Psychological Impact

There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in long-term emotional health.1 It is highly unlikely that a woman will be able to know before an abortion how she will deal emotionally with this significant life event after the abortion is over. Therefore, abortion carries with it certain risks to the mental health of women.

Women who have experienced abortion may develop the following:

  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Nightmares
  • Withdrawal
  • Regret and remorse
  • A sense of loss, grief, emptiness
  • Feelings of low self-esteem
  • Preoccupation with "would be" due date of birth
  • Inability to forgive self and others
  • Difficulty bonding with partner or children
  • Eating disorders

Abortion also significantly increases the risk for clinical depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and behavior. 2, 1

1. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2003;58(1):67-79
2. J Child Psychol Psychiatry.2006;47(1):16-24