90% Of Women Who Had Abortions Felt Relieved

This morning while perusing the internet, I stumbled across another study. At first glance, I thought it was going to be some sort of nonsense study that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately like brunettes having better sex. But it wasn’t. It was actually a really serious study on abortion. Specifically, it’s about women’s emotions post-abortion.

I’ve been thinking about this all day while trying to figure out how to approach it because abortion is a very controversial and sensitive topic. I’m not here to tell anyone whether abortion is right or wrong because everyone believes differently.

But I personally do think that women should have the option. I wouldn’t have told you that years ago, but as someone who thought she was pregnant as a teen and someone who’s sat with a friend as she looked at a positive pregnancy test, knowing you have the option is relieving.

And according to this study, 90% of women surveyed felt relief after they had abortions. Researchers from the University of California “studied over 800 women who sought abortion services between 2008 and 2010. The participants were asked about six emotions: relief, happiness, regret, guilt, sadness and anger.”

This study aims to explore something that I’ve always heard, “The notion that abortion causes poor mental health has gained traction, even though it is not supported by research.”

Back in 2009, a study was released by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University and her colleagues and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. The study “suggested that abortion was associated with long-term mental health problems like panic attacks, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.” And this study has since been used to support laws that women must be counseled on mental health risks of abortion. This study has also since been seen as flawed.

While some women did experience feelings of regret if the abortion was closer to the gestational age limit, many of these women experienced negative feelings because they were previously denied abortions. And even the majority of women who did have negative feelings or who expressed regret still felt it was right: “Most (95%) women who had obtained the abortion felt it was the right decision, as did 89% of those who expressed regret.”

The study acknowledges that, of course, every woman is different and will experience various emotions depending on herself and her situation. I think it’s important to show that while many of these women did feel negative emotions, so many of them felt relief. And the majority of women who experiences negative emotions had difficulty getting an abortion or got an abortion when the pregnancy may not have been unplanned.

I’m not sitting here reading this and thinking that any woman who has an abortion is going to just feel relief. But I am comforted knowing that the women who participated in this study did feel relieved even though they may have had negative feelings as well.

When I sat in my bathroom alone at 17, I thought about it. I wondered what my options were. I wondered how I would feel if I did get an abortion. I wondered if I would feel massive regret, if I would hate myself, if I would completely fall apart. I fortunately had the relief of a doctor saying, “You’re not pregnant.” 

I think it’s important to recognize that you can still feel relief even if you have negative feelings as well. And perhaps this study might bring some comfort to women who are struggling with those negative feelings.

What do you think about this study? Do you think a lot of women feel relieved or feel regret? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Cee

    As a pro lifer, I’ve always been against abortion till I had to make the choice myself. It’s not an easy decision. I was two weeks and three days pregnant. Dont judge people who have abortions, it’s never easy and you’ll never understand till you’re in their shoes. I thank God my baby is in a better place. I couldn’t give him/her the life they deserved. God knows best.

  • Lea

    As someone who worked at an abortion clinic for 7 years, I find it now quite disturbing. Although I do not sit and scold girls for having it, I must say there is a lot about it we won’t tell you. I cleaned up a lot. The bodies of aborted babies got thrown in dumpsters pretty much. What really got to me was whenever I performed one, I could feel the baby twitch. Like a startled type of twitch. For years I didn’t think much until my daughter got pregnant at 14 and I performed one on her. When that baby twitched and got thrown away, I cried in secret for weeks. Those babies had nerves. My grandchild had nerves. They felt they’re heads being crushed. Now, respect my opinion as I will respect yours, but to me, that is murder. And no longer do I find it a choice someone can make because it’s their body. I no longer believe it is just their body. It’s someone else in their body. And I can’t bring myself to support it. My daughter committed suicide 5 months later.

    • MJ

      I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and grandchild. That is so tragic. I’m glad that you came to realize the truth about abortion and human rights. I hope that you can continue to educate people about the truth, and warn young women.

  • Abby

    Even at 20 and faced with the prospect of being pregnant, I would still consider abortion. Unfortunately, where I’m from it’s illegal which is not only unfair but an anxiety. Having the choice of a safe abortion is extremely valuable, and every woman should be allowed to make her OWN decision – no one forcing her, no one coercing her. If a woman decided to get an abortion on her own accord, it’s not surprising that she would feel relief.

    • Maria Azucena Luisjuan

      I make the decision of not having sex and it has liberated me of guilt, shame and hurt. Trust me when i say im relived to not being pregnant because in the first place im not doing something that consequently will bring a pregnancy.

