Psychological Reactions to Abortion
Choosing to have an abortion is usually a difficult decision for a woman and her partner. It means weighing and examining highly personal values and circumstances. Even when the pregnancy is unwanted, one or both partners may feel loss and sadness. Research found that women who felt that the abortion was not primarily their decision and did not feel clear emotional support after the abortion had some emotional distress following abortion (Kimport et al., 2011). However, well-designed studies of psychological reactions following abortion have consistently found that the risk of mental health problems is no greater than for women who continue their pregnancies. Ongoing feelings of sadness, guilt, regret, and depression after an abortion are uncommon (American Psychological Association, 2008; Munk-Olsen, 2011; Steinberg & Finer, 2011).