Abortion is a highly personal issue. Each woman must decide for herself if abortion is the right outcome for an unintended pregnancy.
Experts say, “Having a medical abortion [the abortion pill method] is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences.”
Learn about the potential for abortion’s mental health complications for at least some women and find out if you are at risk.
Is There a Connection Between Abortion and Mental Health Problems?
Just like each woman’s abortion experience is unique to her, so is her response. Many women say they feel relief immediately following the termination. But many women also say within days, months, or years, they begin to have emotions like guilt, regret, and shame.
Different reasons can affect a woman’s response to her abortion.
Was she pressured or forced to have one? At what point in her pregnancy did she have the procedure? Did she want to be a mother? Does she have other children? Was someone there to support her, or was she alone?
So many factors make it hard to analyze emotions.
One study did determine there is a definite connection between abortion and mental health issues for at least some women. They found the following:
- Having an abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.
- The abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.
- There are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after an abortion.
What Mental Health Problems Are Possible?
Some of the mental health issues that women can deal with after an abortion are the following:
- A sense of loss or emptiness
- Inability to make decisions
- Substance abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Sleep disorders
Could I Have Mental Health Problems?
The study determined the most vulnerable women were those who had a pre-existing mental health problem. Sadly, recent research has suggested that a couple of generations are struggling with their mental health.
Here are some statistics:
- A Gallup poll revealed that less than half (47%) of Gen Z are thriving in life.
- Psychiatrist.com states that 42% of Gen Z are diagnosed with a mental health condition.
- A Pew Research Center study identified millennials as having higher rates of depression in comparison to any other generation.
How Can New Life Help Me?
If you are feeling grief or anxiety due to an abortion, help is available. You must have someone to talk to that you can trust. Reach out to one of our compassionate team members to speak confidentially about your experience and emotions.
You are not alone in your struggle. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression due to other issues in your life, speak with one of our medical professionals or contact SAMHSA. Their national helpline is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Contact us. We are here for you.