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Catherine T. Coyle

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Catherine T. Coyle
Born 1935?
Occupation therapist
URL catherinecoyle.com

Catherine T. Coyle (* unknown) is a registered nurse and holds a master's degree in clinical psychiatric nursing.


  • Master of Social Work, 1990, Wilfrid Laurier University[wp].
  • Bachelor of Social Work, 1987, King's College, University of Western Ontario[wp].
  • Bachelor of Sociology, 1985, University of Western Ontario.[1]

About Catherine T. Coyle

Quote: «Catherine Coyle provides family therapy, couples counselling, trauma therapy, stress management, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, and women's issues.»(?)[2]
Quote: «Catherine T. Coyle, RN, MSN, Ph.D. earned her doctorate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Wisconsin[wp]. She is a registered nurse and holds a master's degree in clinical psychiatric nursing. She has taught at both Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Coyle has developed a healing program for men who have been hurt by abortion and has scientifically documented its effectiveness. She is the author of the book, Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing, which is based on her research and is available from Life Cycle Books. Dr. Coyle is an associate of the International Forgiveness Institute, co-director of the Alliance for Post-Abortion Research and Training, and continues to pursue research in the areas of both forgiveness and post-abortion trauma. She has published several papers and given numerous presentations concerning these topics.

Contact via e-mail at: ctcoyle@abortionresearch.net»[3]

About Post-Abortion Trauma

Post-Abortion Trauma in Men Still Overlooked

[More than thirty] years have passed since the legalization of abortion in the United States[wp]. In those years, numerous studies have documented the potential negative effects of abortion on women. The effects of abortion on men however[ext] have been largely ignored by both the scientific community and American society.

The few published studies concerning men suggest that, like women, men may experience grief,[cite 1] anxiety, guilt, helplessness,[cite 2] and anger.[cite 3] The fact that men tend to repress their emotions may also make it more difficult for them to resolve their grief.[cite 4] Even men who support their partners' abortion may experience ambivalent feelings such as relief along with anxiety, anguish, grief, and guilt.[cite 5] About half of the men interviewed by these authors reported that one year after the abortion occurred, they still had frequent (monthly) thoughts about it.[cite 6]

A recent study by Lauzon et al. (2000) compared men and women involved in first-trimester abortions with a control group of men and women who had not experienced abortion. After the abortion, participants were given a follow-up questionnaire and "three weeks after the abortion, 41.7 percent of women and 30.9 percent of the men were still highly distressed." The authors concluded that "being involved in a first-trimester abortion can be highly distressing for both women and men."[cite 7]

The most comprehensive work pertaining to men and abortion was published by Shostak and McLouth in 1984. These authors surveyed 1,000 men in 30 abortion clinics across the United States and followed up with post-abortion interviews involving 75 of those men. The persistence of occasional thoughts about the fetus was evident among the majority of post-abortion men interviewed. Of those men surveyed, 11 percent stated that they were opposed to their partners' decision to abort and were described as experiencing a very profound sense of personal loss.[cite 3]

If Shostak and McLouth's sample is representative of males in the United States, we may extrapolate in terms of current abortion statistics. Given that approximately 50 million abortions have been performed since its legalization in 1973, there may be as many as 5 million men who have been negatively affected by abortion.

This inference may be too conservative since it is based only on the fact that 11 percent of men were opposed to abortion in the Shostak and McLouth study and does not account for many other men who may not experience or even be aware of negative effects until quite some time after the abortion. As men are not acknowledged by society as having any role in the abortion decision, they may be confused by the intensity of their emotions following abortion and/or unlikely to seek the help they need.

The effect of legalized abortion on children has been obvious with nearly fifty million children losing their lives before being born. The effects on women are well-documented and many clinicians are now aware of the existence of Post Abortion Syndrome[cite 8] among women. The effects of abortion on men continue to be overlooked although the limited research strongly suggests that abortion may have detrimental effects on men.

Abortion may contribute to a host of problems among men such as anger, helplessness, guilt, grief, relationship problems, sexual problems, risk-taking behaviors (e.g. substance abuse), sleep disturbances (e.g. nightmares), anniversary reactions, clinical depression, and confusion about masculinity.

