The Emotional Effects of Abortion

The Emotional Effects of Abortion

92% Emotional deadening (Reported either feeling less in touch with their emotions or feeling a “need to stifle their emotions”)
86% Increased tendency toward anger or rage (48% reported they became more violent when angered)
86% Had a fear of others learning of the abortion or a greater sense of fear for unknown reasons
82% Greater feelings of loneliness or isolation
75% Had less self-confidence
73% Sexual dysfunctions (Increased pain during intercourse, promiscuity, frigidity, or loss of pleasure)
63% Denial (Respondents were asked, “Was there a period of time when you would have denied the existence of any doubts or negative feelings about your abortion?” Of those responding yes, the average period of denial that they reported was 5.25 years.)
58% Suffered from insomnia or nightmares
57% Greater difficulty in maintaining or developing relationships
56% Suicidal feelings
53% Increased or began use of drugs or alcohol
39% Eating disorders which began after the abortion (binge eating, anorexia, or bulimia)
28% Attempted suicide

This is a partial list of symptoms drawn from a survey of 260 womenwho, on average, had their first abortion 10.6 years prior to being surveyed. These women were volunteers who either were seeking post-abortion counseling, had participated in post-abortion counseling in the past, or had a history of prior abortion and were seeking help at a crisis pregnancy center to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term.

These findings appear to be representative of the reactions of the group of women who experience negative emotional reactions to abortion. These figures may not be representative of the entire population of women who have had abortions, of whom very little is known.

For more information on this study and other research, visit the research page at our web site.

See also Abortion Risks: A list of major psychological complications related to abortion for more detailed information.

If you or someone you know needs help coping with a past abortion, please contact one of the groups listed on our healing page at http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/ or call 1-800-712-HELP.

 


Comments

The Emotional Effects of Abortion — 213 Comments

  1. I dunno what to do, I’m pregnant and I have to have an abortion to keep my family together , it’s not my partners ( we already have 4 kids) its the man i been having an affair with,and I’m petrified of having the abortion, (my lover wants me to keep it but my partner said if i do hes gonna leave our family home) having researched it and reading stories of women that have gone thru it it scares me to death , nearly all the women regretted it and ended up depressed n suicidal… I know that will be me- I want this baby but my partner will leave if I keep it help!

    • Dear Hayley,

      You are in a terrible bind. You’re in our prayers.

      You are right to be scared of having an abortion which clearly goes against everything in your heart and will be a plague on your efforts to get your life back together.

      I STRONGLY encourage you to look at our pregnancy help page and start talking to people at the pregnancy help centers. Hopefully, one or more can help you get relationship counseling. If there is anyway to salvage your relationship with your partner, it’s going to be through counseling, not through having an abortion…which will likely just make things worse between the two of you and then you’ll still end up without him.

      The most important thing I can tell you is that having an abortion is never an effective way of saving or improving a relationship…whether the child is your partner’s or someone else’s, as in your case. It just adds more problems to your life and your relationship.

      Maybe, in the course of relationship counseling he can accept being a parent to this child from your affair. Men can do this if they believe you really love them and are committed to not having an affair in the future. If you can’t make that commitment, then you don’t love him enough to try to hold onto this relationship, do you?

      The fact that you posted a comment here demonstrates that your heart is screaming out to not have this abortion. This is one case where you should listen to your heart because you know it is telling you a deep moral and personal truth . . . having an abortion will scar your mind, heart and soul. And if either of the men in your life really care about you, they won’t push you into this act of self-destruction.

      Don’t give into despair. Don’t do what you know is the wrong thing, something that will bring years of hurt and grief. It’s better to lose a man who is not committed to loving you than to lose a child who will love you forever.

      You are in my prayers.

  2. Hi… I’m not sure if anyone ever looks at these comments anymore, but I figured I would give it a shot.
    I’m seventeen now, still incredibly young and admittedly naive. But at one point I did think I had the answers to everything. When I was sixteen, I was raped by my former step-father, and aborted a child at about nine weeks as a result. There were so many reasons why I thought, and still do think, it was the best decision. I don’t want to be that person who says that they could have never loved their potential child, but I knew that at the time, more than anything, I resented my situation. I never hated the life inside of me, but simply regarded it as… well, nothing at all. I had no emotional attachment to it. I wanted to finish school, live up to my bright future. There was no means for me to care for it and no way I could ever put my family through the hardship that raising a child would be. That is just the reality of it.
    Call me silly, but before the abortion, I sort of said sorry to my stomach. I don’t know if that was a mistake and is contributing at all to my emotional turmoil now. I asked not to see the ultrasound, not to hear the heartbeat, and checked the no box to anything that might make me regret my decision. The people at the clinic were so nice to me, so comforting. I have no scarring in regards to that.
    But as I redressed, I happen to catch sight of something the doctor neglected to remove from the screen: The ultrasound of my baby. In spite of having no regrets, the image still haunts me.
    I have dreams that I took the pregnancy to term, and can see myself loving the child in spite of the background it came from. However, in no way do I wish that I had had it. Yet I’m still terribly, terribly sad. A horrible sense of guilt still hangs over me, and I find myself still apologizing to a baby that is no longer there… I don’t really know what to make of it.
    I’ve tried to speak to my mom about it, but she doesn’t really understand. When she asks me if I regret the abortion, I answer no with confidence. I tell her that I don’t “regret” it, but I’m really sad that it had to happen, and I don’t think she really gets the emotion I have for it. As long as she hears that I’m not regretting, I think she shrugs it off. She calls me strong, she calls me her hero… But I don’t feel like one at all.
    The only other person I could talk to is my older sister. She would take the time to get my counseling if I needed it. Trouble is, I could never burden her like that again, especially now that her and her husband are expecting now as well. I’m not sad about this, though. It was a planned pregnancy, after all- they love each other very much and I’m excited to bring a niece or nephew into the world that I can give my love to as well. I’m just afraid that bringing these things up right now would be wrong of me. I don’t want to make her sad or upset when anything about babies should excite her.
    Can anyone offer some helpful advice?

    • Dear “Crim,”

      Your feelings make perfect sense to many of those who have had abortions, and certainly every post-abortion healing counselor worth her salt would be able to immediately tune in to where you are.

      The word “regret” doesn’t resonate with your feelings because your abortion was “the right” rational choice for all the reasons you mentioned, and probably many more. Plus, given your situation, being pregnant after rape in which there is widespread social approval for abortion, that to adds to the sense that it was the right decision, and if it was the right decision how can one regret doing what was right and had to be done?

      So, on the head level, there’s not much argument for regret. But at the heart level, you experienced a death . . . not only in your life, but within your body. Whether you call it a potential human life or an unborn child is just semantics which either de-emphasize or emphasize the “value” of the life that was growing inside you. And on an emotional level, that life had value . . . and potentially tremendous value . . . and you experienced the loss of that life (which summons up feelings of grief) and also consented to an abortion which caused that loss (which summons up feelings of guilt).

      Your experience and what you are going through now is not uncommon and there are many post-abortion counseling programs, most of which are free or have nominal cost if you can afford to pay a little, that can help you work through the grief, loss and guilt. A few may also be able to help you work through the related and intertwined issues related to the sexual abuse you suffered. Please read our tips and referrals page for post-abortion healing programs. From what little I know of your case, I’m inclined to recommend that you try to attend a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend, but you’ll need to use your own best judgment in selecting . . . and perhaps trying more than one program.

      The goal of any good program is to help you first to have support to go through (or even restart) the grieving process so you can finish processing the grief the same way you would if you experienced the death of a friend or family member. In the case of abortion, this grief process is often blocked by internal or social barriers. This is why one of the most popular books on post-abortion healing is called “Forbidden Grief.”

      You can and will be able to process and reconcile this entire experience in your life if you are patient with yourself and persistent in seeking the help of experienced post-abortion counselors. As described in our tips, if you try a program or counselor and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, please try again. In complex cases such as yours, a less experienced post-abortion counselor may just not be the right person for you.

      Don’t give up. You are in my prayers.

  3. Hi,

    I have 5 weeks inside me; but will be aborting it after 3 weeks as doc said they want to see heart beat to abort it.Its just been a year and half for our marriage and we never wanted that too early and was very careful about precautions in those unsafe days; but some how my cycle changed and missed my period and got conceived not..last scan i saw embryo sav as it was too early …I am strong enuf and have not shared with anyone except my husband.but sometimes i feel realy bad as mom gets emotional for child.I just moved year back and after so much of big hunt finally got job 3 months before.I am so profound now.My hubby keeps me happy and being very supportive.I feel very scared when it comes to surgery.i have to wait for couple of weeks to get terminated.you know its really hard for a girl to feel that baby inside her and get terminated after some weeks.I cant keep it becoz we never planned I am not physically and mentally prepared for it if it comes out.& also its so hard to be with that baby inside me.I just dont know how to convince myself in this.sometimes feel strong and sometimes I feel low.I just dont know whats gonna happen ;I wish keeping myself busy with something might help me to come out of abortion.Plz help.
    thanks

  4. I’m 16 I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of the year I recently had a forced abortion in March but now I can’t talk to another boy and I can’t get over that I could’ve been holding my child

    • Dear Yosheena,

      Our hearts and prayers go out to you. We encourage you to find a person trained in post-abortion healing who can listen to you in a safe, supportive environment and may be able to help you to find the healing you really need. Such healing will help you in future relationships both with guys and with your future children. IF you just try to shove your abortion experience behind you without proper healing, it can disrupt your future relationships. Please check out our tips and list of resources to find a free post-abortion healing program near you.

