Abortion's silent victims: men
Women and babies are not the only victims of abortion.
...Bill Thomas is an abortion victim, too. Since the day
27 years ago when his girlfriend ended their child's
life, his life has been in ruins.
...Thomas - not his real name - squandered a promising
career, has failed to hold a steady job, and abuses drugs
and alcohol, says Sue Liljenberg, then Thomas'
...Liljenberg, 45, said she went through a "healing
process" years ago that left her with a rock-solid
confidence in God and an enthusiasm about His power to
transform lives. She is married to a man who has three
sons, and leads Healing Hearts (see link #1 below), a
nondenominational Christian ministry. The Seattle-based
group has helped more than 2,000 post-abortive women
...Healing Hearts wants to help men, too. Post-abortive
women tell Liljenberg stories about their husbands and
boyfriends that make her want to weep, she says. They
can't understand why their men sometimes are so
uncharacteristically angry, depressed, or cold-hearted.
...Liljenberg knows that in many instances, the root of
the problem is the same one that hounds Bill Thomas, even
after all these years. "I saw the devastation that
my baby's father has gone through," she told
Religion Today. "There is a definitive
'before-the-abortion' and 'after-the-abortion.' He is a
changed person, tormented."
...She realized the problem was big a few years ago when,
during a Moody Radio broadcast, she read a poem written
by a man about "his" abortion. "I got tons
of emails from men" who reacted personally to the
poem, she said. "I just sat and wept. It was so
...Abortion "has to affect" men, Liljenberg
said. "Whenever a man gives up his God-given
responsibility to be priest and protector over his home,
he has violated everything God ever made him to be.
That's where the problem is. He's got to be reconciled to
God and cleansed."
...Healing Hearts recently adapted a Bible study for use
with men, Liljenberg said. A church elder who had been
involved in abortion helped write it, and several pastors
are reviewing it. Two pilot men's groups say the study
has changed their lives, she said. Counseling by men for
men also is done by email.
...Liljenberg is praying that the Scriptures selected
will be as powerful as they have in small-group sessions
with women, which have met in churches over the years,
...Using God's word is "like handling
nitroglycerine," Liljenberg said. "It sounds
crazy to people, but we see it every day. Women come to
us who have gone to psychologists for 15 years and are so
far in debt they can't see straight. In 10 weeks (the
duration of the Bible study) they are set free by God.
..."God's word is the most powerful thing I have
ever dealt with in my life."
...Pastors should take the lead in dealing with the
effects of abortion, Liljenberg said. Abortion is
"ripping the church in America apart because pastors
will not admit there is a problem." In the church
today, "you screw up, you cover up," she said.
...An estimated 40 million legal abortions have been
performed in the United States since the procedure was
legalized, many involving professing Christians, she
said. Yet many of the Christians who are post-abortive
"think they are the only Christian who has had an
...Some people are "entrenched" in pro-life
activism to make amends for their abortions, Liljenberg
said. "But you are never going to make it like you
didn't have an abortion. You will always be the father of
a dead baby. The only thing that will change is to be
reconciled with God."
...There is "a huge need" and not much help
available, Rick Dennler of David's Heart, a new
Seattle-based ministry for men, told Religion Today. Some
men feel angry, powerless, or emasculated because they
couldn't stop the abortion, or guilty because they
didn't. Involvement in abortion "lies at the
heart" of some sexual deviancy, he said.
...Some emotionally distant men may have a "hard
spot in their heart" that they created to deny their
dead child's humanity, Dennler said.
...Dennler, who counsels men in person and through email,
is compiling letters written by men to their aborted
babies as well as testimonies of how God subsequently has
worked in their lives. The confidential and anonymous
letters will be published as a "healing resource for
men," he said.
...Christian men who have been through the experience of
abortion are desperately needed to help counsel and
encourage others by email, Dennler said. He can be
reached at Davidsheart@ccnmail.com
(see link #2 below) or at David's Heart, P.O. Box 22,
...Liljenberg agrees. If men are to get the help they
need, many more Christian men who have been through
abortions must step forward to mentor them, she said.
Those who are interested can contact Liljenberg at email@example.com
(see link #3 below), (360) 897-2711, or P.O. Box 7890,
Bonney Lake, WA 98390.
Religion Today - January 21, 2000
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