How Will Abortion Affect Me Mentally?

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, it’s essential to learn about the potential mental health risks so that you can make a fully informed decision.

Read on to learn more about how abortion might affect you mentally. Or, if you want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact Pregnancy Help Center today to connect with one of our caring team members. All appointments and resources are free and confidential. 

Link Between Adverse Mental Health Outcomes and Abortion

Each woman’s emotional reaction to abortion is unique and dictated by many factors, including personal beliefs and whether she made the decision independently or was forced. For some women, abortion can result in negative mental health outcomes that range from mild to severe. 

According to a report by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion (TFMHA), “it is clear that some women do experience sadness, grief, and feelings of loss following termination of a pregnancy, and some experience clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety.”

The report also found that two years after their abortions, 1.5% of the women participating in the study who had abortions “had all the symptoms for abortion-specific post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” 

Furthermore, “compared to their 1-month post-abortion assessments, at 2 years the participating remnant had significantly rising rates of depression and negative reactions and lowering rates of positive reactions, relief, and decision satisfaction.”

Importance of Making Your Own Decision

The risk of experiencing an adverse mental health outcome is greater if you feel at all pressured into getting an abortion. 

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that almost 75% of women who had an abortion felt at least subtly pressured into getting one. And of these women who felt pressured into abortion, many suffered adverse mental health outcomes afterward, including feelings of:

  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Self-hatred
  • Worthlessness
  • Being unworthy of love
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety

Before seeking an abortion, it’s critical that you are fully informed and choose this decision of your own free will without any outside influence—your mental health depends on it. 

Next Steps

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming, especially as you consider your options. But you’re not alone in this. At Pregnancy Help Center, we’re here for you. 

We provide free resources, services, and information that can help you make an informed decision about how to move forward—because we care about your health. While the decision is yours, we’re here to offer support. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment.