Grief After Abortion: healing from unspoken loss

There are posts that we write here on WYG that travel like wildfire.  In the course of a day or two we see the reach on social media climb, people commenting, sharing and resharing.  We love it, because it reminds us that grievers want to help other grievers.  They want to share help and support and let others know they are not alone.  Color me a pessimist, but I have a strong feeling that today’s post will NOT be one of those posts.  I have that feeling despite the fact that today’s post topic touches over a million women in the US every year.   Why?  Because unfortunately today’s topic is one that is so entrenched in politics and rhetoric that as a society we are often scared to utter the word, to talk about the experience, to acknowledge the emotions, to support one another.  Our fear that even a mention of the A-word will bring an onslaught of comments, attacks and hurt feelings keeps even helping professionals quiet, to the detriment of those who silently suffer.

Whether you are a woman who has had an abortion or a woman who knows someone who has, millions of men and women are impacted by abortion.  The bad news is, despite the huge number of people impacted by abortion (over a million men and women every year in the US), only small subset are sharing their experiences.  The good news is, a small subset are sharing their experience and the abortion grief resources are slowly growing.  This post is not about politics or religion.  It is not about opinions or beliefs.  It is about doing what we value most here at WYG: helping anyone struggling with the pain of any type of loss to find support.

Where do we  begin?

With a disclaimer, of course!  Just like any experience of loss, the emotions after an abortion will differ from person to person.  There is no normal, so don’t freak out if your experience isn’t what you expected, or didn’t look like the post-abortion experience of someone else you know.  This post is about considering the huge range of experience women may have, knowing that you may have all, some, or none of what we discuss.  And that’s okay.

Ok, now where do we really start?

You can’t talk about grief after abortion without talking first about pregnancy.  It may seem unnecessary, because the assumptions is that the grief comes from the termination of that pregnancy, not the pregnancy itself.  But the reality is that many of the complex emotions women are left to cope with begin as soon as a woman learns (or even suspects) she is pregnant.  In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, this is when the fear, confusion, anger, blame, conflict, guilt, shame, isolation, and anxiety often begin.  When a pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted women are often in crisis, feeling overwhelmed by emotions, alone in their coping, and yet facing a tremendous decision.

Rather than having time to process feelings, in cases of unplanned pregnancies women often struggle to make this life-changing decision in a short time frame, while overcome with emotions, and without support.  Women often report fears around sharing the feelings about their unwanted pregnancy, assuming others will be unable to relate and will judge them.  Ironically, data shows that 1 in 2 women have had an unwanted pregnancy.  1 in 2!  With stats like that you would think there would be a more open dialogue about the experience of unwanted pregnancies and tools for coping.  Unfortunately, at a time when it may be especially helpful to have the time to process emotions, think through decisions, and seek support from others we are often left feeling alone with pressing time constraints to make a decision.  In some instances, women share their feelings and find the stigma and judgment they feared, only encouraging them not to seek further external support.

So before we even begin looking at the emotions that can impact someone grieving after an abortion, go back to the feelings that began before the abortion took place.  Start a journal, talk to someone, create art – whatever works for you to acknowledge the feelings that came up with the pregnancy itself.  Take the time you may not have had then to think about how you felt supported, how you didn’t, what emotions were impacting you at the time, what practical needs were impacting you, etc.

Where do we go next?

Give yourself the right to grieve.  One struggle with abortion is that it is a disenfranchised loss, meaning it is a loss that society doesn’t always validate.  You can read all about disenfranchised grief here, and I would strongly recommend you check that post out before continuing.  Understanding disenfranchised loss is (in my estimation) crucial to understanding the experience of an abortion.  For those who don’t like prerequisites, here is the gist: in the case of abortion one of the commonly reported feelings is that people don’t feel they have the same right to grieve the loss because it was their choice or because of the judgment and stigma around abortion.  It is important to remember that, though this loss is not identical to other losses, that does not mean it is not a valid loss.  It is an experience that you have the right to grieve.  It is part of you and your story and it is your right to feel, process, and integrate every emotion that comes with that, the good, the bad, and the complicated.

 Got it. Now what?

Find a mental and emotional space to be with your personal experience, apart from the politics of the discussion.   This is easier said than done, because there is no question our emotions are often intertwined with the politics of abortion.  Even the word abortion can be hard for many women.  In her book C.P.R: Choice Processing and Resolution, Trudy Johnson renames abortion VPT (voluntary pregnancy termination), arguing that the “A-word” brings up so many charged feelings due to its religious and political history that it is helpful to use the term VPT when reflecting on one’s personal experience, differentiating the personal journey from the politics.  Changing the language may help you, it may not.  But no matter what, finding the people and space to look at your experience in an individual, personal and unique way is the first step in seeing yourself apart from the abortion rhetoric.

Understood.  What’s next?

Identify feelings from after the abortion.  The good news?  A comprehensive review done of the psychological research shows having a legal abortion during the first trimester of a pregnancy does not “pose a psychological hazard” for most women (Adler et all 1990).  The bad news?  That doesn’t mean you won’t experience grief after abortion and feel a range of complex emotions.  It may be in the short term, it may be in the long term.  Grief is not just one feeling, it is many feelings, and (as we have said many times before) it can feel like you’re going crazy (you’re not, so don’t panic!).  Research has shown that emotions after an abortion can range from sadness, relief, happiness guilt, anger, shame, to a range of other things (Adler et al).  So let’s talk about some of those . . .

Relief

One of the most common emotions reported by women immediately following an abortion is actually relief.  According 2013 data, 90% of women feel relief, in fact.  Relief may sound like a good thing, if you were expecting something like guilt, sadness or regret to be the most common emotion.  But relief is actually quite complex.  On the one hand, relief is a positive.  It can help us feel reassured that we made a decision we can live with.  It can help us to feel hopeful and optimistic about moving forward.  At the same time, it can make us feel guilty, if we worry we shouldn’t be relieved.  Or, it leaves us feeling completely confused when we feel relief and concurrently feel sadness or isolation.  Those feelings may seem at odds, which can leave us feeling conflicted.  And, on top of that, the relief may subside and make way for other emotions.

 Guilt

Guilt is an important and valid feeling that follows many types of loss for many reasons.  In the case of abortion there may be unique feelings of guilt, as abortion is a decision deeply intertwined with our spiritual, ethical and political belief systems.  We have a whole post on guilt, so rather than rehashing I will direct you there to check it out. It include thoughts on guilt and also ideas for coping.  While you’re at it, you can also check out our post on why you should never tell a griever (or anyone else) not to feel guilty.

In the case of abortion there may be especially complex feelings of guilt for some, if they feel the abortion compromised their spiritual, ethical or political values.  In these cases one must work through guilt on all of these levels, seeking forgiveness both from oneself, as well as from a church or a higher power.

For others there may be no guilt (or very little guilt).  In these cases some women feel great that they have no guilt.  Others report that their lack of guilt feels concerning, leaving them worried that they are avoiding in some way.  The reality is that some women never end up feeling intense guilt and that doesn’t mean you are avoiding or a bad person.  It means that, like so many other things with grief, we are all impacted differently.  If you feel no guilt early on does it mean you will never feel guilt?  Nope, it could come up down the road.  Does it mean it will definitely come up for you later?  Nope again.

Shame

As we explained in a post about overdose grief, there are many different ways you will see guilt and shame defined and contrasted against each other.  Here we mean this distinction as a contrast between a personal experience vs a relational experience.  Guilt is something we feel within ourselves, based on our own perception that we could or should have done in a certain situation. Shame is something we feel based on our perception that others think we could or should have done something differently.  In the context of abortion shame can be an even more prevalent emotion depending on one’s religion, politics, and support system.  As shame is deeply relational, it is important to consider your support system and understand how they impact you.  Need some help doing that?  No problem – we have a post for that!

Isolation

With the combination of guilt and shame, isolation can become a prevalent emotion following an abortion.  Women often feel they are all alone, despite the fact that over a million women have an abortion every year.  Feeling alone and fear of judgment from others can cause many women to stay quiet about an unplanned pregnancy or an abortion.  You can probably see the vicious cycle – we feel alone and judged, so we don’t speak up, so then others feel alone and judged, and suddenly hordes of people are struggling in silence.

What can you do?  Check out that support system post again and consider opening up to friends and family.  This can be risky – we don’t know how friends and family will react.  It is important to be thoughtful about who you’re honest with and it is important to remember that some people you hope will support you may not.  Some people you never imagined will support you might be incredibly helpful. Take a look at this post on grief and loneliness for some other ideas on coping with isolation. If your own support system isn’t giving you what you need, consider a support group or hotline, where you may be able to connect with others going through something similar and talk to people without judgment.  Many women keep their abortions a secret for months, years, or decades and express a feeling of relief and connection when they finally come to a point that they can share their experience.

Regret

Regret can set in right away, down the road, or not at all.  Regret is a complicated emotion in any kind of loss, but has especially unique considerations with abortion.  Research has shown that a week after an abortion 41% of women felt regret, though 89% of those women who felt regret after their abortion still felt it was the right choice.  Regret is not limited to women who had an abortion.  In the same study statistics showed that 50% of women who were unable to have an abortion also felt regret.  And we know regret is common in many other types of losses. In a society that embraces the ‘no regrets’ mindset, it is important not simply to ignore or repress regret, but rather to spend time to understand regret and explore its impact.  Wondering where to start?  Check out our post and journaling activity on loving your regret.  Then check out our post on individual worth and forgiveness.

