I was recently asked “How do you handle calls from abortion minded men?” I thought this was a great question and here is why: Most centers might be kind enough to the male caller, but often would not put the same care, concern, and effort into the conversation as they may have if it were the woman. I believe this is, at least in part, due to a misunderstanding of who the guy is and what his intentions are. We do lots of training on who the mindset of the abortion minded woman and how we can best help her. Maybe it’s time to up our game and learn how to speak to the abortion minded man. In this post I’d like to examine this topic a bit deeper to ensure we are making the most of the opportunity when men call.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Don’t assume the men are pressuring their partners for abortion just because they are the ones making the call. While that could be the case, I’ve spoken with plenty of men who are contacting us to gather information as a way to support their scared girlfriends who are too timid. Their intent may be to “care for” their partner and help how they are able to in the moment. I have also spoken with men over the years who are really looking for advice and encouragement because she wants the abortion, and he doesn’t. If we cut him off and make him feel that only the woman is important, this will further discourage him.
Even in the situation where he is coercive, keep in mind that this may not be out of hateful malicious intent but out of fear, desperation, and ignorance. He needs the same information about abortion and what free services you offer at your center as she does. If you show yourself to be non-judgmental and he feels you are there for him as a person, even the most coercive partner may take advantage of the free services you are offering to aid them in this very difficult situation.
Give Men a Voice
For the last 50 years men have been told “It’s a woman’s right.” “It’s a woman’s choice” and now in more recent years the misguided, modern feminist continues to squash the man’s voice and usurp his rightful place as protector and provider. We can facilitate an environment that gives him his voice’s back and its easy!
Make him feel valuable, calm his nerves then ask his intentions and concerns before you ask about hers. Give him permission to speak his mind to you. Tell him we can help facilitate healthy communication between the two of them if they decide to come in.
Here is a sample script.
” Thank you for your call. A lot of men who call (visit) us will often express that they feel they don't have a right to share their feelings when it comes to making a pregnancy decision. Many will just say, "I'm okay with whatever you decide", feeling that this is the most supportive thing they can do. But as this baby's father, you have a right to express your feelings & opinions, even if you don't get to make the final choice. It’s also important to note that most women really do want to know where their partner stands in order to feel truly supported. I think it’s great that you are making an effort to be supportive and gather vital information for her and for yourself. How are you feeling about all this? What questions can I answer for you?”
Address their Unique Fears
Just like the woman, men facing unexpected pregnancy often feel the weight of the financial burden, loss of freedom and don’t feel ready or able to handle the added responsibility of raising a child. Especially if they do not feel a significant connection to the mother. We can address their fears over the phone by telling him that no decisions need to be made today and that nothing has to change right away. Explain that the appointment will help them both to slow their minds, gather necessary information and make a smart plan for what they can expect moving forward. Tell him that your advocates are equipped to help them both discover what unique obstacles they are facing and provide the practical and financial resources and support they need.
Offering the Appointment
While we should never allow any partner to make an appointment without speaking to the potential client, we can explain in a gentle supportive way and offer him help presenting our services to his partner “Joe I am so glad you are interested in our services. We are here for both you and Julie. If you would like to schedule a consultation to talk things through by yourself, we can do that right now. However, since we provide limited medical services and you would not be the patient, we would need to speak with your girlfriend in order to schedule her. I hope you understand. How about I text you some information about our services and availability for you to share with Julie.”
These opportunities over the phone may be few and far between but when they come around, make the most of them. Your support and encouragement may give him the courage to fight for the life for his child.