This is unfortunate for both the men involved and for society as a whole as abortion has damaged the very fabric of our society. As children, mothers, and fathers are devalued, so too is the family, the foundational structure of a civilized society. It does not seem too far-reaching to suggest that abortion has sickened all of our culture. The symptoms seem obvious as men and women struggle with unresolved grief, families break down, and even living children wonder at the precariousness of their existence.

  1. B. Raphael, The Anatomy of Bereavement (New York: Basic Books, 1993).
  2. R. A. Gordon & C. Kilpatrick, "A program of group counseling for men who accompany women seeking legal abortions," Community Mental Health Journal 13: 291-295 (1977).
  3. 3.0 3.1 A. Shostak & G. McLouth, Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses and Love (New York: Praeger, 1984).
  4. V.M. Rue, "His abortion experience," Ethics and Medics 21: 3-4 (1996).
  5. A. Kero et. al., "The male partner involved in legal abortion," Human Reproduction 14(10): 2669-2675 (1999).
  6. A. Kero & A. Lalos, "Reactions and reflections in men, 4 and 12 months post-abortion," Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology 25: 135-143 (2004).
  7. P. Lauzon et. al., "Emotional distress among couples involved in first-trimester induced abortions," Canadian Family Physician 46: 2033-2040 (2000).
  8. A.C. Speckhard & V.M. Rue, "Postabortion syndrome: An emerging public health concern," Journal of Social Issues 48(3):95-119 (1992).
- Catherine T. Coyle[4]

Publications (selection)


  • Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing, Life Cycle Books, 1999, ISBN 0-919225-23-3[5]