Sadness

This is probably the most obvious emotion with any loss. The sadness of any type of grief can become overwhelming at times, despite being normal and natural.  Even when a woman feels confident in the decision she made, there still can be sadness about the loss of a future as a mother, with that child.  Grieving a potential future together is a unique type of loss, sometimes called a secondary loss, which you can learn more about here.  It is important to feel and acknowledge sadness, and accept that it is okay to feel this emotion despite the abortion being a choice.  Sadness can be confusing when it comes simultaneously with emotions like relief and happiness, but this is the reality and complexity of grief.

 Holy crap, that’s a lot of emotions.  Anything else I need to know?

Yup, there’s more.  Another important thing to keep in mind is that different emotions may arise at different times, some years later.  These emotions can come up for different reasons and in different ways.  For example, a woman may have an abortion because at the time she becomes pregnant she unable to care for a child.  Though she may grieve in some way immediately, later in life if she is in a position to support a child, or decides to have a child, she may find emotions arising again.  A woman who has children and decides to have an abortion may find at significant moments in the lives of her children she feels pangs of sadness or guilt.  Rather than ignoring these emotions when the arise, it is important to consider that the emotions of a loss may come back up and impact us in different ways at different times in life.  Things we never expect may trigger emotions we never expect at times we never expect, because that is how grief works.  You can check out more info on triggers here and here.

What about men?

This is a great question, and one I neglected to mention specifically in the first version of this article.  As you can imagine, if women are made to feel they don’t have the right to grieve after abortion, men often feel this to an even greater extent.  Men can have all the same feelings as women after an abortion, with all the same challenges for grieving.  Layered on top of that is the unfortunate reality that men are often raised feeling less able to show emotions, feeling they have to stay strong.  On the site ‘Men and Abortion’ you can see some of the research on men’s experience with abortion.  Dr. Arthur Shostak, a professor emeritus from Drexel University, began this reseach in 1983 and continued it in 1999.  In 1983-84 he surveyed a thousand men who accompanied women to an abortion procedure in 30 clinics in 18 states.  In 1999 he surveyed 905 men in 11 clinics in eight states and Vancouver, BC.  In both cases he self-financed his research, demonstrating the limitations in funding and academic interest in exploring this area.  His website and research provides some information and resources for men coping with an abortion. Additionally, there is a book on this topic by Dr. C.T. Coyle called Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing. I have not read this book, so I cannot give it an endorsement, but with the dearth of resources out there it seems worth a mention!

Any Last Thoughts?

Of course, I could go on all day.  But I won’t.  Just want to mention that you may have had an abortion and not be feeling any of these crazy grief emotions.  It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you are in denial or anything pathological.  Though many women struggle with complicated emotions after an abortion, there are plenty of women who do not.  You may find emotions arise later, you may not.  Each woman will have her own experience, unique to her.  There is no right or wrong.  It is for this reason that it can be helpful to read the experiences of other women who have had abortions.  If you are interested in reading the experience of other women, you can check out 26 abortion stories here in New York Magazine.  You can share your story and read other stories here, at the 1 in 3 website, named as a reminder that 1 in 3 women have an abortion by age 45, but so few women share their experience with others.  (a disclaimer about 1 in 3 is that they are pro-choice leaning, but encourages women to share their abortion experiences openly and honestly).  You can also share and read stories at Abortion Changes You. (A quick note, in 2008 the data was 1 in 3 women 18-45 have had an abortion. With increased awareness and access to birth control, abortion number have gone down. In 2014 that number was down to 1 in 4).

Where can I turn?

Finding resources that allow for a safe space to cope, free from the politics of abortion, can be difficult.  Many website, centers, and books have some sort of political or religious agenda (on either end of the spectrum) which can confuse a woman’s personal experience.  Like with any grief support, it is about researching any resource you explore and finding something that works for you.  Below are some resource that may be of help, but we would love to know what other resources are out there that have helped you.  Leave a comment to let use know!

Exhale is a hotline and website for women post-abortion.  They are part of the ‘pro-voice’ movement, which emphasizes allowing women space to talk about their personal experiences with abortion that is free from politics or stigma. They are a national hotline and offer support in multiple languages.

The Healing Choice is a book by two pyschotherapists about post-abortion healing, based on a combination of research and their experience working with women after an abortion.

Have something to add to the discussion?  Leave a comment to let us know!  And don’t forget to subscribe to get our posts right to your email.

December 3, 2018

87 responses on "Grief After Abortion: healing from unspoken loss"

  1. I had an abortion 12 years ago, and I think about what could have been all the time. I was in a two year long relationship with the man I thought I would spend my life with. When I found out I was pregnant, I was both scared and excited. I told my partner and his response brought me to my knees. He said “If you keep the baby, you will ruin three people’s lives.” He didnt talk to me for almost 3 days after that conversation. What was initially fear mixed with excitement….turned into panic and a feeling that I had just failed at everything. I thought that the two of us together could be a family and could raise this baby. That was not what he wanted, at all. Two years into our relationship and he said he would leave me because I would have ruined his life by making him become a parent. It that moment I felt so alone and cornered with the realization that I had nowhere to turn. We were both young, but had both graduated high school and were in college with full-time jobs, and living on our own. We often talked of marriage and the future. But that changed the day I found out I was pregnant. I had been on birth control for years and was in a committed and (so I thought) a loving relationship. I’ve found that I am more ashamed that I didnt have the strength to say I wouldn’t let him make this decision for me, but I felt abandoned, hopeless, and alone. I remember that day more clearly than I thought I would. I had to make the appointment, pay for it, and handle it all on my own. He did agree to go with me, after realizing I had to have someone drive me. I was told not to eat anything, but he wanted to stop for breakfast. He ate on the way to the appointment and then dropped me off. It was like he was taking me to a friend’s house. He never came inside. Two years, we were together and he acted as though we had just met. He got to go sit comfortably in a movie theater while I sat alone in a clinic, with the other women. Several of them cried while others sat and stared silently at the floor until their name was called. It is not a choice I would ever wish on anyone, ever. I am embarrassed that I wasn’t strong enough to tell him no or make him stay with me. I’m angry with myself for listening to a selfish coward that threw out our relationship because he wasn’t ready to grow up. I’m angry at myself for never telling a friend or my parents, I was so scared of being a burden and disappointing them. I didnt want my friends to know how quickly our relationship had crumbled. And it’s often easy for others to offer advice when they are not faced with the same circumstances. When you’re alone, hurt, scared, worried, etc….decisions are often made that you may not have otherwise known if you had support or felt at the very least that your partner was going through it too. I was angry at him for never having to actually deal with any of it. He never understood why I held on to it or why it broke my heart. Some people are so hateful when they talk about abortions. They act as though it was a walk in the park and that it was a huge relief for the woman. It’s not. There are years of pain and personal blame that follow, and it never seems to go away. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever been in this position.

    • Hi Liz: I am touched by your story and want to share that I lead a group of trained lay merciful companions who are ready to offer you support. Try calling us at 18773019684 to start your healing process. It is confidential. If you prefer to email me, please do so at [email protected].
      We are here to serve you and accompany you.

  2. I don’t regret what I did because I know it was the best decision I could have made at that time, but holy hell do I feel sad and stupid for even ending up in that position to begin with.. still, you can’t change what already happened. It’s hard moving on.

  3. I’m a 57 year old male that is sitting here at 10:00 PM with a wife that needs to go cry herself to sleep without me there over this mess that happened to us 41 years ago today! Parents can be evil, heartless, cruel and selfish without even considering the damage they will bring on their child! Fear is a very powerful tool that parents can hold over a child’s head and we are suffering the aftermath of that all these years later. We were just kids! How could they do that! Other than a site like this nobody can understand what it has done to us.

    Yes she was forbidden to ever see or speak to me again back then but we persevered. After 39 years of marriage and two beautiful daughters later we have become the envy of so many couples that wish they were like us. My only satisfaction is that her selfish parents had no idea of what we would become!

    For the sake of your child, don’t make the decision for them, let them decide! They may think they are doing the right thing but they have no idea of the monster it will create with their child having to deal with this for the rest of their life!

  4. I had an abortion 3 days ago on May 3rd and I was almost 9 weeks. I’m 33 years old, married, and have an 8 year old son. My son is special needs and after trying for another baby and being unsuccessful (5 years) we decided that we would not have any more children because it was simply not meant to be, the age gap was now too large, and I also have fears of having another child that is special needs. We were as close to 100% as we could be for an abortion. We talked about it, cried about it, wrote a pro/con list, and thought about it for 3 weeks. When we were at the clinic I didn’t get a “sign” or a “gut feeling” that I shouldn’t be there. I felt numb. We were there waiting for 8 hours. When the time finally came and they took me into the room (alone) I had that one split second thought “maybe I should put my clothes on and just leave”. But I didn’t. I had already taken the antibiotic and figured it was probably harmful for the baby, and I knew that if I left that meant staying pregnant and I was pretty sure we didn’t want that. Well, I regret it. I am struggling and crying all the time feeling ashamed, that I am forever changed and that I will not be able to go back to normal. I keep replaying those final moments before the procedure wishing that I would have just dressed and left. I feel that I made a mistake and made the wrong decision and its killing me. I have even thought that maybe we shouldn’t try again and see what happens. I mean, for me to get pregnant after so many years, that must have meant that it was meant to be right? And I took that blessing and flushed it down the toilet. Now I look at my son and feel sad that he is my only child. I don’t know what to do. I just feel so much regret and I wish I could take it back and I just don’t know how to move forward.

