What are the emotional side effects of abortion?

While some women report feelings of relief afterwards, abortion can affect each woman in a different way. We recognize the value and importance of mental health by acknowledging that the emotional side effects of abortion are just as real as the physical ones. Understanding these potential side effects can help you make the best decision possible for your unexpected pregnancy.

The potential emotional side effects of abortion include:

  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Inability to sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Problems within relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings

Who is more likely to experience these side effects?

Anyone who has an abortion or has otherwise been affected by abortion could experience these emotional side effects. That being said, there are some individuals who are more prone to negative emotional side effects, such as:

  • Those who have struggled previously with emotional or psychological disorders.
  • Those with moral, ethical or religious beliefs that conflict with abortion.
  • Those who have abortions in the later stages of pregnancy.
  • Those who were pressured or forced into having an abortion.
  • Those who have abortions because of genetic irregularities.How can I minimize the risk of emotional side effects?


It’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of negative emotional side effects following abortion. However, if you’re considering abortion for your unexpected pregnancy, there are a few steps you can take to help you make the best choice possible:

Reach Out for Help

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can make you feel alone or cause you to withdraw from the people who love and care about you. We encourage you to instead reach out to someone you trust for support, as well as to professionals so that you can get the information you need to make the best choice for you.

Consider Your Situation

Evaluate the scenarios of those who are more likely to experience negative emotional side effects, listed above. Do any of these sound like circumstances you’re facing? If so, it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a professional. Following a pregnancy confirmation appointment at Aim Women’s Center, we can offer you a referral for counseling services.

Remove Yourself from Pressure

People are very opinionated when it comes to unexpected pregnancy. Even if they’re trying to help, you might be feeling pressure from friends or family members who feel strongly about what they think you should do. Step away from that and take time to consider what you think for yourself. Whether you choose to have an abortion, create an adoption plan or decide to parent, you are the one who will have to live with the choice you make.

Evaluate Your Options

The only way to make an informed decision is to evaluate each option: abortion, adoption, and parenting. When you consider each option and learn about the resources available to help you, you’re empowered to make the best decision possible.

Emotional side effects are just as real, and can be just as harmful, as physical side effects. If you’re considering abortion for your unexpected pregnancy, make sure you have the information you need to make the right choice for you. Schedule an appointment with Aim Women’s Center for no-cost services and fact-based information about your options.