Psychologists – and those who have an abortion experience – answer 'yes' at Chicago Conference

CHICAGO, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Psychologists, counselors, academics and clergy are joining with men and women who have had experience with abortion to discuss the procedure's effects on men at the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" Conference in Chicago, Sept. 8 and 9. They are speaking out about what they say is an "invisible problem" – men, as well as women, can have profound grief and suffering as a result of an abortion experience.

The conference is being held at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook, and is being sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Evangelization, and was organized by the Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. Attendees have come from throughout North America, and as far away as Europe and Africa.

Monday's speakers included several fathers who had lost their children to abortion, as well as presentations by psychologists, a counselor and a sociologist. The conference continues today.

Psychologist Dr. Vincent Rue – a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years, and academic, who formerly served on the faculty at California State University at Los Angeles and San Diego International University. He noted: "Despite the fact that – less than a month ago – the American Psychological Association (APA) has pronounced that abortion is psychologically safe for women, we are in the midst of a conference in which men are recounting their grief over abortion."

"The APA has missed the boat and has misguided the American public," said Rue. "It is out of touch with reality and the pain and suffering of these very real people."

In addition, Rue pointed out that the APA position is at odds with a statement by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain released earlier this year, which warned that the issue "remains to be fully resolved," that additional study was needed and that women should have access to counseling about possible consequences. The Royal College concluded that "good practice in relation to abortion will include informed consent. Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information regarding the possible risks and benefits to physical and mental health."

He added: "Perhaps it's time to include discussion of the psychological risks for their partners and their relationships as well since the majority fail after abortion."

Rue also cited an August 23 article in the British medical journal, The Lancet, which cautioned that despite the APA pronouncements of abortion being psychologically safe for women, there are risks. "Although this report shows that there is no causal link between abortion and mental ill-health, the fact that some women do experience psychological problems after a termination should not be trivialized (sic)."

"Women choosing to terminate must be offered an appropriate package of follow-up care, which includes psychological counseling when needed," the article concluded.

Psychologist Dr. Catherine Coyle added: "Those who grieve after an abortion need to realize that they are not alone. It is the compassionate thing for us to do to recognize that some people have profound grief and suffering after an abortion. And if we are to be a compassionate society, we must validate their pain and provide the help they need regardless of where we may stand individually on the issue of abortion."

SOURCE Knights of Columbus

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