    • IfICouldTurnBackTimeMay 6, 2019 at 10:33 pmReply

      Katrina, I’m sorry that you are struggling.
      I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I am 38, married, with a 7 year old only child. After a near death experience with my first child, my husband and I decided not to try again. There were a few years where I was on the fence, but as time went by and my son got older, it seemed crazy to start over anyway. Then. I got pregnant by accident in 2018 at age 37. A total fluke so I thought it was meant to be. My immediate reaction, however, was fear, dread, regret. I worried for my life. Then I worried for my unborn child’s life with my age and all the potential complications with the child from the emergent procedure I underwent with baby #1. And I worried for my son and leaving him without a mother. The brain can convince you of anything, and my worry had me certain that the worst would happen. After much discussion, we scheduled abortion. Within the first few weeks, I felt sadness and regret. I couldn’ t shake the loss and regret so 4 months later, I consulted with a maternal fetal medicine specialist and decided to get pregnant on purpose. I became pregnant after 5 consecutive months of trying (Age 38). I was extremely sick, but so, so excited. It wa s the only time Inwas at peace. Then, at 10 weeks, I found out that they were mo di high risk twins. With my previous condition and the advice of my doctor, because they were twins, I couldnt take the risk. I had a second abortion and it was agonizing. It was so much harder than the first. I am coming up on my due date, and I grieve the loss of all of my babies. I fear that the regret and loss will haunt me
      for life. Also, my son didn’t know about the pregnancies but asks daily for a sibling daily. This makes me feel very guilty.
      My suggestion for you would be to talk to a counselor. The emotions within the first few days are very hard as your hormones take a nose dive. Unfortunately, 5 months later, for me, it hasn’t gotten much easier. I hope it gets easier for you and you can be at peace with your decision.

  5. It has been 8 months for me and there is not a day that goes by that I do not with I could turn back and walk out of that clinic. To think that today my baby would’ve been a month old, that I will never get to look at his face, it just breaks my heart every time.
    Mine was an unplanned pregnancy, the father and I were very close and had a love for each other but had to many issues and neither did not want to be in a official relationship. When I found out I was pregnant, I was immensely happy for a second, thinking about this new future with my baby and everything that comes with it. Then I though about the father and my happiness faded away. I knew exactly what he would say and dreaded telling him. It took me two days to gather the courage to tell him and it went down exactly as I thought it would. He used my weaknesses against me, my issues with my own mother and cornered me into thinking so little of myself and my capabilities, this and the fact that I suffered from depression and was extremely hormonal lead me to feel so small that I ended up caving in to his wishes and my baby was gone a week later. I hated myself for being so weak for so long; the suicidal thoughts are just now starting to quiet down but the pain does not get any more bearable. I look forward to the day when I get to meet and hold my baby in the afterlife and hope he can forgive me.

    • Thank you for sharing your story.

      It’s been almost two months since having my abortion and I’m starting to regret it.
      My baby’s father is someone who also “loves” me but never wanted to be in a relationship with me.
      He wanted to build a family with me but lives in another country, I thought that was selfish of him and didn’t understand how he expected us to raise a family with him being so far away and me being alone.

      I’m unemployment meaning that my parents would have to take care of my child while I finish college, which I still felt would be unfair to my child.

      Not a day goes by without me thinking of my son.
      I’ve developed this a deep anger towards him & in a way towards myself for letting me get into this situation.

      The painful part is that I feel that I can’t talk to anyone about this, the two people that do know about my abortion don’t understand my pain & always make me feel like I should be over it. Basically they make me feel ashamed for being hurt.
      I lied and told him I had a miscarriage and that was basically the end of our “relationship”.
      So much for the “love”.

      I just hope and pray that one day I’ll be able to actually have children, with a man who wants to be with both of & that I’ll have the fiancial ability to take care of my children.

      Even though I sometimes feel like I made the right choice, I regret having anything to regret.

    • Don’t know if you got my first reply.
      But thanks for your story.

      And I’m sorry for your loss

  6. It’s been six months since I had the abortion but I still am filled with rage, anger, guilt and sadness each day. My husband and I had been married for 6 years and have two beautiful girls. We had been together for 12 years, but he had a falling out with my family two years ago. He always had anger issues but I had supported him all along. One year ago, I felt that things were going better but we had unexpected pregnancy.. We were not thrilled but my husband thought that it will be a good to have a boy in our family. We also thought that we will put child for adoption if having a third child will pull us for financial hardship. Well at 10 weeks , I saw my perfect child but we also did some advanced tests to detect any genetic anamolies. We found out that we were having another girl. Husband changed his tune and wanted to abort the child.. we faucet for 8 weeks as that’s against my beliefs and religions but his anger, his lose stopped me from leaving him. He loves our girls and kept on hoping that he will change. We walked about if abortion clinic twice , and finally at 18 weeks he finally came around.. at 20 weeks scan I found at that I have an incompetent cervix. Doctor refused to give emergent cerclage and I was beginning to get dialited. I don’t know that If it was opportunity or something else.. he seemed extremely heartbroken for a week but then convinced everyone that abortion is the right thing. We aborted at 22 weeks in fear of preterm child with lifetime of disabilities.. I grief every day, every moment!! I am still so angry with my husband and only stay in relationship for my other two children.. I hate him and wish that he never has any boy in his family.. what a sexist like his damn dad!!
    I miss my child every day, every moment I imagine her fingers , I saved breast milk from my prior pregnancy for this child, bought diapers and my grief doesn’t let me dispose it anymore.. just living this life as I don’t know anything else!

  7. I terminated yesterday. I’m 32 I have an 8 year old. I was in a relationship for 1.5 years. It turned sour he offered for me to leave my job so I can go back to school. Of course huge mistake. We were engaged and I loved him dearly but he did not love my son. He was going to be his step-father but they just didn’t get along time after time. My ex-fiancé and me began to have many problems, he was very obsessive and needy, he was emotionally and verbally abusive. I already felt stuck in the relationship even though I was not physically I was mentally!! When I finally decided to end his manipulative ways after the 15th time or so…. I turned out to be pregnant!!! After the 15th time of break up and make up I acquired a protective order because he tends to come back to my home say the whole “sorry” and bring you the moon and back story. After I found out I was pregnant not only was I shocked but I was a bit content I thought in my hopeful mind maybe tho could finally make changes in our relationship? Maybe this is it? When he found out to my surprise he was not how I thought he would be since he was always needy, talky, and overly affectionate. He was dry, reserved, just meh. It was interesting and his reaction hurt me dearly. For the millionth time we talked and in my mind we made up… we had intimacy, we talked and began to get excited. But the problems quickly arose… during the time we were apart he decided to speak to another woman!! Out of the whole relationship he was not in anyway like that( that I know of)) I could have forgave but the pain this relationship caused me was way more than I bargained for!!! My son was very unhappy with him but very happy about being a big brother!

    I thought I cannot do this again, the abuse, the lies, I cannot go through another pregnancy alone, I did that with my son and although my son was a blessing it was still very very hard. I had my mother’s support with my son. I lived with her, this time, I’m jobless, I have a new mortgage under my name, my son needs lots of attention and I have a legal matter against my ex fiancé.. I know things would clear up later, honestly I am just so pained that I cannot bare another pregnancy alone. I can’t tolerate dealing with the legalities of my ex, seeing him, asking why I was not enough, why he could not stop lying to me. I didn’t want linkage to him further more. I just wanted peace back in my home and to move in with my life. I do feel selfish and of-course grief at times because I do the “what if” and I wish he could have been supportive. I don’t know what feelings will come later but I do feel a sense of relief to move on with my life although he contested the protective order to be removed. I believe he did that because he knew I was pregnant. I just felt a sense of suffocation and control from his part. I still feel that but now with out a baby on the way from him not so much. It’s funny…)he’s a very great looking guy but even with his good genes and looks I know there is more underneath his charm , I always sensed a form of control and fear.

    In regards to my dear unborn child, I’m sad it happened this way and keep on asking for forgiveness. I read all these stories and it shocks me but we have to keep our heads up and keep searching for happiness and positivity!

  8. Ağrısız vakumlu kürtaj ile hızlı ve güvenli gebelik sonlandırma, uygun kürtaj fiyatı. Çok sayıda hasta deneyimi, başarılı jinekolojik operasyonlar, kürtaj alanında uzman hekim. Ücretsiz Ön Görüşme.

