortion and didn’t say a word.
“When he found out he was overcome with grief and took his life. It’s not uncommon. This is something we must recognise and discuss more openly as a society.”
She shares of another, a 16-year-old, who was saved from suicide “by two seconds” after a domino affect of relationship breakdown, school results declining, homelessness and depression after his girlfriend had an abortion.
Barraclough resolves that this topic must be spoken of more often, with more compassion and understanding.
“Acknowledging male pain, despair and grief is the first vital step towards reuniting the sexes and joining hands across this hideous blazing gender war,” she writes.
We know from our own research that men feel the magnitude of unplanned pregnancy too. They need support to stand strong as a support figure for their pregnant partner. And sometimes, to ask for help when they experience that complex mashup of feelings following an abortion. We’ve compiled some information and resources for men here.