  5. im so torn right now im 19 and just found out i was pregnant… my ex boyfriend (child’s dad) told me have fun been a single mother. his family is all for having an abortion.. my family is strictly against it…. my ex struggles with addictions and very abusive . he choked me when we were having a conversation about it. he wants nothing to do with me and our child. im torn because i wasnt suppose to have kids and now i got blessed… but ive also been a victim of sexual assult by my own father. im scared i cant protect my child & i know that my ex knows it hurts me the most.

    i just dont know if im strong enough to deal with having to tell my child where his family is let alone his grandpa.. i came from a broken family and this was the biggest things i feared. my child growing up without a dad.. i feel like my ex and his family is over powering my thoughts. hes used everything ive ever told him against me…. my family is there for me and want me to keep my baby.. im seriously just scared.. growing up the way i did took me a long time to accept to this day i dont know if i actually accepted it. im scared im not emotionally ready but i know i can do it .. its just my inner fears thats making me read about abortions… im scared if i get one i will not be able to handle the stress , you woman are strong who have done it. i just need some advice on this.. i feel alone but i have my own family 🙁 i only came out about my dad 5 months ago & still dealing with the emotions everyday… 🙁 I NEED SOME ADVICE PLZ HELP ME ….

    • Stay strong, Alicia. You are so lucky to have family that want to help and support you. I’m sure it is still scary, but you are really blessed to have anyone in your corner. The good news is that as time goes by, more and more people will be there to help you.

      Regarding the ex boyfriend and his family, consider getting a restraining order to keep him away and prevent his even communicating with you and hassling you. You might be able to get free legal help from an abused women’s shelter or a pregnancy help center.

      Your history of being sexually abused magnifies the negative effects that you would be more likely to experience if you had an abortion. Adding another trauma (abortion) on top of the traumas you have already faced will just make things worse. Having the courage to stand up for yourself and your baby, and trusting that God has a plan for your future and your child’s (which includes how he or she will adjust and accept your past and the family issues involved), are all steps in your healing process related to being a victim of abuse by your father. It shows that you aren’t being controlled by your past but are making the best decisions you can.

      There are a lot of resources, including just good new friends, to help you. Please look at our resource page for women who are pregnant. Obviously, support from your family is best, but the additional support you can get from people trained and with resources to help you will be of help to all of you. If you need someone to call, you can call us at 217.525.8202 — though all we can offer is a supportive ear. It’s really the pregnancy resource centers that can give you the most help, both before and after your baby is born.

      Don’t let your ex bully you . . . or his family or any of his friends. Get a restraining order and don’t hesitate to call the police and have it enforced. His efforts to push you into an abortion is abuse. Don’t put up with it.

      Have courage. Be patient. It is most likely that someday, in God’s own good timing, He will bring a man into your life who is not only worthy and deserving of your love but who will also be a great dad for your child . . . and your future children. But you can’t get too caught up in worrying about all the future possibilities. Today, do the most important thing . . . protect yourself and your child from the small mindedness of your ex and his family.

      You are in our prayers.

  6. I had unprotected sex once with my boyfriend. I took the morning after pill too late. I came to him crying that i was pregnant, and he talked to me into getting an abortion. He said he has to finish school and is working, and he is also not from this country(but is a permanent resident) He said he wanted to do this for our future. He wanted to stay together but i was so angry and upset i just wanted to forget it, and move on, and i was emotionally ready to check out. He didn’t really want to let me go, but he can’t even talk about our future together it frustrates me so much, he frustrates me to the point of feeling angry and depressed because his communication style is so unlike mine. We are on and off and he’s a good guy i think but sometimes he seems so cold , i can’t handle it. I was fine after that, making small talk with him, trying to be friends, but he says he misses me wants to see me. so i give in and get emotionally involved again. He recently dropped a bomb, that crippled me. He confessed that he found out three months ago that he has a child that was born after he left the country and is with his mom, apparently she informed his mom of the child and now the 4 year old is living with her. He says he doesn’t want to fight with me, and i know he loves me, but i don’t know what to do, im so angry and sad. I lashed out at him, he said he wanted to start a new chapter with me, but needed to tell me that first. I’ve had some choice words to say, and told him i love all people as well as your child. I went on about our abortion and what it meant to me, and how this reminds me of that. I blame him and the pain is too much, i had some depression and anxiety before but this seems to amplify it. My family and friends think im just fine, i put on a great show. But when im alone, im in so much anguish that it hurts. I can’t afford a therapist, i have too many bills. I feel guilty for feeling depressed when alot of people have less than me. Btw he is from africa and he always wonders why i cry, i think this is because he has seen serious hardships.

    • Dear Rachael,

      The good news is that you don’t need to be able to afford a therapist to get help. In fact, since very few therapists are trained in post-abortion counseling, seeing an untrained therapist might not only be a waste of money but might also set you back even more.

      Please read our page with tips on post-abortion healing and referrals to find a program that you can participate in–generally, free of charge, or for only a small amount. Some programs, like the Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreat, can be done with your partner. In your case, I think it would be extremely helpful if you were able to convince him to participate in the program with you . . . as support for you, and also so he more fully understands what you are going through, and also, perhaps, how this whole experience has affected him in ways he (and you) may not fully realize.

      You are in our prayers.

  7. i wish i never had to go through this, i dont sleep , i cry all the time. i act strong but im hurt i feel horrible. im19 in college playing college basketball trying to be sucessful , i think it was the right thing for me but it hurts so bad. my boyfriend broke up with me when i told him i was , it was my first time tooo. i just feel like ill never get feelings for anyone ever again. i also feel like its written on my forhead and it wont come off i cant take it anymore.i feel like i dont even deserve to be happy and have kids in the furture. will it ever become easier to live with ?

    • Dear Georgie, we strongly encourage you to read our tips on post-abortion healing and to find a program that you can participate in. With the right help from people who are actually trained in this field (and most often, who have also been through the same experience), things will get better and you will be able to look toward the future without being bound by your past. Don’t lose hope. But do reach out for help.

  8. I had an abortion a month ago and still can’t forget this experience. I am 21 and father is 25. I found out I was pregnant two weeks after we broke up and I told him straight away that I wasn’t killing a baby. The reply I got was “I’m not saying you should but if you keep the baby, you know your going to be a single mum right” That was it for me, i couldn’t bear the thoughts of my child not having a father. So I made him book an appointment for me to get an abortion which he was more than happy to do. He booked the appointment and I intentionally missed it. That night he called me upset and was cussing me the whole time on the phone and threatened to leave the country. I just couldn’t do it alone so I decided to have an abortion. I cried when I saw the ultrascan. I knew I should have walked out but I didn’t and now my baby is dead!
    I cry every night before I go to sleep because I wanted to keep the baby. I was only 8 weeks but I had a physical connection with my baby. It always used to make cute sounds and I used to talk to it. When I had my follow up appointment and was told the pregnancy is gone, I broke down in tears because I didn’t want my baby to die, I wanted it to survive, I feel like a murderer ….

    • Dear Yvonne,

      Sadly, your story is so very typical. They guy pressuring for the abortion with threats of abandonment and the woman left holding the emotional baggage of betraying her maternal desires and moral beliefs because of the fears surrounding being abandoned to the unknowns of being a single mother.

      I strongly encourage you to find a post-abortion healing program where you can have someone who can talk to you, and will be both non-judgmental while also respecting your grief and guilt. With support and understanding, you can heal and learn from this experience how to be a better person and how to help others.

      While most of the links to post-abortion healing programs are for programs in the USA, several have affiliated programs in the UK. An internet search will help you to find local resources.

      In my view, the most culpable persons in your tragedy were the doctors who approved and performed your abortion. Technically, under UK law they should only have recommended and performed the abortion if there was evidence that carrying the baby to term posed greater threat to you well being than having a child. There is clear evidence that the risk of death from all causes is higher after an abortion than after childbirth. And also, that the risk of psychological trauma is higher after an abortion . . . especially in cases such as yours where you felt pressured and abandoned by your boyfriend and had so much ambivalence and a desire to not have the abortion. Your abortion probably did not comply with British law and was technically illegal as discussed elsewhere. Conscientious doctors doing proper screening should have identified that you were a bad candidate for abortion and should have referred you to social services to help encourage intervention counseling with you and your boyfriend, and maybe you and your family, all with the intention of helping you to resolve issues and find a way to help you keep the baby…which was what you really wanted to find a way to do. In short, you were the victim of medical negligence that simply rubber stamps every request for abortion and ignores both the emotional and physical risks.

      My heart goes out to you. Do not give up hope. You can find healing, forgiveness, and a way to grow from this painful experience. The best way to start is to find someone at a post-abortion healing ministry that will respect and understand your grief, and will help you through the grief process.