  9. I had an abortion 4 days ago. I’m in my 40s and just feel really stupid that I could end up pregnant at this age, with someone I’m not in love with and don’t even want a proper relationship with. I have physical and mental health issues, no family support, no friends where I am, no permanent home or income, the father has even less income than me…I don’t have the high energy levels required to raise a child (I’d be in my 60s when the child was 20) I felt sick as a dog all day, every day, and was desperate for the pregnancy to be over, after 3 weeks waiting for the process of getting an appointment. The abortion itself was horrible, I didn’t have the option of general anaesthetic so had to be awake throughout, didn’t get given painkillers until afterwards – even though the leaflet said they gave them beforehand…they didn’t….and it was painful! At first I just felt relieved but now that’s mixing with more complicated feelings of loss and grief, grief for the ‘normal’ life I’ll never have, being someone’s mummy like everyone else I know seems to be…Although I’ve always found the idea of pregnancy and birth revolting, and instead fantasised about adopting a 3 or 4yr old, rather than having a baby- this would be in an environment where I had a partner and a home. ..not alone with no money. I find looking after babies tedious as well as exhausting, and would ideally skip the baby stage altogether, hence liking the idea of adoption- also to not pass on my various health issues and ‘bad genes’
    I grew up poor and I’d never want to bring another person into a life that would be really tough, especially someone I’d be bringing into the world begrudgingly, just because it happened- not because I planned or wanted it- I was really scared I’d resent a baby and feel it had ruined my life, and it would force me to be connected to a man I don’t want to be connected to forever (he wanted it, despite having no means to provide for it, he’s more of a romantic than me, and doesn’t see much wrong with having a child when you’re really poor- whereas I do! ) I believe that to have a child you should really, really want it, 110% …and I didn’t- yet now it’s gone I have “what if” thoughts and doubts, along with relief that I’m coming back to normal and not feeling violently ill all the time anymore. It’s a very confusing mixture of emotions, my hormones are still all over the place. I’m isolated where I live and don’t feel I want to see the father at the moment, I didn’t let him come to the hospital with me, he did offer but I felt it would be less stressful going alone, he was my only friend here. so I’m dealing with it alone, by choice and by circumstance as I have no friends nearby. I simply cannot imagine looking after a baby 24/7 and living with the father…I tried to talk myself into it but it just didn’t work, I even went in baby shops, stared at babies in the street etc…but I felt no desire for a baby of my own…The idea of being stuck at home with one day, going to the playground etc, day after day filled me with a desire to run away. I prefer older children, I’m good with kids generally but like giving them back to their parents. It sounds awful, people think you don’t like kids at all if you say you don’t want one, that’s not the case…I worked with kids for years and have friends with kids- who I love. I guess some women just aren’t cut out to be mothers, it’s good to be able to think about and admit that as so many people who aren’t really cut out for it just go on and have them, because “it’s what you’re supposed to do” and society disapproves if you don’t have kids. I’ve been reading posts on a support group for parents who hate parenting, and it’s very sad- as once you’ve had a child there is no going back. I hear people say it’s different when it’s your own, but many of the parents I know don’t seem particularly happy, and the ones posting anonymously online are very unhappy….I have no idea whether or not I would have coped, and will never know now. I guess I’m grieving for the parallel life that will never be.

    • Good Morning, your story is very touching similar to mine. I am 51 years old I had a abortion in January of 2007. Probably the worst decision that I have ever made. Since than i have been struggling with anxiety right up to 2015. Things are a little better since I have turned to prayers and my faith in God which has helped me heal over time. It has been a struggle but you have keep strong and keeping praying for spiritual healing. Having a abortion is very hard and effects us emotionally and physically. Because these memories will always be with us.. Stay strong all the best, God is not sleeping💒💝☺.. Email me anytime talking is good therapy.☺💒 Lisa.

  10. I really appreciated this article – I am currently nearing the end of a very unplanned and unwanted pregnancy and just wanted to highlight I have felt such a huge range of emotions from loss, grief etc for the life I wanted with the two children I already have (and planned) we are dammed if we and dammed if we don’t as women!! I went in and out of abortion clinics so many times and it is such a complex decision I simply couldn’t make it. Unfortunately I am so detached from this pregnancy and am considering adoption so this was by no means the easy choice…… this is such a complex decision and no woman should blame herself for making this complicated choice as no option is easy…..

    • Good Morning your story is very touching God will help you! You should try to keep this baby there is so much support out there that can help you..☺💒💝

  11. I had my abortion two weeks ago. I have two beautiful children through fertility treatments, had a surprise miscarriage in the Fall.
    In order to cope with that miscarriage, I started trying again. When I found out I was pregnant, my husband wasn’t thrilled. He wouldn’t speak to me. I was consumed with guilt over getting pregnant. My life, and my kids lives was going to be turned upside down. I had two rough pregnancies, and now I was going to go through a third with an unsupportive husband. I thought of every reason why I need to emotionally and physically be 100% in with my two children and how having a third would compromise their lives and my marriage. To have this baby for ME was selfish, as I felt I was not thinking of anyone but me and my wants. At the time, I thought I was making the right decision. Looking back, I hate myself for making it. I have so much regret and remorse. I have no one to talk to, I feel undeserving of grief. I wanted that baby, but it was not what was right for my family. I can’t stop the pain.

    • Hi KJ. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I feel like I could have written exactly what you wrote myself. I am in the exact same boat as you. 2 beautiful children, lots of fertility issues along the way, a surprise pregnancy with a husband who was not at all interested in having another child. I had to make the decision under such intense pressure. Now, 4 months later, I am beyond myself with grief. Is there any chance we could connect? I’m not sure how to use this forum to do so? I feel very isolated and think it would be so nice to have someone to talk to who has gone through the same experience as me.

    • To KJ:
      Sending you so much love.
      I know what it feels like to go against your heart – even for the best of reasons.
      You did your best to make a good choice for all concerned. Not an easy situation.
      I hope you find the peace and love you deserve.

    • Hi my name is Lisa, I had an abortion back in 2007 im now 51. I know the feeling talking is the best therapy.. ☺💝💒 Hey if you need to talk send me email.. Prayer helps!! Take care and stay strong for your family! Especially your kids..💝💝☺💒

  12. I am sharing my experience as someone who has suffered from clinical depression and anxiety. I am now in mid forties and I had an abortion when I was 29. I was doing my research degree and I had a brief relationship with someone. He dumped me 3 weeks later. I loved him but he didn’t love me. He met someone else. I thought I would just get back to my research and move on, But I realised something was wrong, and anyway after confirming that I was pregnant I felt awkward and wrong. So to make sense of things I contacted my ex and we discussed whether we could go through with it. Anyway I asked him for his support with raising the child if I decided to continue. He would say yes one day and no the next day. I must point out that he is a fairly wealthy artist, so for him child support (basic right in Europe) would not have been an issue. He said he would not support me with looking after the child or offer any financial support and that he would support my decision to abort as its my body. Basically it was not really a choice with me being on anti depressants long term and doing my work. So I had to decide whether I could cope with it on my own, and honestly I said I can’t risk it so I opted for an abortion. My ex came with me to the clinic, I wanted him to be there not to support me but to etch the experience in his mind so that someone doesn’t go through this. I never cared about his money or fame. He behaved callously and even retacted his offer to pay for 50% off the fees which we had agreed. That hurt me a lot later on, and I didn’t regret terminating it. It wasn’t about the money but about a lot of stuff, in a nutshell I would not have been able to rely on him at all. After the procedure he dropped me off and then I get a phone call with him sobbing and crying. That was the only time he said sorry and that he felt the loss. Strangely I was consoling him and I was relieved that it was over. That feeling didnt last long, after a week I was angry and depressed. After a fortnight I was in the hospital as I overdosed on my medication. I couldn’t get back into my work and I failed. I became more and more dependent on alcohol and anti depressants. I was then diagnosed with PTSD for a number of years I got treatment for that. My ex whenever he would bump into me always put me down. A few times he ridiculed me in front of his friends. It was like if someone was on the floor then just continue beating them into a pulp. Six months after the abortion I met my current partner and he supported me emotionally. He is amazing. I moved to a different uni and started again. Yes, it worked out but even now I feel hurt. We don’t have children but we are very happy. Most days I feel sad about how my ex treated me and the haze of emotions regarding the abortion.
    Abortion is so complex and individual it encompasses so many aspects and different forms of grief which differ tremendously. In the end, for me it signifies the death of a part of myself. Life changed so much for me after that. I am moving through life as humbly as I can. I am still in shock after so many years.

  13. Kadın Hastalıkları ve Doğum Uzmanı Op.Dr. Aslı Alay, kadınların kürtaj kararı verirken, hekimleri tarafından ayrıntılı bilgilendirmeli gerektiğini söyledi.

