Well, I guess the day after Father’s Day is as good as any to talk about men and abortion.

It goes without saying that most men are affected when their partner becomes pregnant.  I say “most” because we know there are jerks out there who are just into the wham-bam-thank you m’am mode of relationships.  Let’s put them aside for the moment.  No, on second thought, let’s cut their ____ off.

But I digress.

When a woman becomes pregnant and is not sure what to do, she will generally talk to the man who was involved.  But the fact that there are two people involved means that there could be a difference of opinion on what to do.  The bottom line, of course, is that if there is a conflict, then the woman’s opinion must prevail.  After all, it is her body, right?  Indeed, a number of years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws requiring the spouse’s consent to an abortion were unconstitutional.

I’ll say right up front that I can’t prove this, but I have to believe that when faced with this difficult decision both parties usually arrive at the same conclusion.  I’m thinking particularly of more established couples (versus one night stands), where they’ve been either dating for a long time, have been living together or are married.  You gotta assume that if they’ve been together for a while then they are generally pretty simpatico (although my parents were an exception to that rule).  So, the vast majority of couples don’t face any problems.

And while the decision to have an abortion is ultimately the woman’s, we all want to be sensitive to the man’s situation.   That’s why it is important for the man to convey all of his feelings to his partner.  He may be feeling guilty about “getting a woman pregnant.”  He may be concerned that the woman might want to discontinue the relationship.  He may be thinking about that son that he could have had.  If the man is invested in the relationship, then his feelings are just as complex and need to be recognized.

But, again, at some point the woman may decide to have the abortion and the man may feel a little lost in the process.  He may not know what to do, what to say.  But there are a number of things the man can do during the abortion process.

Tell your partner that you’re sorry she is the one who has to go through this physically;

I know this is hard for some men but, yes, ask her how she’s feeling and give her some kind of gift;

Don’t even think about sex for a while because she may not be ready.  After all, it was sex that put her in that predicament, right?

Talk, talk, talk.  You know how women are – they love to process while men prefer one word answers so they can get back to the ball game.  So, suck it up, dudes, and talk to her.