  9. I don’t know what to feel anymore.. I am now 4 month pregnant, and my parents are forcing me into an abortion. They believe that even though I want to keep my baby it’s not worth it at all. Why? Because it belongs to my ex-boyfriend whom I still love.. I loved my boyfriend more than anything or anyone else in this world. We were happily together for almost 3 years, until I had caught him cheating on me. He was talking to another girl behind my back telling her lies about being single and how he wanted to get to know her more.. All my trust for him just dropped completely. Ever since then we argued about killing our baby. That it wasn’t worth keeping it anymore after what he did and that I should just move on and forget about him.. How could I forget about someone I loved for almost 3 years of my life… He promised me after he graduated we would move in together this summer. We found a house, he got a job, an we were ready to settle down. I believed ever little bit of it. I couldn’t wait to raise our child together.. But it’s all gone and over with. He’s gone, his family doesn’t want him seeing me or having any communication with me whatsoever. So does my family. They’re all disappointed in us.. Especially me. I want to keep my child… I don’t want to abort it, having to go through the emotional pain of losing my first love and my first baby an being alone after it all happens. I feel like my life is all over and done with.. My appointment for the abortion is tomorrow… I honestly just want someone to kill me now….. Please…

    • Please listen to your heart. You are describing your pregnancy as “my child” and “my first baby.” You are also torn and ambivalent about having an abortion. All of these are signs that you are at higher risk for much more severe emotional reactions after the abortion. You are just setting yourself up for the double whammy of losing not only your boyfriend for three years, but now also your baby.

      I don’t know if it is better or not for you to forget about your boyfriend or should hope to get him back. I can’t advise you on that. But I know that if you abort your child, then you will suffer that loss FOREVER. There is no chance of getting your baby back.

      Say no to the abortion. If your parents try to make you go, tell the abortionist that you don’t want to abort and are being forced into an unwanted abortion and that you’ll hold him liable if he does it anyway.

      Please call a hotline for a pregnancy help center tonight. There are people and resources to help you. Trust God that somehow He has a plan to make it all work out. I promise you will never regret protecting your child’s life. But if you have an abortion, it appears certain that you will regret it not only immediately but for the rest of your life. While it is certainly possible to find healing after an abortion, you will always carry the emotional scars of an abortion. It’s far better to carry your child and the memories of your courage in protecting and nurturing your child.

      You are in our prayers. Please contact us again. Hopefully with the good news that you have decided to keep your child. If not, contact us when you need help in the future.

  10. I feel like da world is crashing over me! I made da same mistake twice, being pregnant in 2 consecutive years! Last year arnd Jan I got pregnant n did a surgical abortion 4 da very 1st time n it was pretty hectic n painful simultaneously! Got over da physical pain though it was/is hard 4 da emotional 1 to fade away! This year or presently, I’m pregnant AGAIN n my boyfriend n I decided on getting rid of da fetus as I’m still busy with my degree! I already went thru da pains n guilts of doing 1 but I feel I got no choice as I’m afraid my family is gonna bite my head off…help a sista out because I wanna do abortion again ASAP…:-(

    • It is unfortunately very common for women to have more than one abortion. Negative emotional and physical complications increase with multiple abortions.

      We cannot strongly enough encourage you to resist the idea of having another abortion. It is a mistake to think that since you’ve been through it once, even though you hated that experience, that it won’t be as bad or even worse than the last time.

      The big lie is that abortion is about choice, when as you said you feel you have “no choice.” Don’t give into the “easy way out” which just really just exchanges the short term problem of having your family upset into the long term problems, both emotional problems and physical problems, which come from having another abortion.

      Please go to our pregnancy help page to find people and resources that can help untie that knot which says “you have no choice” and will instead help you to finish your degree, work things out with your family, WITHOUT sacrificing your baby or your integrity.

  11. I really feel low since I got my abortion. I felt like it was the right thing to for me right then. But I cry everyday. I really don’t want to be around people a lot and I feel so alone even when I’m with friends.

    Before this I was a happy person who loved having fun and now I feel just lost with no one to really talk to. My boyfriend asked me why I cry so much, but I don’t think he understands even though he went with me to get it.

    I really feel like I’m falling apart day by day and I know god does forgive and I’m a believer in that and my faith. I have no one to talk to.

    • Dear Nitra,

      You don’t have to feel so alone. Please call one of the hot lines listed on our page of resources for post-abortion healing. Looking on the same page you might be able to find a counselor in your own area who you can meet with face to face. Most likely, it will be a woman who has gone through the same thing you are experiencing now. You are right. Just having the compassion of someone who can really listen and understand what you are going through can be a big help.

      You are in our prayers.

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  13. Hello all, I had an abortion a week ago. I really didn’t know what to do and my family convinced me it was best to keep the baby. I had thoughts of abortion and secretly wanted a miscarriage so i wouldn’t have to make a decision but didn’t want to say anything. My ex was horrible at first then came around and once we saw the baby he started talking abortion. I was only 9 weeks so it was still kind of early. I really was confident the days leading up to the abortion and the day after. But then my ex left and now I’m dealing with this all alone. Now all I want is my baby back and I regret it every single day. I randomly cry about throughout the day and I can’t control it. I’m realizing now I tricked myself into thinking it was my idea but it wasn’t. Honestly if I knew me and my ex weren’t gonna be talking I would’ve kept it. I always told myself I would never get an abortion no matter the circumstances and now I know why. I’m furious at my stupidity by thinking my relationship would get better if I did this for him, but now I’m realizing he would’ve said anything to get me to do it. I know it’s only been a week and my emotions about it are still really fresh. I hope that it will get better but I’m really fearing it won’t. Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • You are not alone. It will take time. There is no magic, instantaneous cure. But with patience, the support of those who have been where you are, and the courage to face the truth and the charity to forgive yourself, him, and everyone else involved, you can and will find healing.

      If you have not done so, please read our tips on finding a post-abortion ministry. While it may be too fresh of a wound to enter into a program, it is never too early to call someone and at least talk by phone or meet for a little bit of one-on-one where she can listen to your story and give you support.

      Looking back, you have 20-20 vision and can now see that it was a mistake to give into his pressure in the hope of saving the relationship. Like you, I wish you had been both strong enough and wise enough to stick with your principles. But even as you have stumbled and fallen, you have and will continue to learn from this mistake and may even be able to use this experience to help someone you love someday. So, while i can realistically say that you will have some tough days ahead, I know you can find the strength and support you need to not only heal but to grow.

      Call one of the post-abortion hotlines listed whenever you feel you need to have someone to talk to. They are there for you.

      You are in our prayers.

  14. I’m 16, I’ve recently had an abortion, i feel like a horrible person. I always said i wouldn’t get one as me being pregnant prior to a previous accident was a miracle in its self. I had to choose over my pregnancy or my family. Although my family mean everything to me I still feel like I’ve made the wrong decision. I feel depressed and alone. I’m just not sure what to do.

    • Dear Sarah,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you felt obligated to abort for the sake of your family. No one should ever have to choose between their child and their family or their partner. Unfortunately, this happens often. Fortunately, because it does, you are not alone. Many women have been through very similar situations and have found healing and are now anxious to help women like you to find healing much faster than they did.

      I strongly suggest that you do an internet search for “post abortion counseling Australia” to find someone close to you that you can talk to. Since it is so soon after your abortion, it may take a while for your emotions to calm down a bit before you will be ready to go through a post-abortion healing program. But it is definitely not too early to start talking to someone who can listen to you and help you through these early stages of grief.

      Don’t give up hope! Also, please read our page of tips on finding a post-abortion program that will server your needs.

  15. I had an abortion yesterday…i saw the fetus, i cant get the image out of my head-i wish i could turn back the hands of time but i cant, i feel like i murderer, no i am a murderer…i feel so so empty, so sad…. my bf resents. i dun know what to do…all i know is i was not ready for him/her..but i wish i kept here. will i ever get over it and how?

    • I’m so sorry for what you are going through, Noni. I wish there was an easy fix, but there isn’t. You can heal, though, but it will take time. So don’t give up hope! You will never forget but you can heal and put the pain and loss into a new perspective.

      If you haven’t done so yet, please read our tips on healing after an abortion and find a post-abortion counselor who can listen to you and share your burden.

      You are in our prayers.

  16. Hi, I’m 16 yrs old I had my first abortion at 14. The farther did not want the child but I did. I was a private patient so my family paid for my abortion. I feel like I was forced to do this and pressured, and now I can never have my unborn child back. I’m emotionally distressed & I need help. A year before this when I was 13 I was raped & this has been a whole lot to cope with. Please help !!

    • We strongly encourage you to reach out and find a post-abortion counselor you can talk to. This is almost always free, and generally you’ll be talking to a woman who has had an abortion herself . . . and far too often, also has a history of being sexually abused as a teen. Please see our page on healing after an abortion for tips and phone numbers and web sites to find someone near you. If you have trouble finding someone, post a comment on that page and we’ll try to help some more.

