It’s common for women to feel bad after abortion. The complex range of emotions many women feel after terminating their pregnancy is one aspect of abortion that’s often overlooked. If you’re reading this, now, and expected your fear and uncertainty to be replaced by relief after your abortion, but are instead experiencing sadness, shame, confusion, regret, loneliness, self-betrayal, resentment or rage, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Friends and family members, with good intentions, have likely told you there’s nothing to feel bad about after abortion. And if you’ve tried to find out whether the feelings you’re experiencing are normal or not, chances are you’ve stumbled upon countless websites which have suggested there is no reason for you to feel bad about making a decision which was “in your best interest”.
Even though it’s not politically correct to talk about, experiencing a negative response after abortion is completely normal. In fact, the majority of women who’ve had abortions experience the same thing.
Most people are uninformed or too uncomfortable to talk about the dark side of abortion. Since abortion is a legal procedure, and doctors have vowed to cause no harm to their patients, it’s difficult for some medical professionals to acknowledge the negative effects termination often has on a woman’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
The abortion industry is a billion dollar a year business in our country, which is one reason there are massive efforts made to keep society in the dark about the true nature of what many women are left to deal with after they’ve undergone an abortion.
Common Negative Emotions After Abortion:
Pro-choice advocates will insist the only women who feel bad after abortion are those who are already predisposed to depression, felt pressured into having an abortion, or lack social support, however, according to the Post Abortion Review, the majority of women experience some sort of emotional trauma after their abortion.
- 93% of women experience Guilt after abortion
- 92% of women experience Sorrow after abortion
- 91% of women experience Shame after abortion
- 88% of women experience Depression after abortion
- 85% of women experience Grief after abortion
- 83% of women experience a general Sense of Emptiness after abortion
- 81% of women experience Anger after abortion
- 75% of women experience Bitterness after abortion
- 74% of women experience Despair after abortion
- 70% of women experience Uncontrollable Weeping after abortion
- 63% of women experience Flashbacks to the abortion
- 59% of women reported a Quicker Temper after abortion
- 56% of women experience Suicidal Feelings after their abortion
If you are currently experiencing any of these negative feelings, there are deeply caring, non-judgmental people who are equipped to help you process those feelings. Call or Text 800-848-LOVE (5683).
Denying Your Pain After Abortion
Since abortion is a taboo topic, you may feel alone in your pain. Most women are not proud of having an abortion and aren’t sure who to turn to. Perhaps your parents or partner told you it was the right thing to do and you don’t feel safe sharing your feelings with them now. Or, maybe you did share how you were feeling, but didn’t get the help you needed, so now you feel even more alone and confused.
You’re friends and family love you but, chances are, they aren’t equipped to help sort through the complexity of this type of pain. You may also find comfort in reading the stories of other women who have experienced the same regret you’re feeling right now. My intent in writing this is to validate your heartache and urge you to get counsel from people who can help. It’s important to get the support you need so you don’t begin or continue burying negative feelings post-abortion.
Denial is common but can cause profound harm long-term, so it’s critical you process your true feelings in order to move forward. Some women respond to their post-termination feelings by doing one or more of these four things:
- Compensating: quickly getting pregnant with another child to numb the pain from a pervious abortion
- Rationalizing: the need to come up with reasons why the abortion was a good idea
- Repressing: not conscious of any negative emotions at all after termination
- Suppressing: refusing to acknowledge their true feelings regarding their abortion
Why You Feel Bad After Your Abortion
Regardless of what people have told you, you feel bad because you betrayed yourself by taking the life growing inside of you. You felt afraid, and it seemed like the right decision at the time, but now you’re not so sure. We live in an upside down world and, unfortunately, you’ve been caught in the crosshairs. It’s important to understand how God feels about unborn children, in order to figure out why you feel bad.
This is what the bible says about God’s love and intention for your baby.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
Sweetheart, people made you believe you were only getting rid of a “clump of cells” but that’s not how God sees it. He dreamed of you and your baby before the earth was even formed, and abortion grieves him greatly. The good news is, he is full of compassion and waiting to forgive you — all you have to do is ask. His heart is towards you and he loves you so much.
It’s not popular to say, but the only way to get rid of the guilt, sorrow, shame, depression, grief, emptiness, bitterness and despair you feel is by coming to terms with what has occurred and asking God to forgive you for your part in it.
Healing After Abortion
Many women have found these ten things helpful in getting past the debilitating pain of their abortion and moving forward.
- Be patient with yourself and acknowledge that your recovery will take time and effort. Remember that gestational age doesn’t correlate to the intensity of grief you may be feeling. Each woman’s experience is different.
- Allow yourself to feel emotions and grieve your loss without judging yourself.
- Take responsibility for your abortion and ask God to forgive you.
- Reach out to people who understand what you’re going through and can help.
- Forgive yourself and those who contributed to your abortion.
- Consider giving your baby a name. Giving an aborted baby the dignity of a name is helpful for some, but not all. Do what feels right for you, but know if you have a desire to honor the life of your unborn child in this way, it’s not abnormal.
- Write your baby a letter and share what’s on your heart.
- Mark the calendar and honor her on the day she would’ve been born.
- Remember your child has no more pain or sadness and is in good hands.
- Later on, find a way to transform your abortion trauma into a way to help others.
A similar guide to healing after abortion can be found here.
You may also find 20 creative ways to memorialize your aborted baby helpful.
Regret Taking the Abortion Pill?
I’d be remiss not to mention, reversing the effects of the abortion pill is an option for some women. Many women describe feeling overwhelmed and taking the abortion pill, almost without thinking, and immediately regretting it. A lot of people don’t realize that reversing the effects of the pill is even an option — but it is! You can read success stories at the Abortion Pill Reversal Website. If you want to know if the Abortion Pill Reversal is an option for you, you can call the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline at (877)558-0333 or visit their website to learn more.
Pain After Abortion Resources
- Aborted Women, Silent No More
- Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion
- Secrets of Peace *free download
- Memorial for the Unborn
- Men Effected by Abortion
- Help Someone Else After Abortion
TAKE ACTION: Don’t believe the lie that something is wrong with you if you feel bad after an abortion. Acknowledging your pain is the first step towards a healthy, integrated life. You don’t have to be locked in a cycle of shame and despair any longer. Use the resources provided to get the help you need. These organizations will not shame you for your decision to abort or uncover you in any way. Most of the folks leading them have been right where you are, have felt what you feel, and know how to help.