  14. Hey, I’ve just recently had an abortion just over 2 weeks now, I guess I still have all these current emotions eating at me everyday and I’m finding it hard to deal with. I’ve been on and off with my now ex for over 4 years, I’m now 24. We’ve had the discussion from the beginning about my views on abortions, I believe in everyone women deserve to have the choice but for someone like me I always wanted kids so I wouldn’t ever want to have an abortion. Me & my ex decided to move in July 2018 we had a massive argument in which he moved his stuff out of the house and left me to pay for every bill on my own. He then came back few months later me still paying all the bills alone, we had 2 major arguments one which got physical. I later found out in January I was 6 weeks pregnant and we didn’t really think much of it I mean we were both shocked. Naturally I said I wanted to keep it, I know we weren’t in the right place but I was ready to do all it takes. I then told my sister as I was sure of my decision, later that day he verbally attacked me, asked if it was his, said how would I afford it, and worse how he doesn’t want a baby it’s only right for me to abort it. If I were to keep it, it’s not a guarantee we would even be together suggesting he would leave me a single mom. I think looking back this was the pivotal moment to why I came to my decision because even though I made the appointment to go through with the pill abortion which he was there with me I decided I couldn’t and I wanted to keep the baby, in the clinic he got frustrated and said I was pretending and I must go back in there and do it, he then left me so I went to my moms and I finally decided to answer his phone call the next day where he basically threatened to come to my moms and how I must make another appointment because he doesn’t want a baby and I have no reason to keep his baby. I was so torn I had to go home because I didn’t want my family to see me so broken whilst pregnant and I was scared he’d come to my moms house and disrespect me. I think I told him one more time I was keeping it and I think him saying the same things over again made me realise maybe being so unhappy and going through this now is a sign of letting go of everything to do with him. I felt the type of woman I am and was to him I didn’t deserve and I didn’t want a baby to have a person like that. So I ended having a general anaesthetic abortion at 11 weeks & 4 days, he was there with me and promised to be there for me but he didn’t stay around for the first few days and decided to completely take all his stuff from the house after the first day when he came back around. I’ve literally never thought I’d go through pain like this. I get up everyday and tell myself I’ve been through the worst now it only gets better but I feel that resentment, anger and hurt I feel towards him means I’ve put dealing with my abortion on pause and I’ve built a guard up and I fear it might later be unhealthy. Sorry for writing so much.

  15. (A Letter to Myself)

    It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. There were a lot of tears. And I’m sure there are more to come. Let’s rewind…

    November, 2016: Him

    I met my ex at a party. We hit it off and decided to keep each other around for a while. There were many fights. We were toxic for each other. We just couldn’t stay away. We always found some way to stay temporarily happy. But we didn’t know what the future had in store.

    February, 2017: Signs

    My period was late. But I was so on and off with my birth control that I thought it was just a part of getting my body back on track. I knew I gained weight but I assumed it was just from being in college. I went on spring break and did all the spring break things. When I got back and still didn’t get my period, I started to worry.

    March, 2017

    Right before my birthday I started to get the morning sickness. I knew by then. I just didn’t want to believe it. Eventually, I finally got the courage to go and buy pregnancy tests. It took me hours to get the courage to actually take the tests. But when I did, and when I saw the results, I fell into a deep unknown. I literally had no idea what to do. I felt embarrassed. I didn’t know if I should call my parents, my sister, my best friend, my boyfriend, my roommate. I felt helpless. I felt empty.
    I finally got the courage to call my mom. She consoled me and told me everything was going to be okay. At that point, I knew that was all I wanted to hear, but for some reason it still didn’t make me feel better. She told me I needed to get a blood test done and we would go from there. Two days later I did just that. When the doctor came in and told me I was seven weeks and five days, she acted so happy for me. She went on with when I should come in next as if she actually believed I had no other choice but to carry this baby to term. I stopped her and said I can’t do this, I was 19. Just six days shy of making it the “you beat teen pregnancy” stage of my life. She said “Oh, we don’t do that here” with such disappointment. People don’t understand the impact of their nonverbal messages. My mom and I left the doctor’s office and I sobbed.
    This whole I hadn’t told anyone; not my boyfriend, not my roommate, not my best friend, no one. I felt so vulnerable. I had to tip toe around this extremely deep issue that was now going to be something that changed my life forever. I shut them out. I stopped hanging around. I mostly sat in bed with headphones listening to the kind of songs that you just know that you’re going to bawl to. And I looked at the internet. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. The big three. It only made me see how hard I was trying to ignore this thing that was happening to me.

    April 20, 2017

    The day I got an abortion. We pulled into the parking lot of Planned Parenthood and there were protesters. People love to have opinions when it has nothing to do with them. It was agonizing to sit in the waiting room with all these other people. You can feel that everyone is wondering why you are there. I decided to turn my phone off so I could avoid getting text messages and looking on social media. I sat waiting for five hours. Then I was finally called back. I chose to get an IV with some medicine to put me asleep while they did the procedure. After they started to run the medicine, I don’t remember much of what happened. I just remember waking up and crying. They took me to a room with chairs and heating pads. They gave me a snack and some ginger ale. All the employees were so nice and supportive. When I finally got to leave to go home, I didn’t feel any type of way yet. I reassured myself that I did this for myself and I deserve that right.

    After Getting Home

    I turned my phone back on and I was scrolling through Twitter. I don’t know if this was just a coincidence or the government is listening to us or what. But I stated to see a good amount of tweets about abortion. Pro-lifer tweets. People saying “Abortion is murder” and “you’re taking an innocent life!” I really started to believe it. I cried, but for different reasons. People were judging me and now I have to deal with an irreversible act for the rest of my life. I started to believe that I was a terrible person. That I shouldn’t even be given another chance to have a child because I so willingly let go of this one. This is when I started to journal. I wrote all of my feelings on pages and I started to talk to this embryo that didn’t make it out. Apologizing for what I had done. Wishing I could go back. Wondering what life would be like if I hadn’t made that decision. I kept doing it to myself. It was almost like I looked for these pro-life tweets in order to feel some type of way. It affected who I was as a person. The pressure of feeling judged for a decision you made for yourself. I already felt bad enough and then people come in and try to put in their two cents. It just makes it worse. My grief of abortion came from what others were saying about me and about women who go through with this procedure.

    Update

    It took me a while, but I finally realized that you don’t need anyone else’s approval to make a decision for yourself. There should be no argument when the question of abortion comes up. The answer should be; you are allowed to do what you want with your body and what you see fit. It took me writing this entire entry to finally come to terms with my decision. And now that I have, I feel strongly about that decision. I wouldn’t change a thing. And if they don’t like it, screw ‘em. You’re better off without them.

  16. I just don’t understand why most of these comments are expressing nothing but deep regret and guilt stating that they would take it back if they could.. I almost feel as though some of the comments could have been written falsely by pro life people to scare others of the decision of abortion.. forgive my if I’m wrong but that’s what it sounds like. I too had an abortion and feel sadness at times but I was positive of my decision at the time and know it was the right decision for me during that time. Abortion and pregnancy are big choices and you have to know that the choice you are making is the right one for you. I will always think about what could have been but I also understand being a parent and raising a child is not at all easy and it is not always the right time for someone to take on that responsibility and make that tremendous life change. I also remind myself that life does not start at conception- a faith based belief. “From a scientific perspective, life doesn’t begin at any one point, it is a continuum. For HHS to define it as beginning at conception is a transparent attempt to justify restrictions on certain contraceptives as well as abortion”

  17. I was forced to an abortion 2 years ago by my boyfriend. In confused feelings..sometimes,tears ,guilt,at times i feel i dont need to forgive him either,sometimes i need to..totally confused when he tells me he is xorry ,…thankyou for coming across people and stories that tries to understand my situation…

  18. Nearly 2 years on from finding out about the pregnancy and going through what I did. I never stop thinking what could have been. I thought I’d learn to cope and be able to come to terms with what I did but I hate myself for it more and more every day. It hurts a lot, just very glad I have a very supportive family by my side.

  19. Gynaecare presents the most reliable http://www.gynaecare.co.in/Pregnancy-Abortion.html”>Pregnancy Abortion and other gynecological solutions for you. You can call us at 9433367751, and avail of the services of the best pregnancy experts and infertility treatment practitioners at Gynaecare. High-class surrogacy in Kolkata is available here too. Irrespective of whether you wish to bring a new life to the world, or terminate your pregnancy – we ensure that you remain safe, at all times!

  20. All I know is my heart hurts like hell and the tears keep falling at different times….I’m so sorry for what I did. I wish I can go back and fix it.

    • I stumbled across this article and these replies. My tears also won’t stop. I am full of regret and sadness. Grieving so badly for something I did that I can’t undo. It’s been 3 days since my termination and my eyes hurt from the tears. Yes it was a choice but now that it’s not there I want it back and it hurts so badly. I hope you find acceptance like I wish to some day. X

  21. I had a medical termination 7 years ago, I ended up haemorrhaging a week later and within arriving at accident and emergency I was rushed to theatre within 15 minutes. I felt it was a punishment and I deserved it.
    This article is spot on with all the emotions that I go through from time to time. Every time the world sends out a “wave of light” I feel I’m not able to join it, I’m not allowed to grieve. I still regret it.

  22. This is very common to have grief after abortion.But there are situations wherein abortion will be the only alternative.So we can’t help it.In such situations I would like to suggest to go for abortion counselling which will be a great relief for women.A Woman’s Haven is one of the best abortion clinics in San Antonio.