      Don’t give up hope. You can find healing. Sadly, the violation of your innocence and sexual boundaries when you were 13 creates it’s own huge set of problems and difficulties and makes it more likely that you will have sex with guys who don’t really respect you and won’t be there for you or the children you conceive. I know it’s hard, especially when you’re hurting and want the comfort of a good man in your life . . . but you’ve suffered so much through the rape, the sexual exploitation, damaged self-esteem and the abortion, that you really shouldn’t trust your decisions in regard to getting sexually involved again until you’ve stepped back and gotten the counseling that will help to at least start the healing process on all these different levels. If you have to have a guy in your life as a friend, right now, tell him about all the hurts you’ve experienced and that you just can’t risk getting hurt again, and so you can be friends, but only friends…at least until you work through all of these things. And any pressuring of you for more than that is NOT being a friend, it’s being an insensitive, selfish, creep!

      Your not going to make any progress on the path toward healing until you get completely away from opportunistic men who see your pain and consciously or unconsciously use it as a way of getting into your pants by being sensitive.

      To be fair, a very decent guy can often be attracted to sad eyes and other signs that this girl needs love and affection. It can bring out the protective, gentle instincts in a guy who wants to comfort your and heal your pain. But if in the process it leads to sex without commitment — especially before you have been through healing for all of your history of sexual exploitation and the abortion — that will just end up hurting you more. So even a loving, normally non-exploiting guy can end up hurting you and exploiting you simply because you are both needy but unready for true, lasting, committed love.

      Do you get it? To heal, to truly heal, and truly mature, and truly have choices in your life that are guided by love and reason, not hurt and desperation, you need to keep guys at arms length and insist they respect that distance, especially while you are trying to work through all the baggage of your past.

      You are in our prayers.

      Remember, if you have trouble finding a post-abortion healing program near you, just post a request for help on the resource page for post-abortion healing and we’ll try to help some more.

  17. I had an abortion 4 days ago. It was not an easy decision. I was only dating the father for 2 weeks at the time. His first reaction was that he was going to drag me to the hospital to get an abortion. Towards the end he finally said it was my decision. He made my choice very difficult. One day he said he would be there for me if I kept it and the very next day he would say he was going to cut off contact with me. It did not help that he is on house arrest and wouldnt be able to attend any appointments or probably not even the birth. My mom wasnt supportive either. She said if I did keep it, she wouldnt be in my life. My dads family really wanted me to keep it and thought it was a gift from my dad as he passed away almost 2 years ago. A lot of mixed reviews messed up my head a LOT. It took me a while to realize that I have to think for me and me only. I realized that people can say theyl be there for me, but at the end of the day, im the one who will have to get up with a screaming baby every night and it would be me that would have to pay for everything the baby would need. I just knew I couldnt do it by myself. It is now 4 days after the abortion and I feel like I did the right thing. No regrets in that area. I do feel alone though. The father of the baby continued to come and go as he pleased in my life so we broke up. I feel sad because I feel alone. I constantly feel sore and sad and I feel like I have no one to sook up to and love me and tell me everything is ok. Once my hormones stabilize again I may feel a bit better however it hurts so much to go through this alone 🙁

  18. I had an abortion 3 years ago and have NEVER found the courage of strength to get throught it. I had the abortion because my boyfriend didn’t want anymore kids. I thought I was doing the right thing because finiacially I wasn’ able to do it. Now I feel selfish, I feel like I never really gave myself or the baby a chance I just made an excuse to tell myself it was something we both wanted. I think about it alot lately because I didn’t tell ayone but him so I have no one to talk to about it. I break down a little more everyday.

    • Dear Anita,

      You don’t have to feel alone. There are lot’s of women (and men) who have been through the same loss and are now ready and willing to listen to you and offer you whatever help they can. With time, and the right help from people who can give you a safe place to talk and work through your feelings, you can stop the break down and work toward healing.

      Please check out our page with tips and referral information to find a free post-abortion program. Several have free hotlines you can call.

  19. a month ago, I realised my period was 10 days late. I took two pregnancy tests and both were positive. When I told him, he seemed happy. But then there was the dilemma, that his father would make him go back to France if he found out because they are very religious. He is only a university student, and I am an English teacher who is just starting to save up for my life. All I could think about was my baby, and when I told my older sister, she said “Get rid of it” as if it were nothing. I told her “But it’s my baby”, her reply? “Can you please stop calling it a baby! It’s like a BEAN”. That struck hard. I thought that maybe if my mother supported me, then I could keep it… But even she told me not to keep it.
    When I went for the check up, doctor said I was 3 weeks along, and that I could abort with pills. So I did… I saw my baby come out of me. I saw the blood. And I felt the pain. It was unbearable. What made it worse is that I didn’t see my boyfriend for 2 weeks after the abortion, he couldn’t even accompany me to the abortion because he had to meet his dad out of town. I was depressed. And crying all the time. And instead of resting, I went straight to work as if to cover the pain…
    It’s been a month, and I still have my baby’s ultrasound as my screensaver.
    After this experience, I’ve learned that no man can break my heart. What broke my heart was having to give up my baby. And I just can’t seem to forgive myself.

  20. Hi I am 19 years old and I have a 2 yr old daughter. I just found out I am pregnant again and I want to keep it but my fiancé tells me I should have an abortion. I keep telling him I dont think I can go through that. He just does not understand how I feel he sais that if I keep it I am on my own with 2 kids. I just started college and I have been so stressed with school work just thinking about how my fiancé can easily say he wants to get rid of it. And he sais it like its nothing. I am just so afraid and I have no one to talk to. I cry every night jut the thought of having an abortion. I need help.

    • Don’t give in to his pressure. No man should ask a woman he loves to choose between him and his child . . . or him and her children from a prior relationship.

      While many relationships survive and even thrive after having an unplanned child (a child can bring couples closer together, obviously), relationships rarely survive and abortion. This is especially true when one party is opposed to it and gives in only to please the other person. See “Can Relationships Survive After Abortion?” You might also want to read what MEB has to say in the comments here.

      I would strongly recommend that you find a pro-life pregnancy help center to get some emotional and financial support from women who have been where you are and can help you sort out how to move forward . . . with or without your fiance. It’s up to him to man up and show that he really loves you enough to stand by you, not just run when loving you–and your child–requires him to show that he is responsible, caring, and committed.

      I don’t know if he’ll leave you or not. But I do know that he is more likely to stay if you keep the child and ignore his ignorant and short-sighted demands for an abortion (and be thankful to you that you did ignore him), than if you had the abortion. Abortion, especially in cases like this where it goes against what you want, both morally and maternally, is poison to a relationship and something you will always regret.

      Be the best mother you can be by protecting your child, now. Ask him to be the best father and lover he can be, by giving up this foolish, short-sighted demand that will plague him and you forever (if you were foolish enough to give in to it.)

    • Do have your baby. I hear they cry for help when their aborted. Be strong. It’s you who’s carrying the baby. No one else. I believe there are angels all around us. Be loyal to the little one. They deserve that. You might be afraid, but that will go away in time.

  21. I am the mother of a 4 yr old and and was pregnant with another about a year ago.I had an abortion and the guilt is killing me. I made this decision based on the status of mi relationship with the father, He was abusive verbally and physically and I was afraid of being a single mom of two with no father figure in my children’s life. I am so depressed right now and feel like I have no one to turn or talk to because I am ashamed of the choice I have made. For some reason I feel like this child is the little I’ve always wanted, when I see little baby girls in the public I get really emotional but try my best to keep my composure. Just a couple nights ago I was sleeping but woke up in the middle of the night and seen what appeared to be a little girl standing by my bed, that was my breaking point. I dont know what to do anymore, I feel so lost, guilty and angry.

  22. I had my daughter at the age of 16 in 2009. I had been with her father for 2 years before we found out I was pregnant. My family is a very strict one and telling them was the hardest part because of dissappointment I knew that was coming. It’s funny because I actually found out when I was going to get birth control. But immediately i said “i’m not keeping it” out of simple scare and surprise. However, after i talked to her father we decided to keep it. It’s carzy because we were the couple people wouldn’t expect to get pregnant, we both played sports for our high school year around and I was in every AP class you could imagine. Although my family said they’d support me either way I decided to keep the baby. And i can honestly say it’s the best decision I ever made! Me and her father are now split up, but it’s not the end of the world. He is a remarkable father we just don’t blend well together. I am now in college with my own apartment 100 miles away from home, just me and my little girl. It has been a rough road, but my oh my she is so worth it. I understand women on this site have carried on with or are considering abortion. I am not a full out pro-life supporter but being a mom i do lean towards that side, but i do see under circumstances why abortions are dealt with. I just want all the women on here contemplating back and forth to know that either way life is going to be hard, you just have to decide what’s right not just for you but for that precious baby in life. I couldn’t imagine how much harder my life would be if I had went through with the first words i said when i discovered i was pregnant. And if a baby is not for you there are options. My sister just lost her 3 month old son in December and families like her would love to t ake care of children people cannot bear. Just keep an open decision and nothing rash should be done. This is not only the child’s life you’re dealing with, it is yours as well.
    God Bless

  23. My daughter is 18 and she is about 5 weeks preagant and does not want it ,but we want her to have it .How are what could I say are do to convince her to have the baby. I know the effects of having abortion could be hard to deal with but I can not make her understand.

    • Our prayers are with you. I would try to convince her to read some of the testimonies of women who thought it would be for the best at the time. Perhaps ask her to read Forbidden Grief by Theresa Burke. Also, try to convey what so many have said: Few, if any, women ever regret giving birth. But many, probably most, regret an abortion.

