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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are some emotional issues facing a woman after having an abortion

    My boyfriend and I just found out that I am pregnant and have decided to choose the abortion route. Although we believe this is the best decision, I am worried about the way I may feel afterward. Do many women become depressed or feel regret afterward?
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    Marcia Costello

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years experience in working with adults, adolescents, children, couples and families. I work by meeting you where ... View Profile

    Becoming pregnant unexpectedly raises many questions. While I understand you have talked about this with your boyfriend and made a decision  to have an abortion, it would be probably worthwhile talking to a few people you can trust about your decision. Often an abortion can be viewed as a procedure. However this question of choice  also relates to how you and your boyfriend can cope with being part of creating a new life, and what this means to you. This experience can impact you at many levels: physical, emotional, spiritual, relationships and family levels. Some people can accept an abortion as a procedure based on pragmatic factors. Many struggle with complex emotions of grief and guilt after the experience even if this was what they thought they wanted. This is particularly true for the woman whose body is impacted by hormonal changes, physical pain and loss. I would encourage you to talk with a trusted GP, research online ( Abortion Grief) and talk to pregnancy support professionals before taking a final decision. Whatever your final choice you may benefit from talking to someone professionally about your choice for support emotionally, such as a Clinical Psycholgist or Counsellor in this area. Some people ( women and men) struggle with grief reactions and can become anxious or depressed clinically or act in self harmful ways. I have worked professionally with these women and men and it has taken some of them many months or even years to get their lives on track after this experience

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    Maria Nguyen

    Healthshare Member

    Some women might feel sad and overly emotional after an abortion, some women do not feel any regrets or emotions at all. It is all very individual. But common emotional issues after abortion might be sadness, depression, regret, extensive crying, tiredness and etc. 

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  • Children by Choice is a Brisbane based not-for-profit organisation providing pro-choice, all-options counselling, information and referrals Queensland-wide, for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We provide face-to ... View Profile

    It is very common for women to have one or more of these feelings at the same time and for these feelings to change over time. Women may also experience both positive and negative feelings together.

    Many women report coping very well after having an abortion. Some women feel like they are struggling with their feelings. Other women may have difficulty identifying their emotions. Often women may describe themselves as feeling confused, without really knowing which feelings are coming together to make them feel this way. The intensity of these emotions will depend on the individual woman, her beliefs and attitudes, her support systems and the particular circumstances in her own life.

    For more information visit www.childrenbychoice.org.au

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