  23. I feel this is among the such a lot vital information for me.

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  24. The anniversary of my termination is coming up and I searched for ways to memorialize it and stumbled upon this article. I wondered what I would find. Was it even appropriate to have a memorial? Have other women done this? This article helped me put a name to the pain and regret Ive been feeling. “Grief.” I had never considered its what I had been feeling. I assumed I wasn’t allowed to feel grief or sadness over the choice that I made. I am still sad.
    Days before my procedure I wrote a letter to my baby apologizing for not being the woman she needed me to be. For not being ready, for being less than she deserved. I pray for her understanding and forgiveness & promised her I would do everything in my power to become that woman. I am considering plating something in her honor.
    After the termination I tucked the sonogram away in my room and have only revisited it once this past year.
    Only a select few people in my life know about it. I have yet to express these feelings to my boyfriend or even know how he feels about it. We were estranged at the time but he went with me to the clinic.
    My sister was pregnant at the time. Sometimes I look at ny niece & am reminded that the two if them would’ve grown up together. My sister doesn’t know this. I imagine I’ll tell her someday.

    • The Hope Life Center in our area had a post abortion healing program with a great Bible study geared toward healing and forgiving oneself. They also put up a memorial so we have somewhere to visit our baby. There might be a similar place where you live,check out abortion alternative centers for help, Shay, you are in my prayers.

    • Hi Shay,
      I’ve been grieving the loss of my unborn for about four months, now. I have been intentional about pictures, quotes, giving myself space to feel all of the things that come with the loss. It hasn’t been easy but websites and long reply forums like this really help.

      I like the idea of the memorial. I’ve been learning how to make space for grief instead of hiding from it or completely enveloping my life with it. Its a fine balance that I’m still learning. I would suggest you remember on that special day, share it with a trusted friend, or call the hotline thats available on this site just to pay a little bit more attention to your process and your loss. I was really fortunate and was given sage and sweetgrass to burn the day of the abortion. I still burn it to this day to show myself and my loss that I remember. I realize that that this is unusual but I also had a very small ceremony of sorts with the women in my life that I leaned on during the days leading up to the abortion. My partner left and my family was halfway across the country and I needed my friends. We burned the sage and sweetgrass and reflected on our individual lives and experiences as women before I threw a gift from my partner as far as I could into the field (hahaha). It was a special way to spend the evening.

      I hope that this shows you that support is out there for you. I know how it feels to look at your niece and feel triggered or that ache. I feel it. I get it. I ordered the book mentioned above as I’m still having big waves of emotions come over me. I’m hoping that it helps.

      We’re all here and I’m so grateful for this website thats available to all of us.

  25. I had the pill abortion last week (dec. 7,18) at 6 weeks. I knew I was pregnant for 11 days. My partner was emotionally & verbally abusive throughout our short relationship (2.5 months). He was way more mean & angry when I told him I was pregnant the same day I found out. He broke up with me 2x within the 11 days, and was silent to our first ultrasound (to determine if it was ectopic due to my side pain — turned out to be a ruptured ovarian cyst). He was yelling at me in person, over the phone and in angry text to get an abortion saying he will never be there for me, and he’s leaving me. Honestly, I’m 32, I have a good career starting and if he wasn’t such a jerk, that scares me, I would have kept the baby. He makes my life hell and I just wanted to escape him. I feel sad to have lost the baby to get my freedom from him. I felt conflicted for 11 days & nights, despite having my mom & friends support with whatever I decided. I saw no other way. Plus he views women as inferior, and his mom shares that value. I thought I can’t have his twisted values imposed on my child. I didn’t want my pregnancy to get too far where I couldn’t take the pills. I refuse to do the mechanical abortion – the idea scares me & gives me anxiety. The pills have caused severe AGONY for a week & going. I’m taking pain meds around the clock, whenever I cut a pill in half I get waves of sharp pain. When my pain is low I feel exhausted and sleepy. I hope the pain goes away. The bleeding is light so it should almost be done. Anyway, I feel sad. It’s a huge loss. A part of me died last week. A piece of my heart & soul died. I can only hope I’ll get a second chance in life to be a mom. This was my first pregnancy. I felt like time was of the essence and his aggressive behaviour was just eating me up. My advice to anyone in my situation is maybe tell the guy you’re getting the abortion so he leaves you alone and then you can think in peace without being harassed. I felt rushed by him and by the clock. Also he’s not Canadian/American so I had the stress of what if he tried to take the baby to his country because he’s a bully like that and he misses his country so much. I felt stuck. Anyways. The pill is good for 63 days and less. But I thought the sooner the more successful. The doc didnt tell me how agonizing the contractions would feel. I hope to pull through emotionally and physically.

    • Please go to a doctor to make sure your ok. Then give yourself time to grieve for your baby. I had an abortion about 40 years ago. Thanks to Jesus I’m mostly healing from what I did to my baby and myself. It’s a process Michele. You are in my prayers.

  26. I had an abortion last month and I was totally lost with guilt and shame.It is A Woman’s Haven which is one of the best abortion clinics in San Antonio who has helped me to overcome the situation.

  27. my heart goes out to all who are grieving, it is a painful, long process.

    Rachel’s Vineyard is an organization that is fully dedicated to serving both women and men who have had abortion in their lives. I hope people who are grieving will reach out to this place through their free hotline 877- HOPE 4 ME (tel:877-467-3463).

    From their website: “Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.”

  28. Really a helpful post. I would really appreciate you the way you tackle your intricacies.

  29. Just wanted to point out that the 1 in 3 statistic has been debunked by the Washington Post. Their fact checker gave the claim their most negative rating, four Pinocchios.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/10/25/abortion-rights-advocates-claim-that-one-in-three-women-has-had-an-abortion/?utm_term=.a5c0652fe421

    • Hey! Thanks for sharing – I just read the Washington Post article with the updated data and have updated the information. It was one in three women between 18-45 was accurate in 2008, according to the Washington Post. Their concern was that people were still using that data because there was no new data. The most recent data is now one in four, as abortions have gone as access to birth control has gone up, and that is what the post says is accurate now.

  30. I had an abortion yesterday and deeply regret it, I have been crying in and off since I left the clinic. I did it because I am a single mother with four kids and the father of this pregnancy left me and even handed me the money for the abortion because he didn’t want it. I felt afraid of the responsibility and thought it would burden me, i now think I was completely wrong. I feel terrible for throwing my babies life away and just want it back, the loss is unbearable!

    • I had a termination 3 days ago. On the day I was numb. Blank like. And felt not much. The very next day completely different story. 3 days on I have not stopped crying. I regret it deeply. I wish I never dud it. I want my baby back but its not possible. And that part I can’t deal with. Can’t undo what I did. I am taken over by sadness. Sometimes uncontrollable. I left all my values and morals aside that day. And I wish I was strong enough to not do it. Not be influenced and have my baby. I’m a 35 year old mother already. I feel like I’ve lost part of me.
      I hope that since your post. you have been able
      to not feel as bad.?
      Right now I feel like it’s impossible to move on.

  31. I had my abortion last year December and I’ve suffered from all kinds of grief. At first I thought I was losing my mind, but reading this article and reading some of your stories I realize that it’s normal. I’m dreading December because my best friend passed away and I had an abortion all in one week. I found out I was pregnant on my birthday and the first feeling I felt was fear because it was my first time being pregnant. I’ve always told myself the day I get pregnant, I’ll just woman up and handle my responsibilities. Imagine my surprise when my boyfriend at the time who had been trying to get me pregnant for years says now isn’t the time. As much as I didn’t want to have the abortion, I didn’t want to force a child on him although I feel he knew as well as I did the consequences of having sex unprotected. So I forced myself to get the abortion. Me and the guy are no longer together, I sort of have some resentment against him because of the abortion. As for myself some days the guilt is overwhelming. I lost two people in one week and I didn’t know where to turn. I felt depressed for so long and now I’m to the point of feeling numb. I don’t know how or what steps to take to forgive myself. But talking about it or writing about it I feel is a step. I just wish I could tell my unborn how truly apologetic I am & I hope we can meet again some day so I can right my wrongs.. although I know it’ll never happen.

  32. I’m glad I came across this website today, I had a termination in 1995, and didn’t tell my family or friends, mainly because of shame. It was the anniversary yesterday and I couldn’t share it with anyone as no-one knows. I had tried for many years to get pregnant, had a miscarriage and didn’t get pregnant again. My husband left me to get married again as having children was important to him and his family and he went on to have two children. I assumed I was infertile so I didn’t use contraception in my next rebound relationship and found myself pregnant. I didn’t want a child with my current partner and so I arranged a termination. I had to give the name of a work colleague to the hospital as I was having a general anaesthetic. Afterwards I went home alone, went back to work the next day and haven’t mentioned it since. I haven’t grieved or given myself time to think properly how I feel about it. I am now 58 with no children although I always wanted a family. I have had periods of depression since then, and I wonder if it may be partly due to the termination and not working out my feelings about it. So thank you for this site, I have been reading some of the blog articles and I’ll take my time working through my grief. I’m grateful for having somewhere where I can share my story.

  33. I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I had already had one prior abortion. I felt pressured by both men to terminate. I wanted both children, the first time I wasn’t ready. But I still feel regret and everything still.

    With my second VPT… It was three months into my current relationship. We’ve been together for a year and a half now. But when we found out I was pregnant he wasn’t ready and he’s 4 years younger than me. Not only did I feel pressured by him but also his family.

    He and I both still cry alot about what happened. We both feel guilty and regretful. I miss our baby and burst out into sudden tears last night. I’m so depressed.

