What Are the Mental Health Effects of Abortion?
Just as the physical effects of abortion can vary between individuals, it is impossible to predict the mental health effects that a woman will experience. However, abortion has been shown to increase the risk of women experiencing certain mental health struggles.
Protect your mental health by learning about the risk abortion poses.
For some women, abortion may feel like a burden has been lifted. They may return to their regular lives as though their pregnancy never occurred. For others, however, abortion can bring about feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, and loss. These feelings may arise immediately following an abortion, or the effects may not be felt for months or even years afterward.
Many women struggling with post-abortion stress attempt to ignore their negative emotions, but the use of avoidance or denial as coping strategies only increases the risk of a woman developing a mental health disorder.
Increased Mental Health Risk
Research shows that women experiencing abortion are at risk of developing mental health disorders like:
- Substance use disorder
- Eating disorders
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
While it is impossible to determine how a woman will respond to an abortion, women with the following may be more likely to struggle with their mental health after an abortion:
- Beliefs or values that oppose abortion
- Feelings of having no other choice
- Pressure from others, like their partner or family, to abort
- History of mental health disorders
- Desire to become a mother in the future
Let Us Help
If you are struggling with your mental health following an abortion, we want to help. Crossroads offers confidential post-abortive care. Allow us to provide the support you need on your journey to healing. Group and individual support is available.
Reaching out for help may be a challenging first step, but it is a worthwhile one. Contact Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center to learn more about our post-abortion support.