Abortion hurts men too

Stephen Arterburn got a shock when his girlfriend told him she was pregnant.

"I felt trapped inside myself with no one to turn to for advice and no one I was willing to let in on my secret. All my dreams and plans were suddenly destroyed by this pregnancy. I didn't think of it as a baby. I thought of it as a situation I had to find a way out of as quickly as possible."

Remembering a girl he knew who had once had an abortion, he asked her advice and received the details of what steps to take. He told his girlfriend about having an abortion and she went along with his decision. At the time he was angry with her, blaming her for "getting pregnant".

In the three days following the abortion Stephen began to grow more and more depressed.

"During those three days I thought I would lose my mind. It began to sink in what I had done. I started to realize it was a baby that died, and I paid for the killing. Not once, before the abortion, did I stop to ask God what He wanted me to do, but now in that hotel prison I began to think of Him. The guilt and shame set in around me like a heavy, dark, wet blanket. I got more and more depressed with every passing hour."

Stephen later developed over 80 ulcers in his colon and intestines, which he attributed to the guilt he felt. He believed the emotional anguish he kept secret inside himself was literally killing him.

"My little baby had just been thrown away without ever having a chance to enter the world. The depression and pain was so intense that I considered suicide many times, but I was too much of a coward to do it."

He says that other men have shared similar feelings with him, "...a continued sadness over a decision they can't change."

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