The most reliable indicator of whether a woman will experience feelings of distress after an abortion is her emotional stability before the abortion. Choosing to have an abortion is an important decision. The decision-making process may be stressful, even if the outcome is ultimately positive.
Although the most common emotion after completing an abortion is relief, there also can be feelings of loss or sadness. Some women may have difficulty after an abortion because of:
- The obstacles encountered while trying to obtain abortion care
- Feeling alone while making an important decision
- An environment where choosing abortion may be stigmatized
Some women feel grief even though they know they made the right decision. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The feelings are real, and you should give yourself permission to have them.
If you need help coping with your emotions, most NAF member clinics provide post-abortion counseling or can provide you with referrals to pro-choice counseling services in your community if they do not.
Groups opposed to abortion claim there is a condition called "Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome" which they say is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. This is not an actual psychological condition and is not recognized by the American Psychological Association. For more information, see Abortion Myths.
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