      Abortion looks like a quick fix. It looks as if it will “turn back the clock” and life will go on the way it was. But it’s not a time machine. Her life is already changed forever. She is forever and always a mother. The choice is whether she will be the mother of a child she raises and knows, a child she places for adoption and entrusts to the care of God and loving adoptive parents, or the mother of a child that died in an abortion. In the latter case, whenever she is asked in the future whether or not she has any children, she may say no, or say only the number of her living children. But in her mind and in her heart, she will be choking on the answer, remembering that she is also the mother of a child that died in an abortion. If you have ever had a miscarriage, you will know that this internal count of the children that you had which were never born is very real. It is even more so with abortion. And that is why women who try to forget about their abortions can never truly do so.

      The most important thing you can do for her is to promise to love her and be there for her. Convey that you will be proud of her if she does the right thing and chooses to protect the life within her and give birth, and will support her in either raising the child or placing it her or him for adoption. But also convey that if she does go ahead with the abortion, even though you are pleading with her not to make that mistake, you will still love her and will still be there for her if she ever wants to talk or ever needs help, and if things go badly, as you fear they will, you won’t be flinging out “I told you so.” You’ll just be there with your hugs and tears to help her as best you can.

      One more thing, regarding adoption. Many women refuse to consider an adoption because they already sense inside that if they carried to term they would love the child too much to give it up for adoption. This is actually a warning sign that they already have enough maternal love in them that the grief and psychological suffering following an abortion will be worse.

      You, your daughter, and your grandchild are in our prayers.

    • Hi! I have this huge wish that your daughter decided to have her baby. I’ve been there. She must find the love in her heart that’s already there. The babies conscience is life from the very beginning. Living with an abortion is heart wrenching. It hurts your soul so much. I would encourage her and give her courage.

  24. I’m 27 years old, and I had an abortion a little over a year ago. At the time when I found out I was pregnant, I just remember thinking “I can’t keep the baby, I cannot keep the baby.” I was still working on my master’s degree and living at home with my parents (who by the way are very strict regarding sex outside of marriage). I could not picture facing my parents and telling them I was pregnant out of wedlock with a boyfriend I was with for only two months. I was mad at myself that I was even in that position to begin with (I was on birth control). My boyfriend, however, was wanting me to keep the baby and was more than willing to do everything he could to support me and the baby.

    I made the decision to have a medical abortion in January of 2011, and as much as my boyfriend opposed the idea, he was supportive throughout the whole process. After the horrific and traumatizing procedure, I remember feeling a huge wave of relief right afterwards. We decided to keep the abortion a secret from our friends and family. However, a week after the abortion, my boyfriend’s sister and her husband announced that they were expecting their first child (she and I were pregnant around the same time coincidentally). The temporary moment of relief I thought I had, soon became replaced with feelings of guilt and anger. I was angry at the fact that she was able to experience the joy of announcing her first pregnancy the “right way” and I ended up aborting my first pregnancy. I never in a million years thought I would ever end up in such a cruel ironic situation. I always thought the first time I would be pregnant, I would have been married and ready to start a family. I found myself in a nightmare that was beginning to unfold.

    My boyfriend and I took it hard when we found out his sister was pregnant, but we sucked it up and managed to be supportive of her. In the meantime however, our relationship started crumbling at the seams. We were feeling a tremendous amount of guilt over the abortion. Anytime we heard a song about kids (country music is notorious for singing about babies and families), we just broke down crying. Our grief and anger turned into resentment towards each other. I became mad at myself for ever thinking I ever could have had an abortion. I love babies and I love kids. I kept going back to that moment in time when I found out I was pregnant and wished more than anything in the world the word “abortion” never came out of my mouth. I mean so what my parents would have mad? They would have been mad for a little bit and they would have gotten over it once that baby was born. So what I was working on my masters degree? I would have been done with the program when I was still pregnant with my child. My boyfriend’s sister and I could have been able to share the experiences of being expectant mothers together. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

    Due to the repercussions of our decision, my boyfriend and I broke up in July of 2011. While I turned to running to help me cope with the abortion, my boyfriend turned to alcohol as a way to cope with the abortion. I needed him as my source of strength for us to get through this nightmare together, however began to watch him fall apart before my eyes.

    During those last few months, his family became upset that I had something to do with his self destruction. I began to find out that before I met him, he was just barely recovering from his alcoholism and finally was getting his life on track. Unfortunately, he was already emotionally fragile before we made an extremely emotional and life changing decision and he relapsed after our decision.

    I had to cut ties with my ex for good in November of 2011 when his alcoholism turned into rage towards me and now we are both left to cope with the effects of the abortion by ourselves. The baby would have been almost seven months old today, and there is not one day that goes by that I do not think of my angel in heaven. This will go down as the worst decision of my life. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have never had the abortion.

    • I would encourage both of you to seek some post-abortion counseling. In fact, it might be good for the two of you to attend a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend together. Many couples do. Often it dramatically strengthens their relationship since they have an opportunity to both grieve and heal together in a safe environment with the help and guidance of those who have been in your same situation. Given that you are no longer a couple, I would not suggest going with the intent or goal of getting back together. Simply for the goal of mourning and healing from your mutual loss. If and when you should ever get back together is a question that should be put off until well after you have both experienced substantial healing.

      You are in our prayers.

  25. I was forced by my boyfriend to go for a abortion, as he never want any children, and said if i keep the baby, I will be a single mom. I still with my parents, financialy can not afford to have on my own. I wnet for the abortion 5 days ago, it was not successfull, I had to go back for another abortion, it was a very painfull procedure. My bf was with me all the time. Im back home and none of my family members knows, so Im going through this alone. All i do is cry, and eat. Thinking I want to turn back time! This is a real disaster getting bigger and bigger!!! Any advice will help me!

    • Call a post-abortion support group. You need to have someone you can talk with openly who will listen to you without judgment. Sooner or later, it would be good to find a family member who can listen to your story, your pain, and your grief and not judge you. But first, go to our “healing” link and call one or more of the phone numbers for the groups listed there so you can talk to someone who has been there and understands how to help you.

  26. Has anyone heard of Rachels Vineyard? I just went on a retreat this weekend and it has changed my life in three days. I have suffered with the pain and grief for 19 years and I finally feel free. I had not been able to forgive myself even though i knew the Good Lord forgave me, it wasn’t enough for me. It was hard for me to let my babies go, but i finally did and I’m free of guilt today because of it.

  27. I was 14 years old when i became pregnant. my boyfriend and i had been dating for a year, and he became very violent. whenever i didnt want to have sex he would force me into it. one night he told me to go in the bedroom but i didnt want to. he took the back of my head got ahold of my hair and bashed my head into the kitchen table. it was at that point that i knew somewhere along the lines i made a mistake. so i went anyway. couple weeks later i went to the doctor to get birth control. they ran tests for cancer and pregnancy. when we left i had a track meet. i took off for my 300 m. hurdles and had a sharp pain in my stomach, i jumped over and fell, jumped over and fell, once i got to the finish line i puked, two days later i left for washington d.c. with my school choir, when we arrived there, my feet were swollen and i kept having melt downs crying. when i got back a week later i had left with my mom to go help her clean. she looked over and said the doctors office called yesterday.. i said what did they say?? she just kept driving so i said again WHAT DID THEY SAY?? she grabbed my hand and said kenzy your pregnant… when i told my boyfriend he said your own your own. i just felt so broken, like my life was over. like i had this fear that i couldnt even run away from. this baby was growing inside me?? but i’m still a child myself! my mom decided we had to abort. i guess i felt like i never really had a choice when we got there there was protestors everywhere. they got in my face screaming. when i went in i was so scared. i had to wait forever. when i went in to get the procedure done. i just felt so helpless. i didn’t want to do it. i remember walking out. still in a daze because they put me out for it. i felt empty. like my other half was gone. to this day i am now 15 its been over a year. i still feel the same as i did the day after it. i have thoughts of suicide every night before i go to sleep. i cant stay in a relation ship i hate being alone. i guess i just wish i could move on. i feel like a murderer. and that i killed god’s creation. like i’m going to hell. my only advice is that u understand that things do get better and its okay to cry about it, but for me it was probably best, i could not have afforded it or gave it a good life, i didnt want my baby to live he life i lived when i grew up.

    • Kenzy, you are not alone. So many women have been through a very similar experience and found healing and support by turning to each other. I can’t encourage you strongly enough to reach out to a post-abortion ministry to find someone to talk to who has been exactly where you are. You will find tips and contact information for a lot of different post-abortion healing ministries here: http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/.

      Don’t give up hope! Resist those thoughts of suicide. Don’t try to hide from or cover over your pain by rushing into another relationship. You need to focus on your own healing. You need to heal and find new confidence in yourself before you can be in a successful relationship. Without healing, you’re likely to just end up in more abusive and exploitative relationships….the kind that hurting women all too easily get into when their hurt is so deep that they are willing to settle for a shadow…even a mockery…of real love.

      Don’t hesitate. At the very least call one of the hotlines just to talk to someone for a few minutes:

      Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries at 1-877-HOPE-4-ME (1-877-467-3463)
      National Helpline for Abortion Recovery at 1-866-482-LIFE (1-866-482-5433)
      Project Rachel at 1-800-5WE-CARE.

