Kathryn Lopez

As Burke puts it: "beneath the detached exterior, men often are suffering from their participation in abortion, and need to grieve the loss of their children."

"Man's innate role as defender/protector/provider to his children -- which I would argue is as biologically intrinsic as that of a mother's need to nurture her child -- is gravely violated by participation in abortion," Burke tells me. "Men do not always recognize the symptoms they experience as having their roots in an abortion decision -- but scratch the surface and you will see it. ... They may struggle to make commitments, to be emotionally present to their current wives and children, to embrace their role as spiritual and moral leader in the home ... deep down they know they compromised that authority when they aborted their son or daughter in the past."

As Burke works with men, though, he's optimistic. "The good news is that with healing men can grow to fully embrace their manhood/fatherhood in a life-giving way that is a blessing to families and communities. When you begin to peel away the layers of the effects of Roe v. Wade on women and men, couples, families ... you see that this is really a community mental-health concern."

None of Burke's talk is meant to hand anyone a victim card, but rather than looking for new ways to put a cultural imprimatur on irresponsibility, now's as good a time as any to step back and take a look at what 33 years of legal abortion has done to the lives it's touched (never mind ended).

In recent years, groups have popped out from under Roe to address the pain women feel in the wake of abortions. One of them, Feminists for Life, says that "women deserve better" than abortion. But -- and here's where Dubay's nonsense narrowly comes in handy -- abortion is not just a women's issue. It's a human issue -- touching women, men and, of course, children. We all deserve better than abortion. And the last thing we need is more Roe-ing.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.