    I miss my baby. And I’m not sure my fiance and I have a future partly because I resent him.

    I resent him because after the abortion he and I talked about it… He had changed his mind. He wanted the baby too but it was too late.

    After my abortion… It was Christmas. A family friend found out she was pregnant and my sister was pregnant with her third child. That hurt more than anything. We never talked about my abortion… His family has basically forgotten about it. They weren’t supportive at all.

    It’s been a year and a half and I’m still severely depressed, I feel guilty and regret sadness. And I’m angry at my fiance. I resent him even though I know he also mourns our daughter. We wanted to call her Emma. I’m so sorry Emma.

    Mommy and Daddy miss you so much. I’m sorry I cry so much. Your daddy tells me to be strong that you don’t want to see me cry or feel hurt or regret anymore. But I’m still mourning you Emma. I’ll never forget you or how happy I was when I found out about you… Mommy loves you Emma.

    • I am sorry to hear of your pain. I have also experienced this pain and I lead recovery groups now through my local pregnancy center. I’d be happy to talk with you more and help connect you to a local center to find support from others. It truly is important to seek out care so you can recover fully!

  34. 💔💔💔 today was my miscarriage after a positive pregnancy test with TTC for 5 years 💔💔💔And I felt a different or real love from my husband on my first pregnancy and after the miscarriage we went back to the same way !! I Can’t sleep

  35. I can understand how it feels after ending pregnancy with the option of pill for abortion. It pains very hard while bleeding.

  36. Came across this as well. The book might be helpful to some.
    http://www.deveber.org/complications/

  37. Since the blog does mention some might “feel the abortion compromised their spiritual” values, I’m offering a site so that those who feel this way might find hope. http://hopeafterabortion.com/

  38. Thank you so much for writing this article. I had an abortion a week ago and I have all kinds of emotions which confuse the hell out of me. Especially the part where I don’t feel that I have the right to grieve my loss because it was my choice to terminate the pregnancy. It’s eating me up, but this article helped me so much. Thank you……!

  39. 30 years….. still have a huge gaping hole in my heart that can’t be filled. She was a child. You don’t just “get over” taking the life of anyone, especially your own child. I wish I had been given more information…and more support and encouragement to keep a baby even when not married. It’s especially heart breaking when a woman doesn’t get the chance to have another child. So many women out there deeply regret the decision they made to have an abortion. The $$$ making industry does its best to prevent women from finding out the truth-until it’s too late.

  40. What I am so absolutely sick and tired of hearing is the lack of support and understanding from men regarding abortion. It’s appalling to hear how many men push and coerce their partners or girlfriends or even if it was just a one night stand with a women- for them to just “get it done”. And then, to make matters worse, after a woman goes through with this incredibly traumatic procedure of having her own child taken from her…dealing with all the pain and sorrow afterwards..most men tell women to get over it, or that they are “crazy”, or they just shut down and abandon the woman. She’s been through enough!! To any man reading this who has pushed a women or manipulated her in her vulnerability, YOU ARE COWARDS. You are not men, but immature boys that when, a woman states she wants to keep her child, you throw a tantrum because of your pathetic fear that it will “interrupt” your life. You have no idea the aftermath of what an abortion brings. It’s awful. I have and am still going through this. I have been told by the guy who was involved in getting me pregnant that, “I had the power to make this all go away” . Well, it NEVER goes away. It makes things a thousand times worse and I have never experienced grief so deep and depression so intense. I long for my child back and what enhances the pain is that he is living his life without a care in the world. He has NO idea. So before you push or coerce or manipulate your partner or wife or girlfriend to just “take care of things and get an abortion “….I beg you to think twice. Think about what SHE is going through and the beautiful life that is inside her. Think about what will be taken from her and what she may go through afterwards. This may “go away” for you as a man…but it never leaves a woman. Your mother carried you, so as a man..STEP UP AND RESPECT WOMEN FOR THEY ARE THE LIFE GIVERS IN THIS WORLD.

  41. Great article.
    I had an abortion 14 years ago and every year on the anniversary of the termination all the feelings of guilt come back to me, and the feelings are hard to deal with.
    My current partner is not supportive at all, while I’m all emotional and upset he gets angry thinking I’m pining over an ex partner, Which couldn’t be further from the truth. When I think of my abortion I think of myself , the trauma and emotions I went through.
    It’s very difficult when you don’t have a support network, other than my current partner I haven’t told anyone about the abortion. It gets lonely when all you have is yourself to deal with your emotions and guilt. I have had counselling before, which helps a bit. I’m hoping one day it will get easier.

  42. I had a lot of these emotions and I also wanted to add that the feelings can really be amplified because of the hormones involved. I am able to realize some of my sadness and grief were related to the chemical changes in my body. It took me several years to process (therapy really helped) and I know now it was absolutely the right decision for me and my family. Peace comes. Let it in and if you need someone professional to talk to make sure you find someone supportive of your choice.

  43. I just had an abortion yesterday and i totally feel everything mentioned here.i have lost myself

    • I understand how you feel. It will be 4 years this December. I have never felt the same. Right now you should focus on taking care of yourself. Give yourself permission to be sad and angry. It takes time to heal. It takes time to forgive (even yourself).

  44. I aborted a baby at almost nine weeks yesterday. I’m feeling every single one of these emotions. Mainly sadness and regret. I wish I could have kept him, but it was in danger to my health and I don’t feel I could have carried him without several medical complications. I have three children already to care for and no one to help with them if I were to be put on bed rest or in a hospital. I have extreme Hyperemesis Gravardium during each pregnancy that leaves me unable to function. With a third grader, an active toddler, and a difficult pregnancy that resulted in my 7 month old, being constantly sick just wasn’t an option. I was on birth control after my youngest was born and somehow it failed. I took it exactly as directed as I’ve done in the past and never missed a pill. Even knowing I had to do this for my health and to be able to care for my children I already have, I still feel so sad. I made myself look at the fetus when it passed. ( I used the abortion pill method) And now I can’t get the image of him out of my mind.

    • I am in a similar situation as you. My heart aches for you and I hoping you are doing well. Sending love and light your way. Thank you for posting, I feel alone as I am 42, happily married but age and medications pose a threat to my unborn baby and myself. I am having to make this decision next Tuesday. I am struggling.

      • God is capable of performing miracles beyond the realm of possibility and that of medical professional knowledge. The date you mentioned was only 2 days ago, I’m praying for you.

  45. Nice post. Please visit A Woman’s Haven for free abortion counselling.

  46. How do I not hate man in general for doing this to us? I love my husband but by him disrespecting our agreement over a few seconds of pleasure has put me through so much emotional and physical and psychological pain.

  47. Father asking how to get past a very unusual abortion.

    I am a 39 year old recently retired U.S. Marine. I was married at 19, had my only child at 20. During my first tour in Afghanistan, my wife cheated and got pregnant. Naturally I filed for divorce. I had every summer with my daughter coming to stay at the base I was stationed, but I still missed so much of her life. But I knew I was a great dad, and wanted to have more kids one day. Well, on 2nd tour in Afghanistan, out exploded, I was injured in the groin area and leg. During surgery, the doctor removed pieces so close to my manhood, it cut me farther, leaving doctor no choice but to perform a vasectomy to be able to get where he needed to, to fix the problem that was causing me to bleed to death. So, I dealt with I wouldn’t have anymore kids, but I was alive.
    At the age of 37, I meet the most amazing woman. I told her my story around time I felt might be getting close to having sex in the relationship. She was okay, as she was a single mother for so long,she was okay if we didn’t have any kids. So both on board we fall in love, and have unprotected sex, every time.10 months into the relationship, she tells me one day, she has been feeling exhausted, throwing up, and had missed a period, so she was going to the gyn Dr as she had done this before due to irregular period side effects, she called them. When she returns to my house, she pulls out a pregnancy test and says, I’m pregnant. Well, I’m shocked, I had a vasectomy. Now it’s hitting me, this is how I lost my wife. I become furious. I scream, I cuss, and say some of the most hurtful and awful things to her, cause she has cheated and gotten pregnant. For 2 weeks we tried to work threw things, but it always ended in an argurment, cause she would consistently say, she didn’t cheat and the baby was mine. So, because we argued so much, I had to have a break. I ignored her calls, I hide inside house if she came by, when she see me in town I made excuses of being busy and promised I would come by to talk as soon as things slowed down. I did this for 2 weeks. After I finally calmed down, I realized I needed to talk to her, and find out why she was still lying about cheating, I had to have closure before I ended everything with her. I asked why she lied about cheating, and still stuck to the story that it was mine. I left and was done, but not before I really let her have it verbally, it was bad. 6 weeks later I have a lump come up on my testicle. Head to doctor, they do some test, and I find out I have a small cyst from an ingrown hair that had small bit of infection, nothing major doctor says, take antibiotics and it’ll go down, but we found something else during the testing. Doctor says to me, that the fluids I donated for the test, showed something that didnt match up with my medical records. Doctor says, I got your records out and sure enough, you had a full vasectomy preformed. Doctor says, the fluid had sperm in it, meaning my vasectomy was a failure. My heart sank. I rushed to my now ex girlfriend, and was so happy, she didn’t cheat, she was pregnant with my child, I never thought I could be so happy. I went to in her house to see her, and she was so pale, and looked as if she had cried non stop for days. I asked her if she was okay, she said she had an abortion and was just upset.