  • kcarpin

    Honestly, as a teen who has had an abortion, I felt relief. Yes, I felt regret a little, but because I regretted being so stupid as to have gotten pregnant in the first place. My boyfriend and I both agreed that it was the best choice for all three of us. We weren’t financially prepared and I was going away to college. We would not have been able to provide for the child even while I was pregnant, let alone after it was born. That child would have had a terrible, underprivileged life. Knowing I had the option saved my sanity. My boyfriend and I have both agreed since then to abstain from full out sex until we are ready to support a child. I don’t regret the abortion itself, and I do not believe it should be used as an ‘easy way out”. I am relieved because I know that when I am ready, I will be able to provide a wonderful life for a child.
    If anyone has questions, comments, concerns, or just wants to talk, fell free to contact me. My username on here is kcarpin. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

  • haggis

    I don’t quite understand the people that say that abortion is murder, or that it’s killing people. You are essentially destroying that baby, and choosing to do so, but studies have shown that babies only become self-conscious and self-aware at the age of 1 year. You aren’t killing a person, because the person isn’t there yet. By not having sex and getting pregnant for every period you’re having you’re doing the same thing as early abortion. Just kind of getting rid of the egg. It technically is a foetus at that stage but really it is a large egg with very basic human features. It’s not killing a person and denying them of life any more than a period is.

    • l

      it actually is killing, i mean the baby could have lived but not any more, so you are killing. Luckily in my country it’s illeagl, even though some women find the way to do it. I aldso think that even if you got the baby by rape it should still be illegal, I mean it feels like ”i have been raped so i have the right to murder someone” stupid stupid stupid

      • Gemini

        Ok so you are saying that when a girl/woman gets rape it is stupid tochoose abortion?!?! And that is stupid?! No! You are stupid!!

    • MJ

      I don’t believe that babies are only self-aware after a year of life. My three month old niece is very aware of herself and everyone around her.

  • Sula

    Annequa I couldn’t even take your response seriously since you come across as really illiterate. You would expect people to respect your opinion so you shouldn’t judge others for having an abortion or consider one.

    Anyway I do think this is accurate. I do agree that a minority of women will find it very upsetting and could even be haunted by it for the rest of their life. However this is a minority; most women whom have had abortion know it was the best decision for them personally. If I became pregnant now (at 17) I’m almost certain I would have an abortion because I’m no where near ready for 9 months of carrying another life or being in labour which would seriously affecting my still growing body. Also I’m not responsible enough to be responsible for another human life for 18 years (legally).

    • Ilovehumans

      You pro- choice people need to learn the facts on abortion. Many women do feel guilt after getting an abortion, some even commit suicide. So in fact, it’s you guys who don’t feel remorse for them. There are many scientific facts that unborn babies are human, yet people don’t know this because of what liberal propaganda( such as this site) tells us. If this site really cared about girls, they would tell us the cons of abortion or do multiple studies. You can’t just make an inference based on one study alone. I’m sorry if this hurts feelings but abortion is not something we should take so lightly. Love says sacrificing your life for someone else. Abortion says sacrificing someone else’s life for your own. Please consider this.

    • MJ

      That is very selfish. Nine months is not that long in terms of an entire lifetime that you have ahead of you, and the life your child would have if you allowed him/her to live. Adoption is always an option if you can’t raise the baby yourself. Why deny another person life for just a few months of “freedom.”

  • Becca

    Before you try and say that every woman has relief after having an abortion, you should sit with the women who will bring you to tears with their stories. My step-mother had an abortion because she felt like it was her only option after her then-husband told her that it was her only option (she had nowhere else to go and had two kids already), she cries about it to this very day. Her story brought me to tears and you can see the regret and the guilt etched on her face. Yes, these women do exist! And yes, they do feel regret and guilt!

    • Nathalie

      Only that’s not what the article said at all. Even the title of the article said 90 % of women felt relief, not 100 %. Just as not everyone will feel relief, not everyone will feel regret and guilt. It is a very personal decision.

    • Jossy

      She was FORCED into having an abortion. That makes it very different from those who CHOOSE to have an abortion.

  • Nathalie

    I think this is very true, and it challenges the notion that abortion is an inherently terrible thing. If you are in a position where you choose to have an abortion, it’s likely because it was unplanned and you knew you couldn’t support a baby, so it makes sense that once you are no longer pregnant, you would feel relief.

  • Annequa

    i Think Abortion is bad unless you were raped . Other then that if you was women enough to lay on your back && have sex then you should be women enough to have && take care of your baby . Even if it is the struggle , Don’t kill an inaccent person for your mistakes ..

    • Nathalie

      It’s really everybody’s own decision to make. Pregnancy is not a punishment for having sex. There is nothing wrong with having sex. Abortion is not ‘killing an innocent person’, it is an option that there is nothing wrong with.

  • ????

    I would personally REALLY regret it if i had an abortion. I mean,you are killing a human being before it even has the chance to live. I would carry that thought with me every single day of my life. I understand why people do it and i have nothing against them. I would just never see it as an option for myself.

  • Jillian

    I think the study is accurate. After having an abortion, a woman might feel relieved because she is no longer pregnant and does not have to deal with the responsibilities that come with pregnancy or motherhood. A woman that became pregnant via rape would certainly be relieved. As for regret, every woman is different. She might feel relieved right after it’s done, but could regret it later on in life. Or she could regret it right then, realizing maybe there were other options for her.