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Unrequited Tears After Abortion

By Judie Brown

Kevin Burke, MSS, LSW, is a pro-life leader of many talents, but what drew me to write about his work was the lessons he writes about in his book Tears of the Fisherman. Dr. Burke ministers to men who have suffered after having been involved in urging their wife or girlfriend to abort their child. Among the many people who stand out in the pro-life movement in our day, Dr. Burke is one of a very select few. And his words say a great deal about his passion for these suffering men.

In an interview, he said: “When men experience deep healing of post abortion pain, they are freed from the shame and guilt that feeds silence and isolation.”

While we highly recommend that you read Dr. Burke’s entire interview, what struck me about it is that he has a heart for the brokenhearted. And as someone who works with men who have surrendered their fatherhood on the altar of choice, convenience, or egoism, Dr. Burke recognizes that, like women who have aborted their children, many fathers who clamor for the aborting of their progeny are suffering as well.

It is in these lessons of agony and pain caused by the availability of abortion that we see the ruination of souls. This is what concerns me most of all. You see, like many others, I do not believe that overturning a Supreme Court decision is going to end this pain, agony, and lifelong heartbreak. All it will do is allow every state to grapple with the challenging question. And as we know, the abortion cartel will not surrender its power easily or without violence.

This is why lessons from the past are important.

Many years ago, my husband Paul and I visited with Katherine DeMille, the first wife of actor Anthony Quinn. She was along in years, much like I am today, but I will always remember the great sadness she expressed about aborting their baby. She told us that her husband had pressured her into doing this many years earlier and that she still suffered from the pain and knowledge of her lost child every day. She had a broken heart.

This is why we know that the work of pro-life ministers of life is so vital. Katherine needed someone like Kevin Burke or his wife Theresa to help her through the pain she suffered. But sadly, at that time there was no one, and it did not take much to see that her agony was ongoing.

Dealing with post-abortion stress can be devastating for the expectant mother who aborts her child and for that baby’s father. This is why books like Tears of a Fisherman are so important. But individuals who can intervene and provide comfort are equally if not more necessary.

Writing about recovery after abortion, Theresa Burke, PhD, opined: “Post-abortion healing is a specialty unto itself. The average psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or counselor of any other academic stripe who does not understand post-abortion issues can often inflict more harm than good on the unsuspecting woman.”

Abortion devastates the individual emotionally, physically, and psychologically. It damages the nation that permits it to the extent that a callous disregard for life penetrates the culture in ways that are unforeseen and totally unpredictable. Such horrific suffering will not end with the stroke of a pen or a gavel in a court.

The unrequited tears of abortion pain spill over into every aspect of our lives because millions of us have been viciously, violently killed. The antidote for this suffering resides in the healing caress of Christ and the inspired actions of those who live in His love.

God help us be His hands and feet.