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Woman's New Life Clinic

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What Are the Mental Health Effects from Abortion?

September 30, 2022

What Are the Mental Health Effects From Abortion?

The emotional recovery after an abortion is often a journey that women face alone because–let’s face it– abortion can be a hard subject to talk about with your friends and family. 

Perhaps parents might give a guilt trip for having the procedure, while at the same time a boyfriend might not understand having any unsettled feelings about it.

But if you have had an abortion, it is important to talk about the psychological impacts with others, so that you know you are not isolated in your feelings about the event. 

Many women struggle mentally after having an abortion.

Is It Common to Have Mental Health Effects From Abortion? 

Almost thirty years ago, the Journal of Social Issues filled an entire issue with contributions about the psychological effects of induced abortion. In conclusion of the issue, Editor Dr. Gregory Wilmoth said, “There is now virtually no disagreement among researchers that some women experience negative psychological reactions postabortion.”

The National Library of Medicine published research in 2018 that agreed, “both sides agree that (a) abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion; (b) the abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.”

Some women are more predisposed to having mental health problems after an abortion due to pressure from people in their circle, pre-existing mental health issues like anxiety and depression, or moral ethics that oppose abortion.

What Causes Mental Health Effects After an Abortion?

Many women who get an abortion think they are just going to have the procedure and be done with their unwanted pregnancy forever.

What they don’t realize is that the event often stays with them long after the abortion is over. It sends down roots, and in time, shoots up a harvest of emotions that keep popping up as reminders of what took place.

Abortion doesn’t un-do the pregnancy

One post-abortive woman told ABC, “I felt relieved at first just because the morning sickness and the nausea was gone. But ever since then it’s been a lot of regret and so many emotions… it’s almost like the longer time goes by, it gets deeper and deeper.”

The realization that the abortion didn’t really end their situation in the way they thought it would often creates mental and emotional instability for women.

Common Signs of Mental Stress After an Abortion include:

  • Self-harming behaviors like eating disorders or cutting(You may be punishing yourself subconsciously as a result of unprocessed guilt or shame.)
  • Knots in your stomach from lingering guilt you feel for violating your moral code
  • Nightmares about the abortion and what you experienced 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Depression that leads to outbursts of crying, the inability to enjoy anything, and even suicidal thoughts
  • Apathy and numbness towards everything
  • Preoccupation with becoming pregnant again
  • Difficulty bonding with other children

What Can You Do?

If you have experienced an abortion, you need a healthy and safe place to process it. Here at Woman’s New Life Clinic we would love to be your listening ear. Our professional counselors have helped many women find hope and healing after an abortion, and we are here for you, too. 

Please do not choose to walk this journey alone. Schedule a free consultation with us today!