Encountering an Unplanned Pregnancy: Reasons for Getting an Abortion

The Four Most Common Reasons for an Abortion

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Why Women Consider Abortion

What are some of the reasons to terminate a pregnancy? Why do women consider having an abortion? What common concerns do many women share? Based on many years of counseling experience, we have compiled the four most common reasons here.

  1. Timing
  2. Relational Issues
  3. Feeling Overwhelmed
  4. Health Concerns

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📝 Take the Test: My Abortion Pros and Cons

Unpacking an Unplanned Pregnancy

"Should I get an abortion or not?" is hardly a question that any woman asks lightly or without solid reasons. Every woman who finds herself in this situation has her own unique story. Behind each of these stories hides the same existential question, “How do I go on?”

Usually, there is not just a singular reason for considering abortion. Circumstances are often more intricate and complex.

At first glance, the reasons for an abortion seem obvious: financial circumstances, medical reasons...

Initially, the unintended pregnancy appears to be a problem creating a whole range of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

A closer look often reveals that the pregnancy may not be the actual problem. The unintended pregnancy just made existing issues more obvious...

Therefore, facing the challenging situation of an unintended pregnancy can also become an opportunity to address precisely these underlying causes.

👩🏻‍💼 Are you reading this because you are dealing with this kind of a situation, and you feel torn about what to do? You may like the following articles:

For more information, go to our FAQ pages on:

Statistics: The 4 Most Common Reasons for an Abortion

Every woman, every relationship, and every pregnancy is unique. But some situations are experienced similarly by many women. Therefore, we were able to compile the four most common reasons why women consider abortion. All statistical data is based on evaluations of our many years of counseling experience.

ABT Gründe
ABT Gründe

Reason #1: Timing

"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans." This slogan hits home for many women who contact us. Thirty-six percent experience their biographical situation as challenging enough for abortion to become a consideration. The majority (28 %) specifically mention bad timing as their main reason.

Situations may vary greatly: Some women have not completed their education or job training and want to work toward a career before having a baby. Others may have just started a new job, are still in their probationary period, or are about to switch jobs and therefore experience this as an inopportune time.

General apprehension and uncertainty about the future play a significant role, too. Sometimes one's age is a significant factor, "Am I too young?" or "Am I already too old for a baby?" Some women may feel like they are done with having children or had never planned on having any.

👍 The article Pregnant — Bad Timing provides ideas on how to deal with this unexpected situation.

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Reason #2: Relationship Issues

About 26 percent of women reach out to us because of relational concerns, 15% of whom are conflicted about their pregnancy because of the baby's father's initial negative reaction to the pregnancy. Most women encountering unintended pregnancies look to their partners for support and encouragement. Unfortunately, his initial reaction is often not what she hoped for.

👉 The article “Pregnant — He Does Not Want the Child" explains why many men react like this and what you can do about it. You can also take the test  🧔🏻‍♂️How do I respond if he does not want the baby?

Many women also find the relationship status challenging when they become pregnant.
The relationship may still be in its infancy, has recently ended, or the relational status is complicated in some other way. Perhaps the child's father is not one's partner, or the pregnancy is a result of a one-night stand or a friendship with benefits.

Many questions arise in this situation: How will he react? What will others say? What if I become a single mom? How would I handle that?

Every fourth woman who reaches out to us names these concerns when considering abortion.

ℹ️ The article Pregnant While in an Unstable Relationship is a helpful resource for dealing with this situation.

You can also take the Test: 👩‍❤️‍👨 Pregnant by Another Man — Now What?

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Reason #3: Overwhelmed

"I have a lot going on right now." "It is all too much for me." "I am exhausted." These are some of the ways our clients express what they are feeling.

Eighteen percent of women who reach out to us are conflicted about their pregnancy because they already felt overwhelmed before getting pregnant or fear that raising a child would be more than they could handle.

Many women look into abortion out of concern for their other children. The new pregnancy often reveals that this mother of one or more children is already stretched to her limit by dealing with everyday needs.

Single motherhood can also feel overwhelming.

🙌 Our article Pregnant and Overwhelmed addresses these issues and provides strategies for moving forward.

Many women spread themselves too thin by caring for many needs at work and within the family. Maybe you are facing a project deadline, starting a business, climbing the corporate ladder, pursuing aspirations... Or perhaps you are dealing with health concerns, obligations (caring for a relative), or other life challenges. This would take a lot out of you!

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Reason #4: Health Concerns and Other Issues

About nine percent of women who get in touch with us are concerned that they may be unable to handle the pregnancy emotionally or physically. Sometimes preexisting conditions or previous complications overshadow this pregnancy.

The concern that alcohol, tobacco, or other substances have harmed the baby can also play a role.

🍷🚬 If this is your concern, take the Tox Test!

Medical concerns relating to the baby are comparatively rare (2%). But an abnormal finding in a diagnostic test can make you feel like your world is crumbling apart.

Financial concerns because of low income, debt, or unemployment are the most significant hurdle for seven percent of women. One percent of women feel pressured by family members, employers, cultural norms, or other factors to get an abortion.

Another one percent of women reach out to us because they became pregnant due to rape.

👤 Rape-Related Pregnancy: Support Options

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Abortion Pros & Cons – Your Self-Evaluation

Are you dealing with this topic on a personal level? Wondering what to do? Answer three multiple-choice questions regarding your present situation. Within seconds your results will arrive on your screen.

Seize This Opportunity: Find Out Why You Are Thinking about Abortion...

You may have recognized yourself in the situations described above… or perhaps your story is entirely different. Either way, it is worth looking beyond the obvious reasons for considering abortion by digging deeper into the underlying causes.

By doing so, your present hardship can turn into an opportunity for you to:

  • become aware of what is truly important to you.
  • work on your relationship and thereby grow even closer to your partner.
  • find out what is worth living and fighting for — and lay the foundation for it.
  • take time for self-care amid these difficulties.

If your mind is reeling during this process and you feel unsure about your next steps, use our free digital counseling tools! Getting a different perspective on this challenging situation may help you recognize how to overcome your obstacles and perceive a way forward.

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Authors & Sources


Verena Küpper,
Social Scientist and Humanities Scholar

Kerstin Dörbecker

Reviewed by Psychologists

Team of Psychologists

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