According to a recent study, 95 percent of women who have had abortions do not regret them. Again: 95 percent. A staggering statistic, right?
The study, published in Plos One, looked at 667 women and found that the large majority never regretted their decision to terminate their pregnancies.
Study participants averaged at 25 years old and had made the decision to abort anywhere within the first trimester up until the legal gestational age limit. The majority of the women’s emotional trauma had significantly dropped over the course of three years, having stated that “abortion was the right decision” for them.
It is important to note that while abortion is not the right decision for everyone, this does not take away from the emotional struggle women who do opt to have an abortion face. However, it is not solely the emotional conflict that affects such a heavy decision. Social aspects play a crucial role as well.
According to the study, “Women both in school and employed at baseline were more likely to report that abortion was right than those neither in school nor employed. Women reporting that the man involved in the pregnancy was not a part of the decision-making process had greater feelings of decision rightness than women whose partners did not want or were not sure if they wanted to terminate the pregnancy.”
Everything in this world seems to weigh heavily on time and place. When to have a child is no exception. Young women who are students or active in the workplace are most likely to not yet be ready to settle down with children. Married women whose husbands are the sole providers may find themselves more capable to have and provide care for a child. Women without a partner to lean on may decide to abort due to the lack of assistance.
Support is key. When going through a traumatic experience, it is crucial to surround ourselves with people who are able to build us back up from our lowest point. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that “women with more social support” felt fewer negative emotions than women who did not seek or receive support. I know that although I myself could never go through with an abortion unless it were under special circumstances, I am well aware of the fact that I am surrounded by family and friends that would support me through it.
In 2014, Cosmopolitan surveyed five women who, at the ages of 20, 22, 23 and 34, respectively, had an abortion. They were asked what their lives were like at the time of their abortion. Each woman was either married and working or in college. In response to what factors contributed to their decision and whether or not it was a tough one to make, their answers varied. One woman had actually attempted to prevent the pregnancy by using a condom, which broke, and taking Plan B, which was ineffective. Another had lost twins during her 23 weeks and decided the risk was too high. Three of the women were confident that they were not ready to take on the responsibility of another life for one reason or another.
Their initial reaction after the abortion was standard: Each woman felt relief and sadness, but like the women who had participated in the study, all five women did not feel regret.
Women who choose abortion are making a decision based on their lives but also based on the future life of the unborn child. It is never an easy decision, but it is oftentimes the right one for the individual.