A new study that tracked hundreds of women who had abortions found over 95 percent of participants felt it was the right decision. Up to three years after the procedure, the relief and reduced stress outweighed any negative emotions.
The study researched late-term abortions and first-trimester abortions, which can be performed in a one-day procedure if less than 14 weeks have passed since the first day of the last menstrual period. Both groups’ emotions post-abortion were about the same.
It was commonly believed women experience damaging mental health affects after an abortion, with late-term abortions being more traumatic still. There’s no scientific evidence to back either claim, though it hasn’t stopped restrictions on the procedure. Seven states in the U.S. require compulsory counseling on the negative psychological effects of abortions on pregnant women.
This particular study was led by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a think tank in California who’s dedicated tons of research on women attempting to obtain abortion care. Their findings have built on their work from a couple years ago, where they interviewed women one week after an abortion; the results were similar to the ANSHIRH’s most recent study. The recurring emotion throughout the studies was relief.
The ANSHIRH believes external factors contribute to negative attitudes, post-abortion, more than anything. Women who ended a planned pregnancy – usually due to irreversible, fetal health defects – were more prone to negative emotions. Women with more social support, on the other hand, reported fewer adverse feelings.
Despite the lack of evidence against abortions, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get the procedure done in the U.S. In the past five years, over 300 separate abortion restrictions have been enacted in the States.