  • What's a Man To Do, Men and Abortion on August 30, 2014
    At a recent pro-abortion rally in Dublin, Ireland, male attendees were reminded (by a speaker referred to as Amanda) to "know their place." The men being stridently scolded weren't protesting abortion; rather, they were there to support women. Yet, they were targeted by the speaker who emphasized that men may be permitted to support women's right to abortion as long as they remember that "this is a woman's movement." Stephanie Lord of Choice Ireland sought to further clarify Amanda's comments by stating that "men involved in the prochoice movement[wp] should be supporting and not dominating the conversation." The concern was that, if men take too active a role in supporting abortion as a woman's right, they will be perpetuating a male-dominated system.
    So, what are men to do with this latest directive? It sounds like they are supposed to support women quietly, in the background, without exercising their right to free speech. They are to remember that they were the bad guys for too long and their paternalistic nature needs to be repressed lest patriarchy rear its ugly head. Women have worked long and hard over the last several decades for equality and they have made great progress toward that goal. Still, aren't women in danger of perpetuating against men exactly that which they have fought so hard to free themselves from? Might their intense demands for domination be alienating them from men and discouraging men from offering that which only men can provide?
    Men can and do make valuable contributions to society and particularly to the family. They have significant and positive effects on their children's cognitive and emotional development as well as on their educational achievement (Cabrera, Shannon & Tamis-LeMonda, 2007; Rosenberg & Wilcox, 2006). Children who live without their fathers are four times more likely to be living in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011) and are significantly more likely to engage in delinquent behavior (Bush, Mullis & Mullis, 2000) and be incarcerated (Harper & McLanahan, 2004). Father absence can also affect children's physical health. Obesity (National Longitudinal Survey of Youth), drug and alcohol abuse (Hoffmann, 2002) and teen pregnancy (Teachman, 2004) are all associated with father absence. Furthermore, the positive effects of active father involvement have been observed to persist into adulthood. For example, adolescents who report having close relationships with their fathers have more satisfactory adult marriage relationships as well as less psychological distress during adulthood (Flouri & Buchanan, 2002).
    The potential positive impact of a father's healthy involvement with his children is indisputable. His involvement begins at the moment his child is conceived. When men are treated as less than equal partners in reproduction and childrearing, might they be less likely to behave like responsible men and more likely to evade responsibility for the lives they had a part in creating? Genuine equality, on the other hand, promotes respect and responsibility between men and women.
  • (with Vincent Rue): Building a Mens Ministry: AGuide for Pregnancy Resource Centers, Men and Abortion on December 1, 2013
  • (with Vincent Rue): The Relational Context of Abortion Decision Making: A Research Note, Men and Abortion on November 1, 2013
    According to the most current survey of U.S. abortion patients in 2008, 62% of women obtaining an abortion lived with their sexual partner for one year or more prior to their abortion (Jones, Finer & Singh, 2010). The existence of a primary relationship can and often does complicate the complexity and execution of an abortion decision. All too often, particularly with the myopic emphasis on only women's reproductive rights, the relational context of abortion is minimized or ignored.
  • Mark David Pickup Shares Personal Abortion Story, Men and Abortion on March 1, 2012
  • (with Vincent Rue): New Study: The Meaning of Abortion in Men's Lives, Men and Abortion on November 1, 2010
  • (with Vincent Rue): A Critical Response to Exploring Men's Roles in Womens Decisions to End Pregnancies, Men and Abortion on November 1, 2009
  • Choosing a Qualified Therapist or Counselor, Men and Abortion on August 1, 2009
    Understanding psychotherapy - Psychotherapy is a joint venture between the client and the therapist. The therapist doesn't "fix" the problem. Rather, the client and the therapist work together to problem-solve and to identify various means by which the client may overcome a problem, feel better, and enjoy life more. The therapeutic relationship involves mutual respect as well as mutual effort.
    Competence/Qualifications - A therapist should have received professional training and supervision and be licensed by an appropriate agency or organization. Each of these will vary depending on the type of counselor. Some have terminal degrees in medicine or psychology. Others may have a master's degree in fields such as social work or nursing. In addition to their formal education, many therapists have certifications in various specialties such as marriage and family counseling or substance abuse.
    Many of those who provide post-abortion counseling are not professionally trained counselors and are often referred to as "peer counselors." Peer counselors usually receive some form of training from the agency for which they volunteer their services. The programs run by such counselors tend to be spiritually focused. Numerous individuals have found healing through those programs and have confirmed their value.
    Referral to a therapist - Often a good way to find an appropriate therapist or counselor is to get a referral from someone you trust. Examples of trusted sources may include friends who have worked with the therapist, clergy who are familiar with the therapist, or a primary physician who has knowledge of the therapist's competency.
    Regardless of the counselor's level of training, clients should expect the following
    1. Respect for and from the counselor.
    2. A sense of trust & safety when interacting with the counselor.
    3. Feelings of comfort and connection with the counselor.
    4. Reliability and consistency from the counselor.
    5. Absolute confidentiality. Nothing shared with the counselor is repeated outside of the counseling environment.
    6. Non-judgmental acceptance from the counselor.
    7. Complete information concerning the cost and schedule of therapy or the treatment program.
    Clients should never tolerate the following unprofessional behavior from a therapist or counselor
    • Inappropriate self-disclosure. While there are occasions in which it is appropriate for the therapist to self-disclose, in general, the counseling sessions should be about the client, not about the therapist.
    • Unwillingness to hear your perception of your main problems or issues. You, as the client, have the authority to identify your problem areas. A client who is seeking help for feelings of grief after abortion is not going to be helped by a counselor who doesn't view abortion as a potential cause of grief.
    • Rigid expectations. If a counselor seems to be demanding that you need to think, feel, or behave in a way that is inconsistent with your assessment of your situation or inconsistent with your moral beliefs, then you need to terminate the relationship.
    • Attempts to have a personal relationship. The therapeutic relationship is distinctly different from that of a friendship. As a result, objectivity is easier to achieve in a strictly professional relationship.
    • Inappropriate touching - this is something the client must discern. If you feel uncomfortable with an incident of physical contact with your therapist, then you need to find a new counselor.
  • Three Areas of Healing After Abortion, Men and Abortion on August 1, 2009
    Those who suffer after abortion may need healing in three areas. These areas include the psychological or emotional, the spiritual, and the physical.
  • Men and Abortion: Reclaiming Fatherhood, Men and Abortion on December 1, 2007


  1. Catherine T. Coyle: About Me
  2. Catherine T. Coyle: Services Provided
  3. Men and Abortion (Reclaiming Fatherhood): Catherine T. Coyle, RN, MSN, Ph.D.
  4. Catherine T. Coyle: Post-Abortion Trauma in Men Still Overlooked
    Post-Abortion Trauma in Men Still Overlooked, Silent Voices on March 14, 2017
  5. Book Review

External links