    Because I wouldn’t listen to her swearing she hadn’t cheated, and being so hurtful to her, and the horrible things I said, she felt she had no other choice. She felt horrible, but she had raised one child as a single mom, and she just knew she couldn’t do it again.

    Now the question. How do I get past this. My behavior and absences pushed her to have any abortion. How do I get past that my attitude, words, action, and unwillingness to listen cause my child to be killed by an abortion. I can’t talk to her, as she hates me now that I told her I found out it was mine.

    How do I feel with the fact that my stubbornness killed my 2nd child?

    Also, bash if you must in your answers, nothing you reply with can cause more guilt or pain than I already have.

    • I am so incredibly sorry for what you are going through. There is no reason for anyone to bash you. You had a difficult, traumatic incident in your past that impacted your actions in this situation. I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t- it will likely be a slow process of self-forgiveness. Some things to keep in mind are that it is easy to get stuck in “coulda, woulda, shoulda” thinking when using what you know now looking back. It is important to remember that you didn’t have some information then, so you were doing the best you could with what you knew at the time, and with the influence of a very difficult past. We have a number of posts on guilt that might be helpful for you. This is a good one to start with: https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/

    • I can’t say I understand
      I can’t say I didn’t cry reading your story
      I can’t give you a solution
      I can’t say I haven’t wasted many many years of my life struggling with grief
      I can’t say I’ve never made a mistake
      I can’t say I’ve never hurt someone
      I can’t say I’ve never hurt myself
      And I can’t say I lived happily after

      But I CAN say that one day I forgave myself.

  48. hi im Kate yes im 18 I know how this feels I lost my babe because my boyfriend didn’t want one is it still bugging me yes do I sometimes want to die I will never be the same and I hate home for it and I feel like he don’t love me anymore

    • I know your post was from a while ago, but if you want to talk I am here! I hope you are feeling more hopeful, but if not there is help!!

  49. My abortion was many years ago. 30 years now. Frequently I feel all the emotions the article talked about. In time the feelings do dissipate. But they do. without as strong emotions,return. I am pro life. I was on a medication called Accutane. Too during the same time I was experimenting stage 4 endometriosis. I too was on medication for that. Give a long time history of this insidious disease I could not get pregnant and then the day came that I was. Shocking . The man who was the father I did not love and he was a mess. given I had been on Accutane, I had to report the pregency to Boston University. Without so called advising me to have an abortion they painted a picture of bringing into the world a human that would know nothing more than chronic pain and surgeries and a short lived life. How could I subject a baby human into a cold world of hospitals and pain. One of the most disturbing comments said was that Accutane children are frequently born with organs outside of their body. How disturbing. I decided with the father to end the pregency. The morning of, in the waiting room, I was crying , so confused about my choice, was i doing the right thing, i wanted this child, I didn’t want to be condemned to hell. The doctor assistance spoke to me as if my outward emotions were so inappropriate , they spoke to me in angry tones and basically said leave or toughen up. I moved forward due to having this disease and much scare tissue the procedure was painful and I was screaming. Once it was over and I rejoined the father in the waiting room I had a smile on my face that the excoriating pain was over. He hated that and held it against me. 29 years had passed and David called me. He had a trouble mind. I offered my help but he refused. A few months later I went on FB to see how he was and he was dead. He committed suicide. I pray he is with our child’s soul and together they find comfort and peace. On my local TV station there is a PSA commercial and a beautiful little boy, who was born with his organs outside of his body is a survivor. I don’t know if he was an Accutane child. But of course this commercial haunts me and caused me to second guess myself. My pro life has somewhat yield itself to drastic situations but then again… I remain heart broken.I,ve never married or became pregnant. Eventually this diesase , surgery by surgery left me sterile and other organs were affected besides the overies and uterus. Now alone and in my 50s. I still grive the loss of my baby and now David. God forgive me and have mercy on me.

    • Jesus Christ loves you so much that he died to forgive you. While we were sinners, he loved us. His love is perfect and never ending. I pray that he gives you peace that surpasses all understanding.

  50. I had an abortion this past wednesday, i was 13 weeks & 4 days. I had no idea I was pregnant until about a week & a half ago. This was my biggest regret. My boyfriend of almost 3 years & i have been having some issues, we fight alot. & when i found out i was pregnant, i just broke down. Im 19 years old, and im ashamed that i wasnt brave enough to take this baby with me through the full term & now i pay the consequences. While i had the procedure done, i was sedated. I saw a bag of blood and i saw the fetus. This baby, my flesh & blood, has been taken away from me. This was my first baby. I lost myself when i lost this baby. My boyfriend tells me to get over it, but its too soon. & i dont think i ever will. I need hope. I cant stop crying. I cant eat. I wish i could go back & keep this baby. 🙁 please email me if you want to talk or have been through a similar situation; [email protected]

    • You’re not alone. You’re not a bad person for choosing to have an abortion. It hurts, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to give it time. After my abortion I did lots of writing in a journal… it helped. I allowed myself to cry. Keep your head up and take care of yourself first.

  51. Thanks for the post. I have had a lot to deal with especially the stigma. It is a subject that no one takes so lightly.

  52. Oh, it sure must be somewhat a difficult subject just talking about abortion. It’s something that my sister is thinking about talking to her daughter. Well, now that her daughter is a teenager and she does want her to receive some counseling about the topic. http://www.cliniquedelalternative.com/en/abortion.html

  53. Thank you, I read the post because I created a very similar print when I wasaw date-raped. It was important to merge the pregnancy aspect in your post and regret and sorrow years later.

  54. This is a great article, but you should remove the links to AbortionChangesYou.com, which has a clear anti-choice agenda, and Missing Pieces. Missing Pieces is by a Christian pro-life speaker who, according to her own bio page on her management’s website, “weaves her own testimony and also the stories and comments from real clients into abortion statistics that help audiences grasp the destruction that abortion brings women, men and families in our nation.” Your assertion that she doesn’t have a religious or political perspective is untrue (http://www.ambassadorspeakers.com/ACP/speakers.aspx?speaker=814)

    They’re both obvious anti-choice resources that are, in no way, neutral or unbiased. However, Exhale is great, and The Healing Choice appears all right as well.

    • Hi Margaret – Thanks for pointing that out about Missing Pieces! Someone else referred it to me and clearly I didn’t look into it deeply enough. I am going to remove it. For abortionchangesyou.com, I am going to remove it (because better safe than sorry) but this one is less clear to me. I researched this one in advance, because I didn’t have any knowledge of it other than reading a blog post where someone cited it as helpful, and the site seemed fairly neutral (minus the name, which could be read as negative). The stories on the site are primarily negative abortion experiences, but a lot of the content around creating safe spaces is positive and reasonably helpful. I did see this artice in the NYTs (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/nyregion/27bigcity.html) speculating that their neutrality is a ruse. It is a shame that sifting through resources can be this difficult to identify alterior motives – some of the activities you can do on the site are really interesting, it is a shame that things aren’t always what they seem. And, to be fair, there are people who would argue that exhale itself is political by excluding the stories of people who have politics within their stories (http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/07/09/why-i-share-my-abortion-story-but-am-not-pro-voice/) though I understand why exhale may feel they need to be thoughtful about this. If anyone has any recommendation on other ‘neutral’ resources PLEASE let me know, as it seems they are few and far between!!

  55. Yes, as a retired proofreader, hard to read. But bottom line: Not ALL pregnancy terminations cause any grief, regret, etc. If the surgeons weren’t allowed to remove my TWO ectopic pregnancies during our fertility treatments, I’d be dead myself. Couple that with the fact that my husband would have been left alone to raise our babies, but then he died at age 34, I can’t find ANY reason to be in “grief”. Nobody I know uses abortion as birth control, etc., but as a LIFE-SAVING MEASURE !! Shame on you for writing this trash. You really missed the mark on this one.

    • Mom of Three Sons, I am sorry this post missed the mark for you. Just as you mention, I said specifically in the post that many women do not feel grief after an abortion, for many reasons. We absolutely agree there. What I also know is that people do have abortions for other, non-life-saving reasons every day. Not all of those women grieve — many do not. But many do. We wrote this post specifically because we have gotten questions from people who are struggling with their emotions after an abortion, and I have seen it in my practice working with individuals over the last 10 years. As I say in the post, having these complex emotions is not about right or wrong or even the reason for the abortion. Many men and women have complex emotions, despite feeling it was the right decision for medical reasons or for other reason. It is about letting those individuals know it is okay to have complicated emotions, and giving people some resources to support that. I am sorry this post didn’t work for you, and I appreciate you sharing that as I am sure others will relate. But I do strongly believe from the questions we have gotten in the past and others I have worked with that there are some people out there who may benefit.

  56. Good for you.at WYG. I really appreciate this article, even though I’ve never had an abortion. It is a very hard issue to deal with, as you state, partly because of getting around all these issues with abortion itself. I appreciate the way you tackle grief issues in general, and I commend you for undertaking this potentially hot topic. I hope you’ll post this (the article) on Facebook so I can share it.

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