  28. On September 28th I got an abortion. I didn’t do it out of fear, or because I simply didn’t want the child… I did, but I could not provide for a child anytime soon and I also knew I wasn’t strong enough to carry a child and then give it away. I thought I knew what I was getting into, I did research and I weighed my options for almost too long. By the time I had it, I had only a few days before it would have been too late.

    Going in I felt nothing, not even nervous. For some reason, when they asked if I wanted to see the ultrasound, I said yes. Afterwards, I started crying and couldn’t stop… but I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t cry for the rest of the day, then early in the morning I couldn’t stop and had nightmares, I kept thinking I’d killed my baby. Now, I randomly feel guilty and can go weeks without even thinking about it before regretting it. I don’t know what to do, it just hits me every few weeks. I keep wondering if I did the right thing, and become obsessed for at least a few hours… I imagine “what if I hadn’t” and I can’t cry. Not that I don’t want to, I feel so guilty and sad, but I physically can’t… It feels like I gave away my right to cry. One of my friends became pregnant around the same time, about 2 weeks after me, and she’s almost due. I’m not obsessed, but she tells me about her pregnancy and where she’s at and I’m sad and jealous even while I feel like I have no right to be, but I WANT to hear about it. What do I do? How do I stop feeling like this? I don’t even like to be alone anymore, even though it’s not the case I feel like if I’m alone I’ll think about it and be upset.

    • Oh, Carla, please contact a post-abortion ministry and find someone to talk to, as soon as possible. Our tips and contact information are found at http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/.

      I understand that it is especially hard to have a friend who is pregnant and carrying to term. The mix of conflicting emotions is so very hard to sort through, as you so well described. You want to be happy for her, but it is so hard when you are grieving your own loss.

      Please hold on to hope. There is healing. There are people who understand and can help provide you with a safe place to grieve and heal and to move on . . . never forgetting your loss, but learning from it and putting it into a place in your life that provides you with perspective and strength and the ability to help others.

      You are in our prayers.

  29. I had an abortion four months ago, and since then I just hate everything. Anything to do with babies, or mothers, or pregnant women. Even baby commercials on television annoy me. I’m so disgusted by all of it. I never want to have kids and I never want to get married. I’m also very angry with my boyfriend. We made the decision together but I feel like he doesn’t understand what I’m going through. He was not there, he didn’t see what happened and he will never know what it’s like or how I feel and it makes me so mad. He wants me to talk to him about it but how can I talk to some one who will never know this pain? I generally don’t like discussing my problems with people because I feel like I don’t need anyone. I have a history of depression and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when I was 12, so I feel like maybe that heightens the pain a little bit? I don’t like being so jaded and angry at the world. Before all this happened I was in such a good place and now I feel like I’m at an all time low. I’ve been in therapy my whole life and don’t feel like going through that again because in the end, I felt like it was useless. What should I do?

    • Our hearts go out to you. We also understand your frustration with and reluctance to seek therapy. Many women have found that their therapists ignore or mishandled post-abortion grief. Most have no training in post-abortion issues and many are ideologically committed to the idea that abortion makes women’s lives better, not worse, and so they have a lot of difficulty even accepting a woman’s grief over a past abortion, much less dealing with it.

      Many of your symptoms are very common. You might read more about why they are occurring and how some women have healed in Forbidden Grief. You might be able to get it from a local library.

      Most importantly, we’d suggest that you find other women who have been through the same thing and now work in post-abortion healing programs. You can find a list of tips and contact information for finding a post-abortion help group in your area at http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/. They can give you peer support and trained counseling — which may be more effective than you would get from a “regular” therapist.

      You are in our prayers.

  30. Regarding the young lady who is 14 and pregnant. I’m proud of you for wanting to keep your child. The Lord will make a way. Hang in there. I guarantee you – you will not be the youngest mother on the planet. My motherly advice would be to follow through on the pregnancy. Nine months of your life is nothing – it seems like an eternity at your age but it’s not. If you don’t have the support of your family – you may want to consider then giving your child up for adoption. It doesn’t have to be “good bye.” You’ll be blessing another family and you can always request an “open adoption” so you can know how your child is doing. You’re family might be upset at you right now- but hold strong. Everyone will respect you later after you’ve made the right decision to give birth and decide with your family’s guidance and support what is best from there. I deeply regret the abortion I had at the age of 21. I’m 43 now. I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom – but too afraid at the thought of some day getting a knock on the door by someone I gave up for adoption saying, “hi, I’m your biological child.” …What I wouldn’t give today to hear that knock at my door. My two kids would love to find out they’ve got another sibling. God is good though. I’m forgiven. What peace he has given. All best to you. I admire you.

  31. my friends 14 and shes pregnant im really scared cuz she wants to keep it but she wants my advice whats best for her ? please help xx

    • We would recommend that she meet with someone at a pro-life pregnancy help center as soon as possible. There she will find understanding and help, including help and advice regarding when and how to discuss her pregnancy and desires to keep the child with her parents. A good place to find help is to visit or call OptionLine at 800-712-4357.

    • Tell her that you love her and that you’re there for her. I bet you’ll be helpful to your friend too. Babies are voiceless, so give your friend the gift of strength, and be there when she needs you.

  32. I really would like to know why or how can any nurse be able to perform abortion on any women whos severly depressed, after reading some ladies stories here some very similar to my own …..going thru operation , counselling very upset and sobbing througout. I am under impression no one can or should make serious descions under such depressed state of mind. Im wanting to know why the doctors or nurse are able to go ahead when we are not in right state of mind….

  33. Hello, I have a close friend Who has recently discovered she is pregnant at 18, and has automatically decided to have an abortion. I have two friends that have had abortions in the past, one killing herself, and one being hospitalized for severe depression… I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to talk to my friend about the idea of potentially keeping the baby? She has me, and a wonderful boyfriend who has offered to completely re-arrange his life, and even marry her to provide for her and the baby. I have experienced what abortion does to people, and the last thing I want is to lose my friend…

    • Hi Sammy,

      I would suggest trying to convince her of one thing: Abortion does not turn back the clock. It will not put her life back the way it was. Her life is already, forever changed. She is a mother. The question is whether she will be the mother of a dead child whom she will always wonder about, or a live child whom she will always love.

      Encourage her to read some of the testimonies on this website about women who thought an abortion was the best way to protect their future but instead found that it was a Pandora’s box filled with psychological nightmares. Then remind her of what these other friends have been through.

      Help her to feel your deep concern is for her, herself. Encourage her to at least talk to somebody at a pregnancy help center.

      Many women regret their abortions but few, if any, ever regret having their children…even when they may decide to place the child for adoption.

      Our prayers are with you and her.

  34. It is helpful to see the comments and support here. I am in a difficult position, and don’t know what to do. I am married and have a beautiful 8 year old daughter. My husband for the most part is a good man, but it is like he suffers from depression and he goes into these spells where he is selfish, disconnected, unloving, and unhappy with all aspects of our lives and does very stupid things. This is not often but it is very difficult for me to deal with the painful consquences. I can not begin to tell you how much this hurts. His actions is why we have only had one child up until this point, as we were not back to a comfortable place. We have been really happy the last two years, and decided to go ahead and give it a shot. Now I am pregnant with twins. And all of sudden he is emotionally gone and unavailable again. I don’t know what to do. I am 13 weeks pregnant…I don’t know if I can do this on my own, I don’t feel like it is fair to these babies, and I am not sure how on earth we can support twins with separate households. I don’t know if I can deal with the consequences of an abotion either.

    • First, hang in there. God has a plan and will help you, perhaps later than you like, but He will help you and someday you will be so happy that you persevered.

      Second, go find a pro-life pregnancy help center . . . at least for the friendship, support and counseling. They may also be able to help get your husband into either individual or couples counseling. A counselor may be able to get through to him about how you need him to be more connected, and perhaps need him to get on an anti-depressant or other medication. This distancing behavior could be due to his inability to deal with some stress, perhaps even your pregnancy. There are endless possibilities. Perhaps he’s struggling with some prior loss, even a prior abortion loss, that is being aggravated by your pregnancy which reminds him of that loss. (Don’t put much weight in that hypothesis, but things like that can happen.)

      In any event, I know many people think that pregnancy help centers are just for unmarried women, but they actually have a lot of help and resources to offer married women in situations like yours. Just having the friendship and support of women you meet there might be a huge help to you.

      You are in our prayers, April. Don’t despair. Don’t give up hope!

  35. when i did it i didnt really want to but apart of me said i had to. i looked at the ultra sound in the doctors office and i took a picture and i would stare at that pic every day.. it wasnt healthy so i had to delete it.. i cry my self to sleep at nights, i dont think i love my boy friend as much i did before, some time i feel like i hate him, i get really upset at times, im feeling depressed all the time.. i didn’t know how long this will go on for its been five months. my cousin has a little baby girl and every time i look at her i think WHAT IF….

    • Our prayers are with you, Abigail. Please contact a post-abortion peer support group using the link or phone number in the article above. So many women have been exactly where you are, and they want to help you.

