Anticipated Emotional Effects of an Abortion

Anticipated Emotional Effects of an Abortion

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What kinds of psychological responses are to be expected after an abortion?

🛤 Could an abortion affect me long-term? – Take the Test

  • Not every woman suffers after an abortion; some feel a sense of relief.
  • Many women struggle mentally and emotionally when coming to terms with their abortion.
  • Some women suffer from depression or other undesired emotional responses immediately after the abortion, or later on.

Try: ⚖️ "Abortion: Yes or no?" - Take the Abortion Test

Could an abortion affect me long-term? – Your Self-Evaluation

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How Do You Feel After an Abortion?

Considering abortion usually coincides with a severe emotional battle, many elements can factor in: the relationship, aspirations, fear, and past experiences. Just as each and every woman experiences an abortion differently, the post-abortion experience of women also differs significantly.

In counseling, we commonly see the following scenarios play out (some women experience both simultaneously):


Immediately following an abortion, many women feel a sense of relief. The burden of having to make such an enormous decision is gone - and many concerns are now nullified. Initially, these women are able to cope with an abortion well, and continue life as normal.

Painful Emotions

Other women regret their abortion right away. Again, others feel grief and sadness after the sense of relief has worn off. Some women seem unfazed — only to be troubled by emotional distress years later.

These troubling emotions are often described as a feeling of emptiness, grief, guilt, a sudden desire to have children, disappointment, vulnerability, numbness,...

Rushed decisions are more likely to lead to regret, as are choices which were solely based on reason, while disregarding one’s emotions.

Potential Psychological Effects of an Abortion

An abortion can cause serious emotional distress. Some women sink into a deep, dark hole around the time of the baby’s due date. Others ruefully remember each anniversary of the abortion. A crisis can also be triggered by a pregnancy, whether her own or someone else’s.

Both physical and emotional symptoms are common — immediately following the abortion or later on. Some women bear their pain silently for years or even decades.

Post Abortive Mental Health Concerns

These are possible symptoms of post-abortion trauma:

  • Moodiness or depression
  • Guilt
  • Difficulty sleeping; nightmares
  • Falling into addiction
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety Disorder

Women frequently share about relationship struggles after an abortion. Having undergone an abortion for one’s partner's sake puts the relationship under increased strain. At this point, break-ups are common.

Physical Reactions to Mental Distress (Psychosomatic Reactions)

When an abortion leads to psychological stress, physical reactions are possible. Symptoms may include migraines, back pain, or increased severity of menstrual cramps.

Questions and Concerns?

Are you pregnant and wondering what to do? If so, you are probably flooded by many thoughts, concerns, and emotions. You may feel anxious about either of the possible choices.

You are not alone! We would love to come alongside you as you navigate this difficult road. Our judgement-free resources aim to bring clarity, so that you can discern the path that suits your lived experience:

Post Abortion Testimonials

Many women have reached out to us at profemina, sharing their grief over their abortion. Here is what two of them wrote:

"... I had an abortion… and now I deeply regret it. I long to have a baby more than ever before... what I did tears my heart into a thousand pieces... I am constantly thinking about how far along I would be, boy or girl ... my partner is trying to comfort me, but doesn't really get it..."

“...I can’t stop thinking that I should have kept the baby, and that everything would have worked out. It would not have been easy, but it would have also been wonderful... I should have taken more time to decide… I wish I could make it all undone. This was not what I really wanted, not my choice. My path would have included the baby. All of a sudden it has become clear to me that it would have been good to keep the baby, and I am unsure whether I will ever get over it. It hurts so badly. I want my baby back.”

We want you to make a decision that you feel good about in the long run.

You may also like:


  • Coleman: Resolution of Unwanted Pregnancy. journal of youth and adolescence (6/2006)
  • Quotes from letters written to profemina
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