Survey says 95% of women don’t regret having abortion

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The conclusion comes after a three-year
research period involving nearly 670 women of all
social backgrounds
Ninety-five percent of women who have had
abortions do not regret the decision to terminate
their pregnancies, according to a study published
last week in the multidisciplinary academic journal
PLOS ONE.
The study was carried out by researchers from
the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at
UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine, and from
the university’s division of biostatistics.
Its conclusions come after a three-year research
period in which nearly 670 women were regularly
surveyed on the subject of their abortions. The
sample group was diverse with regard to standard
social metrics (race, education, and employment)
and on the matter of what the study calls
pregnancy and abortion circumstances. Financial
considerations were given as the reasons for an
abortion by 40 percent of women; 36 percent had
decided it was “not the right time;” 26 percent of
women found the decision very or somewhat
easy; 53 percent found it very or somewhat
difficult.
The authors of the study concluded that the
“overwhelming majority” of the women
participating in the study felt that abortion had
been the right decision “both in the short-term
and over three years.”
These results offer a statistical retort to the claim
that women who have abortions suffer emotionally
as a result, as anti-abortion campaigners claim.
Previous studies cited in support of this claim,
researchers said, “suffer from shortcomings,
leaving the question of women’s post-abortion
emotions unresolved.”
The new study is careful to avoid generalities. It
discerns between having lingering emotions after
an abortion and regretting the abortion altogether
— two distinct responses that pro-lifers tend to
conflate — and concludes that post-abortion
emotional reactions are normal, but almost
inevitably taper over time, and that ultimately, very
few women altogether regret terminating their
pregnancies.
“Certainly, experiencing feelings of guilt or regret
in the short-term after an abortion is not a mental
health problem; in fact, such emotions are a
normal part of making a life decision that many
women in this study found to be difficult,” the
study reads. “Our results of declining emotional
intensity… [find] steady or improving levels of
self-esteem, life satisfaction, stress, social
support, stress, substance use, and symptoms of
depression and anxiety over time post-abortion.”

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