  36. I have been seeing someone for over a month now and we had formed a really tight bond and strong feelings for each other and were ready to become a couple. That was until i found out i was pregnant i am now 6.5weeks and he is completely angry about it all and wants me to get rid of it but that goes against everything i have always believed in and even though i have considered doing it for him as he said he will always be there for me and to help me through everything. i just can’t put myself through it all especially after reading what the other women have gone and are still going through. i dont know what to do and i am so confused right now. he has told me i am ruining his life by keeping this baby and ruining everything that we share together. he feels that he has to sacrifice so much if i keep this baby but he doesn’t realize he won’t have to sacrifice anything at all especially the things he is talking about. i really don’t know what to do or who to talk to and i am scared and confused.

    • Hold strong, Jess. Don’t do what you know will only hurt you and violate your own beliefs in the hope you can save a relationship…which might not last anyway. If he truly loves you, he will stay with you and it will turn out that he will love this child too, as his own, and love you more for standing up for yourself and this baby, and, whether he knows it now or not, him. Because if you went through with this abortion, it is nearly 100% certain you would eventually split up because this abortion would be a source of pain, guilt, and accusations between you. And whether you split up or stay together, he will eventually feel great guilt for having pushed you into an unwanted abortion. Men suffer delayed emotional trauma just like women.

      You have a better chance of keeping him in your life if you stay strong and do what you know is right. If he does leave you, he might come back. If he doesn’t come back, God will reward you with a child whom you will love far more than any ex-boyfriend, and eventually a man who will truly love you and your child as you are meant to be loved.

      You are in our prayers. We also encourage you to go to a pro-life pregnancy help center where you can find friends, good counseling, and resources to help you. One way to find help ASAP is to call 1-800-712-HELP.

  37. 9 nine days ago I found out I was pregnant with a little girl. I was 24 weeks and never knew it. I had a pretty normal period, no weight gain,no morning sickness, my emotions stayed the same and I never felt her presence. I didn’t even realize it til I felt her kick one night. The next day I went to a dr. to have it confirmed. I didn’t even know that you could be that far along and not know something wasn’t right.

    Needless to say my boyfriend was less than thrilled. I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome which basically means that I shouldn’t have been able to get pregnant. I have been told since I was fifteen that I would probably need professional assistance whenever I was ready for children. I knew it wasn’t the best time to have a child right now. But I basically thought this was a miracle baby and I was going to take what I could get even if it was a few years early.

    He didn’t agree. I had an abortion yesterday. I cried through the entire process. The paperwork,ultrasound,counseling session, vitals and when they gave a shot to stop her heartbeat. I went to bed crying that night and repeatedly told my bf how much I hated him, but in reality I hated myself more.

    The next morning I woke up feeling like a completely different person. It was like I was dead inside. The whole way to the clinic I never said a word. I was crying when they took me into surgery and crying when I woke up. I feel so dumb because the only reason I did it was because I was scared I would lose my bf. I even told him the first day when we were filling out paperwork that I didn’t want to do this, that I wanted to go home. I said it over and over and all he said was sign the papers.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderful bf and he has been taking care of me and letting me know that he will do whatever to make me happy. But I feel like it’s too late. I’ve already begun to feel suicidal and it just happened. I can’t imagine making it through the next years. and the crazy part of me wants my bf to hurt like I hurt when he made me get an abortion. And I know losing me would do that.

    • Oh Jasmine, we are so sorry for your loss. At the same time, we understand why you felt you had to please your boyfriend by doing what he wanted, even though everything in you wanted to not do it. It’s also understandable that you want him to feel the hurt you have experienced.

      The only advice we can give is to (1) not pretend like nothing is wrong and (2) to reach out to a post-abortion ministry so you can share your tears and grief with women who have been through exactly what you are going through. They are your best hope for the support and understanding you need. If you need a place to start looking for help in your area, check out the resource list here: http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/

  38. hi my names marissa. i just had an abortion 2 weeks ago and ever since then i feel like a total different person my emotions are out of whack. i’m over thinking everything. i’ve become paranoid when it comes to my bf cheating on me and leaving me. i’ve never had these crazy obsessive feelings before. i also cant sleep and cry about it almost every night. is it normal to have crazy mood changes after? and if so is there anything i can do to cope with it and fix it ?

    • Hi Marissa,

      It’s not uncommon for some women to experience such profound reactions so soon after an abortion. Many can push it behind them for a long time, while for others, like you, it can intrude into one’s thoughts daily, or even hourly.

      While it may all be too recent to begin participating in an actual post-abortion healing program, it would still be helpful for you to have someone to talk with who has been in the same place you are. So I would recommend you try to get in touch with a post-abortion ministry to have someone to talk with. Here’s a good place to start looking for help in your area http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/

    • i am sorry you are going threw this . do not give up , if you give up who going to take care of your child . just hold in there and be strong

  39. I have been married 10 yrs. the only person I’ve been with is my husband. I became pregnant at 21. He made me abort it and again at 30 because he didn’t want anymore kids. He never wanted any. We have two children because he thinks I deliberately didn’t take my pills which is not true. He wants to be intimate as if nothing has happened, I don’t want to as I feel he should be able to accept the consequences that comes with intimacy.

    I think about these Events everyday . We already had issues with intimacy since I was sexually abused as a child. Am I overreacting about being intimate? I feel like a hypocrite .

    • Xa , I can sense the betrayal and confused feelings of wondering whether what you are feeling is appropriate. What makes you think you are over reacting or that you are a hypocrite?

  40. I had an abortion about 3 days ago and I’m having a really hard time dealing with it. I feel so empty because I made this decision based on my boyfriend demands. I have shut off all my family and I’m not sure what to do and who to talk with. I am even ashamed to pray to God because I did wrong.

  41. i had an abortion two and a half years back. when i had my abortion i didnt tell my boyfriend about it. a few days later i did tell him about it but he wasn’t there for me. about half a month later we broke up. i was very upset at the time but as time passed i got over it. but every time i hear about abortions or babies or even mention of the name of the hospital i got my abortion from makes me very upset. at times i start to think about what happened and i find it hard to get myself together again.

    • Alice, because you continue to get emotional when confronted with things that remind you of your abortion, it appears that you could benefit from post-abortion counseling. There are obviously deep and troubling emotions that are looking for a way to be expressed. This is why, even though you try to not think about it and to “feel good,” little things like the name of the hospital can trigger anxiety, depression or other reactions.

      On some level, your mind is telling you that you need to confront and deal with these emotions. But you are understandably scared to just let them loose. That is why a post-abortion counseling program can do you so much good. It will give you a safe place to express your feelings and also get support from those who have been exactly where you are today. Please look at the “Healing” link at the top of each page to find a program in your area that can help you.

  42. I have a friend who had an abortion when she was 24. It is several years later now, and I see her struggling with depression and illogical accusations in some of her closest relationships. I am the only person on who knows about it, and she has not told her dad or mom, or her sister. She says she is fine and it isn’t an issue, but it just seems to me that something is bothering her and I think it must be this. But she refuses to even run it by a counselor. I am really worried about her. What responsibility do I have to her. Is there ever a time I should tell her parents or go get her help. I know she gets down when she sees babies and on mothers day. Could it really not be bothering her, and I am just thinking about how I would feel? I know her parents are against abortion, but they are nice people. I think it would eat me up if I was carrying a secret like that. What should I do? Thanks. Chantel.

    • I wish I had a sure fire answer for you. Unfortunately, it’s a very difficult situation. It sounds like you have made clear to her that you are there for her, willing to listen, and just want to help, not judge. That may be the most you can do.

      I would NOT recommend tipping off her parents about the abortion. I think it would be more likely to backfire than be helpful. You may be one of her only life lines. Don’t risk burning that bridge by a betrayal of her trust. If you are normally in communication with her parents, it might be okay to mention that you are worried about her depression and think she would benefit from seeing a counselor. If they are noticing the same thing, they might also encourage her to get counseling . . . but they don’t need to know about the abortion, only that she is struggling with depression.

      You might also try reading a book like “Forbidden Grief,” then after you spot a few things in it that you want to mention to her, you could encourage her to read the book, too. Perhaps that would help her to recognize some patterns in her own life that are similar to those in the lives of other women. More importantly, she will hopefully pick up from such a book the idea that if she confronts and works through unresolved issues, her life will tremendously improve. She needs a good dose of hope in order to motivate her to open herself up to the healing process.

      You and your friend are in our prayers.

      • I had a friend today have an abortion and she seems more okay with it than me. She says she doesn’t like that’s she has to make this decision bc one day she does want kids. I just want to cry bc she had to make this choice. I try every second since I found out to give my emotions to God because all I want to do is cry, and hug her. I see kids and baby’s and just want to cry. I pray she doesn’t have a really hard time with this she has been through a lot this last year but she knows I’m here for her with anything.

  43. I can relate to all of the comments.I did an abortion 2 days ago and my boyfriend was suppose to come see me the next day and he couldn’t,and I have to admit that I resent him even though he wanted us to keep it.The most difficult part is having no one to talk to,for some reason I think my boyfriend wouldn’t understand.I feel like I’m going to explode because of keeping my feelings to myself.

