Study Reveals, Most Women Who Undergo An Abortion Feel Relief And Not Regret

Study Reveals, Most Women Who Undergo An Abortion Feel Relief And Not Regret

At the five-year mark of the study, 99 percent of women expressed that they had made the right decision by aborting their child.

Image Source: Getty Images (Representative)

One counter-argument against the ongoing social debates surrounding abortions is regret. If you've been keeping a track of these dialogues you must have surely heard an argument against abortion that involves women and non-binary people being tormented by their decision. Yes, there are several studies that have surfaced supporting and explaining the presence of a huge range of emotions, (from grief to respite), one experiences moments after ending their pregnancy. However, the references to their long-term feelings have effectively rested upon an invisible case study.


There hardly exists any substantial evidence supporting that regret is an emotion that prevails post-abortion, and that it lingers in one's life for years or decades after it. By speaking about the long-term emotional conflict experienced following an abortion, many statements have dismissed the practice. The findings of a recent survey reveal how regret isn't the emotion that plagues a majority of women's lives years after having an abortion, say reports. The study, which was published on Sunday, includes one of the largest studies to date about the emotions women experience following an abortion. 


The Turnaway Study, published in the Social Science & Medicine journal delved into the findings made by the researchers at the University of California at San Francisco. Apparently, the University had recruited  667 women from 30 areas across America to provide their views on the physical, social, emotional and economic effects that abortion has. Now, the subjects in the study weren't people who had not undergone an abortion. Beginning from a week after their termination of pregnancy, researchers spoke to these women about their feeling twice a year for five years. After a week, they found that almost 50% of the women felt positive about their decision to abort, but 17% of the lot felt negative, and 20% of them expressed they hardly felt anything about it.  


Despite the percentage of negative emotions felt by women a week after the abortion, interestingly, 95 percent of the women in the survey said they made the right decision. The lead author of the study and a UCSF associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, Corinne Rocca, said this was a principal reminder that regret and condemnation were mutually exclusive. "You can feel the emotion of regret, yet feel you did what was right for you," she explained. 


Finally, at the five-year mark, 99 percent of women expressed that they had made the right decision by aborting their child. About 84 percent of them communicated positive emotions primarily and the rest had none at all. By that time only, 6 percent had primarily negative feelings about the matter. This study comes at a crucial time when the rights of women and non-binary people and in threatened by strict legislatures. According to a report by Scary Mommy, an appeal challenging a Kentucky law demanding doctors to perform ultrasounds and show the images of the fetus to the mother before abortion was rejected by the Supreme court in December. 


In other legislations, there were compulsory counseling and waiting periods for women before having an abortion. The latter was justified by citing "regret" and long-term emotional damage. "All the claims that negative emotions will emerge over time, a myth that has persisted for decades without any evidence to substantiate these claims, it’s clear, it’s just not true," Rocca said. "One might think that relief was a short-term feeling that would go away after weeks, but it does not fade like other feelings. Relief was constant." But she also noted, "I in no way want to reduce the struggles of those who regret their abortion. But it is misguided to take away the options for everyone based on the minority." 


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