A focus group of men willing to share their abortion stories and journey together to find God’s grace and restoration has enhanced the new edition of a book published by Care Net over 20 years ago.

Reclaiming Fatherhood: A Bible Study for Men Seeking Healing for Abortion, released in March, was revised by Jill Marquis, the Director of Abortion Recovery and Care for Care Net. The book provides a road map to healing for men who are struggling with the emotional and spiritual fallout of abortion.

The first edition was written by Guy Condon and David Hazard and published in 2001 under the title Fatherhood Aborted. Condon served as Care Net’s president for seven years before he was tragically killed in a car accident in 2000. Condon, 46, was driving home from a pro-life event when his car was broadsided by another vehicle. Hazard is the founder of ASCENT, an international coaching program for authors.

Reclaiming Fatherhood pays tribute to the legacy of Condon and Hazard.

“Their work gave voice to countless men who have suffered in silence after the abortion of their children,” reads one of the book’s acknowledgements.

As a ministry that seeks to foster a Pro Abundant Life movement, Care Net is committed to helping both women and men heal from the pain of abortion. This summer, at its national conference, Care Net released the Forgiven And Set Free study guide for women.

While the postabortion trauma suffered by women is becoming widely known, very few books, if any, have addressed the emotional devastation of men who have been involved in the abortion of a child. Additionally, few men are willing to talk about the issue.

“Our ultimate goal is for men to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and be healed from their abortion wounds so that they might take their place as the men God has designed them to be,” said Marquis. “Abortion advocates have long been effective in silencing the voices of men with respect to this issue (‘my body, my choice’). That is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest – many men are deeply affected by the abortion decision and that woundedness can color their judgment in every area of their life.”

Marquis is hopeful that the revised edition of Reclaiming Fatherhood will help men find healing and grace. Leading the focus group of four men who went through the Bible study helped her gain invaluable insight; Her emotional and spiritual recovery from a past abortion also provided her with a unique perspective for engaging men who share her experience.

“The way men and women experience and process abortion is very different,” Marquis said.

One of the major differences””apparent in the focus group of four men””was the presence of underlying anger. 

“What I have heard from each of these gentlemen was a deep sadness. The abortion had stolen their voice, their manhood, their leadership, and their children. Each man said that he didn’t know how deep his wounds were, only that there was something very wrong,” Marquis said.

“Abortion, ultimately, is such a selfish decision. When you stop looking inward and start looking upward, that’s where you start to see the generational change begin to happen.”

Although she knows that participating in an abortion can be emasculating for men, Marquis is also filled with hope when she realizes how God’s grace can transform them and how His strength can be made perfect in their weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

The study and application of key Bible verses is a vital component of Reclaiming Fatherhood. Each chapter comes with a series of reflective and thought-provoking questions to help small-group participants get to the root issue and view it through a biblical lens.

Chapter titles include: “How Do You Feel?” “God of Our Deepest Needs” “Maker of Our Souls” “Rescued from the Enemy” “New Pathways” and “A Plan for the Long Haul.”

The last chapter, “Men After God’s Own Heart,” uses examples such as King David and the Prodigal Son to exemplify rebellion, remorse, repentance, and redemption:  

As men who have experienced abortion, whether willingly or unwillingly, damage has been done and our lives have been scarred. But, as we’ve walked through this journey of healing, we’ve seen the fingerprints of God on our lives. We are no longer fugitives running from our past, but free men sprinting toward the Lord.

We’ve come face-to-face with the losses we’ve caused and the losses we’ve experienced as a result of the abortion and have laid those before the Lord”¦We’ve acknowledged that the sin in our lives can only be redeemed by the blood of Christ, at the foot of the cross. Here, we have laid our souls bare and asked the Lord’s forgiveness.

The final chapter concludes with personal testimony from the four men in the focus group and a nod to their courage. “Telling their stories was not an easy step for any of these men to take. But they all did it for two reasons: to be obedient to God, and to prayerfully help another man in his healing journey.”