    • Our hearts go out to both you and your boyfriend at this very difficult time. I suspect that he wants to support you, but he’s also having a very hard time dealing with his own grief and confusion. He’s may also be afraid that exposing his grief and confusion to you will only make things harder for you. And also afraid that being with you and hearing what you are feeling will make his feelings hurt more…and all of it could turn into a negative cycle.

      So, it is at least possible that his avoiding you is not a sign of rejection but a sign of hurt and fear of more hurt.

      Here’s a link to get you started looking at some of the ways abortion can impact men. (See all four articles in Post-Abortion Review, Volume 4, Number 4)

      It’s all very hard to come to a new balance in a relationship after an abortion. Many find it impossible to do so. Some do manage, however, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying.

      Just remember that abortion can be a significant emotional trauma for men, too.

      I know this is a terribly hard time for you. I know you need your loved ones with you. You deserve to have them with you.

      But all I can suggest is to be patient and keep reaching out to him and to realize that he may need comfort too. If you can mourn your loss together, that is a good start.

    • I can relate… I just had an abortion on saturday and everyday since i cry and feel so alone. The choice was totally mine and im still glad about it bc im so financially unstable and wouldnt have had the resources to take care of a child. Im only 19 and still have alot of things i want to do. So i know i made the best decision. But its just hard everyday because of what i know that i actually did.

      even though my boyfriend says hes there for me he hasnt really been there. i feel like i cant really explain to him how i feel. He says hes sad about it too yet i havent really seen any emotion from him. He still hangs out with his friends all the time and barely even spends alone time with me anymore. I feel so alone and idk what to do. I already had severe deppression and PTSD before all of this because i was sexually abused by my step dad for 16 years and i feel like all those feelings are coming back too. I just wish there was a way to just let someone know how i feel without trying to explain it bc even telling them i feel like no one understands me.

      • Feelings of sorrow and isolation are common. And you are right to be concerned that the abortion may aggravate and complicate your ability to cope and heal from the depression and PTSD related to your history of sexual abuse. Layers of trauma can feed each other and complicate your ability to cope with each event. We encourage you to seek counseling from someone trained in post-abortion and sexual abuse issues. Please look at our page on post-abortion healing tips for some guidance. When you can speak with someone who has already been there you won’t feel like you’re telling your story to someone who can’t relate or may even be afraid to understand or respond. So many friends and family members will just be uncomfortable with the whole thing, and not know how to listen or help. That’s why I encourage you to call one or more post-abortion healing programs to find someone who can listen to you from the point you art at.

        Regarding your boyfriend, he’s being honest that he’s sad about it too, which is also why he’s avoiding you. He doesn’t know how to express or process his grief, especially in a way that won’t just add to yours. He also doesn’t know how to deal with any regrets . . . because he’s afraid that doing so will just make you feel worse since you still believe it was the right choice. In short, it’s hard for him to know how to work through his own grief, just like you don’t know how. And on top of that, he doesn’t know how to help you with your grief without adding to either his or your pain. He’s confused, too. Being away from you may be easier for him. That doesn’t make it right or helpful, but it is understandable and also help to explain why so few relationships will survive an abortion.

        This can be a very tough time for both of you.

        Please reach out to find a trained post-abortion counselor. Talking to “amateurs” like your boyfriend or family members is just not the same, and is very likely to frustrate more than help you.

  44. Hi. I found out I was pregnant on a monday and had it terminated on Wednesday. Vacuum aspiration. It wasn’t particularly painful, but extremely uncomfortable. Before, interim and after the abortion I do not know how to feel. It was entirely my descision and was the first thing that came to my mind when I got the positives. I am a student and I’m battling with my finals now. I still honestly don’t know what to feel. I feel next to NOTHING. No regret, no guilt. Nothing. I am not a bad person.This is my 1st and LAST!but why don’t I feel? Why? I’m not even depressed. I don’t know what or how to feel! Please help me.

    • There are many different reactions to abortion. Some women feel immediate depression. Others only later. Still others never feel depressed, but might or might not have other reactions.

      Not feeling anything, as you describe, is actually relatively common. In some cases, especially when a woman feels she should be feeling something different than she seems to be experiencing, as you describe, is that your psychological defense mechanisms are simply blocking out any feelings. Denial and repression are actually normal and often valuable defense mechanisms. A soldier who has just witnessed an otherwise shocking sight who can suppress any negative feelings about it to focus on tasks at hand, for example, is successfully using psychological defense mechanisms to stay fully functional.

      So defense mechanisms have their proper place. On the other hand, if they are maintained too long, they can be harmful to your well being and emotional health. A sign of this would be a reduction in the range of all of your feelings. In other words, if your defense mechanisms suppress not only negative feelings but also your positive feelings (loss of happiness) and you are walking around like a zombie, then the very same psychological defenses which are protecting you from pain are also destroying your ability to be happy. It may be that you should just relax and be alert for when and if you ever need to talk to someone about your experience.

      It may be that you won’t be able to really feel on a conscious level what you are feeling on a deep level until you feel safe enough to feel and share those feelings with others. Does that make sense? Put another way, perhaps you shouldn’t be in a rush to “know what or how to feel” but should instead find people who can give you the support and love you need to feel it is safe to feel whatever is going on inside when and if you decide you need some understanding and support.

  45. hi i am only 16.. i fell pregnant and the beginning of this year… everyone around me told me to have an abortion and my mum made me…. i had no control over it… and now i dont sleep, eat or do anything, dropped out of college.. i am still with my boyfriend but i feel like i cant talk to him about all this… really dont know what to do… coz crying about it aint going to help…

    • I am 17 and i know how you feel. I got pregnant in February of this year and did not know till i was two and a half months. my mom and dad made the decision for me to get an abortion. There are good days and there are bad days for me. I am strongly against abortions and now i blame myself for not saying no.

  46. I NEED HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN NOT COPE ANYMORE , HAVE BEEN TO CHURCH AND CONFESSION !!!!!!!!!!! STILL CARRY A TERRIBLY STRONG GUILT ABOUT THIS . I HAVE ONE 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER …I HATE MY LIFE , LOVE MY LITTLE GIRL BUT FEEL I WAS FORCED BACK “THEN” TO MAKE A DECISION THAT I TRULY HAD NO CONTROL OVER …:( PLEASE HELP ME …………LIVE IN FLORIDA AND ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND OVER THIS PROBLEM .

    • Dee, I am sorry you are going through such a difficult experience. Have you contacted any ministries work with women and men who have experienced abortion? I am not a counselor of any sort, but it may be that you have unresolved issues that you still need to work through. Not feeling better even though you’ve been to church and confession (or even already had some counseling) is not a sign that there is something wrong with you or that you are crazy … it probably just means that there are still things that need to be addressed. If you haven’t done so already, I would suggest contacting one of the groups listed on our healing page at http://afterabortion.org/help-healing/. Please know that we are praying for you!

    • Dee
      I know exactly how you feel. I had an abortion as a result of an abusive marriage. I did not want to bring another child into the world to face such a horrible way of life. I hardened my heart and blocked out the event for many years so I wouldn’t have to face what I done. I really thought I was making the right decsion only to realize the emotional effects years later.I finally got some peace when I made a one on one confession to the Lord. I even visualized asking my aborted child for forgiveness The emotional pain was more than I could have ever imagined. I had to forgive myself for the action and resolve that the pain will stay with me forever but there is a way to manage it and I get a sense of relief knowing I will see my child in heaven one day. You will be in my daily thoughts.

    • hi… i am not a professional but i have dealt with the same decision. i too have rarely found peace with that decision to kill my child. however i found church only to help when I accepted how severe what i had done really was. i stopped lying to myself and others and now i deal with the choice i made. second please realize this choice was equivalent to most as losing a child. now u have a 7 year old daughter you say. imagine losing her. you would grieve for quite some time right. as would i if i lost my 9 year old son. 4 years ago i killed and rejected my unborn child because i found out i was pregnant the day i went to the hospital to have my broken face x-rayed.(my face was broken by that child’s would be father.) now today i live for the son i have come to terms with what i have done i am open and honest. i accept the shame and know God has forgiven me. when faced with that decision a second time after a rape. i chose to keep that baby because i knew the devastation of killing a child a second time would in turn kill me. now i have also a 1 year old little boy, and when we die (me and my 2 boys) we will meet their brother or sister at the gates of heaven. getting over this is not about coping or dealing with the decision it is about repenting, feeling truly sorry, asking for forgiveness from God but mainly and most important FORGIVING YOURSELF. imagine the woman who ran over her child in a parking lot after forgetting the baby in the car seat on the ground while packing up her groceries. we all make mistakes that hurt and sometimes we make mistakes that kill… but if we are truly sorry we will find forgiveness and peace in Jesus’ arms.

      Jesus please hold this woman show her the peace and the grace u have shown me in finding a way out of the grief remorse and guilt from killing our unborn children. As you said on your cross “we knew not what we did” and we beg for your forgiveness and i pray you give this woman the strength and ability to forgive herself. I pray that you give her the grace to continue with her life with that child in her thoughts but release her from the anguish of the memory. please Jesus show us your mercy and grace as we all know none of us deserve it. Amen…

    • Try Rachel’s Vinyard. Have heard very wonderful testimonies from women who have gone through their program of healing. Do not be afraid!!!

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