Women who have abortions are clear about their decision and most commonly report feeling relief - even years later. Evidence shows that they do not experience negative mental health problems, either at the time of the abortion or years later. They are more likely to set and achieve their goals, and to have a wanted pregnancy in the following years.
Women have abortions for many reasons. The most common are not being able to afford having a child, the pregnancy coming at the wrong time in life, and the man involved not being a suitable partner or parent.
Although women experience a mix of positive and negative emotions in the days following an abortion, we find relief to be the most common feeling. Nearly all women believe that having an abortion was the right decision for them. This is true even for women who had abortions later in pregnancy, those who had trouble making the decision, and those who felt they would be looked down on by people in their communities. Evidence shows that having an abortion does not cause negative mental health problems, either at the time of the abortion or years later.
Our research finds that women who get abortions are more likely to achieve their goals and to be in very good relationships years later than those denied abortions. They are also more likely to have a wanted pregnancy in the next five years.