Abortion is a permanent decision that terminates a pregnancy, and it’s associated with physical and mental health risks. While the physical risks are talked about more often, recent studies have shed light on the potential mental health effects that some women experience after an abortion. 

Read on to learn more about the potential mental health effects of abortion. Or, if you’re looking to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact Stillwater Life Services to speak with one of our caring team members. 

Mental Health Effects of Abortion

Every woman is unique and will respond to abortion differently. However, recent studies have shown that many women experience adverse mental health effects after an abortion. 

A report by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion (TFMHA) states 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.” 

Another study found that women who had an abortion experienced “deep feelings of loss, existential concerns, and declines in quality of life. More specifically, common negatives included feelings about termination of a life, regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, compromised self-appraisals, and self-destructive behaviors.” 

Risk Factors

While every woman has the potential to experience adverse mental health effects after an abortion, your risk is greater if you feel pressured—even subtly—into getting one. 

Another recent study by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that nearly 75% of women who had an abortion felt at least subtly pressured into making the decision, and many of these women suffered psychological effects afterward: “Women reported symptoms of depression (14.4%), guilt (14%), shame, regret, self-hatred, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of being unworthy of love, drug or alcohol addiction (9%), low self-esteem, anxiety, and thoughts or attempts of suicide (6.2%).”

Next Steps

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone in this. At Stillwater Life Services, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources, information, and educational courses that can help you decide the best path forward and feel encouraged along the way. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our welcoming team members.