New study debunks myths about post-abortion emotions

By Hillary Scrivani, WLP Legal Intern

Some anti-choice groups are notorious for spreading lies about abortion in an effort to deter women from making informed medical decisions about their reproductive health.   Some of these lies include exaggerating or outright fabricating adverse emotional impacts that abortion can have on a woman.  A recent study performed by the University of California, San Francisco, debunks these myths by finding that the week after having an abortion, most women report feeling relieved.

The study, which involved more than 800 women who sought abortions between 2008 and 2010, asked the participants about their experiences with relief, happiness, regret, guilt, sadness and anger.  Ninety percent of women who had an abortion near the gestational age limit experienced relief.  More than eighty percent of those who initially experienced negative emotions after having an abortion still felt that it was the correct choice.  The study also looked at women who were denied abortion care, and found that these participants experienced “more regret and less relief” one week later than the women who obtained abortions.

This study shows why it is crucial that women be able to make decisions about their own reproductive health without being bombarded with anti-choice propaganda.  Though people are bound to experience a wide range of emotions when seeking any kind of medical treatment, it is unethical to mislead women with false information about emotional consequences regarding their healthcare decisions.

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