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 Dysfunction.

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 grief.

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 this problem.


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