By J. Kevin Burke, MSS/LSW
On Sept. 25, 2003 nationally syndicated television talk show
host Dr. Phil worked with a couple, Michelle and her husband
Tripp who after 2 years were unable consummate their marriage.
They could not have sexual intercourse due to the inability of
the husband to maintain an erection. Dr. Phil discovered that
the couple had an abortion early in their dating relationship.
Michelle felt forced to abort by her husband. The couple had
no previous difficulty in their physical intimacy. However Tripp
began to see the effects of the abortion, the pain and
unhappiness this caused Michelle. This conflict led to Erectile
Dr. Phil was able to affirm that abortion had indeed been the
source of their sexual problems--this is great progress on
national television. The medical and mental health communities
have worked hard to ignore or suppress any information that
would cast a negative light on abortion. So to see Dr. Phil make
a connection to the abortion in this couples' struggles is
indeed a good sign.
However even though Dr. Phil was able to admit the
relationship of abortion to their problem he was not aware of
the process necessary for a healing of this wound.
He simply told them to forgive one another and "get their
marriage back on track". This is not possible without spiritual
and emotional healing process to resolve the loss of their child
as one would find in Rachel's Vineyard. Relational problems will
continue in this marriage without resolution of this complicated
Sexual dysfunction is a very private and deeply painful
problem that some men may experience after abortion. Abortion
healing may be an important part of the overall treatment
strategy to bring healing to married couples struggling with