We often hear that women almost never regret their abortions. Abortion is portrayed as a source of social good: women who aren’t ready for motherhood can get rid of an inconvenient problem, and they’ll be happy — or at least confident — about their decision for the rest of their lives. Recently, abortion advocates eagerly touted a debunked study that claimed 95% of women don’t regret their abortions.
The reality is much messier, however. Women often do regret their abortions, and many question whether ending a new human being’s life was really their only option.
15 women shared their true stories of abortion regret with the mom website BabyGaga, demonstrating that pain, struggle, depression, and even suicidal ideation after abortion is real. The pain is palpable, in the excerpts below, and in the full accounts here.
- I am a Catholic and now going through the marriage preparation, I think about the time I had the abortion and how, at the time, I didn’t really think about how bad abortion was and how I just killed a part of me. To this day, nobody knows about the abortion except me, my fiancé, and a close cousin. I try not to think about it, but I can’t help thinking that the person I really love made something with me and I just gave it up. At first, I really tried blaming him. I wish he would have done more to stop me, but in the end I know it was all me. I even think about how, when we start having kids, I’m always going to think about the fact that I was pregnant once before. I really have nobody to talk to about this. I feel so much guilt and feel like I would be judged as a horrible person.
- I waited over a month after finding out because I struggled. But I did it, and it is the worst decision I’ve ever made, I wish I walked out of the hospital that morning. I took my baby home with me to bury and that just deepened my pain—but I don’t regret that. I cry and I get angry a lot. It’s a huge thing to hold on your shoulders. I’m constantly looking up pictures of what my baby would have looked like right now if I had kept him or her. Nothing has ever hurt me this bad; I feel so stupid. I wish I could turn back the clock.
- I went up to the office and I SWEAR with ALL my being that as soon as I took the pill and I saw the little blood, I started to freak out and tell the doctors that I could not do it anymore and that my baby needed to live! They looked at me and said that it was too late and that for my safety and for my daughter to have her mother, they needed to do the procedure because there was no way the baby would survive now. I regret letting everything but my LOVE for this baby take me over! I cry every single time we get closer and closer to that date. [Editor’s Note: If you have started an abortion and have changed your mind, you can visit Abortion Pill Reversal or call the 24-hour, nurse-staffed hotline at 1-877-558-0333 to find out if there is a medical professional in your area who may be able to help you reverse your abortion.]
- I knew deep down I wanted to keep it, but I convinced myself it would be impossible. My sister had had an abortion too and told me not to tell our mom, because she would just give me crap about being irresponsible and stress me out even more.
- I can’t even live with myself. My soul wants to leave my physical body and go be with my angel baby. The emotions are intense and the situation is scary. I was horrified. … [O]nline blogs, not even this one, can truly express in words the pain you feel the second you walk out those doors. I walked in there with one soul, and left with none. I have never been the same since that day.
- I lie awake every night wondering if my baby would’ve changed me, if I hadn’t been so selfish. This decision has left me mentally scarred and very emotional. I never thought I’d be so disgusted with myself.
- I can’t stop crying. I hate myself. I have a stuffed animal I keep dressing up in the onesie I was given at a Women’s Care Center when I got my pregnancy test. They were so kind there. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to feel this way. I wish I had at least postponed the appointment a few weeks, so I would have been able to have more time. Now it’s too late, and there’s nothing I can do to ever get my baby back. I’m never going to hold him, hug him, kiss him, care for him, feed him, take him to his first day of school, take him to college, watch him grow up, read him stories, or play with him. And those are only a few things I’m never going to get to do because of abortion.
- Once everything was done, I didn’t thank the doctor who’d done the procedure. I felt like I didn’t need to thank her. I asked the nurse, “Where will the baby go?” She replied, “You mean the waste?” And that moment right there, that very last moment, my heart dropped completely!
- It’s been three days and I have not stopped crying. I have nightmares about my baby every night. Whenever I get a moment to myself, I break down and cry. It’s the type of pain you can feel in your bones, the type of regret that never goes away. I have dropped out of the online class I was taking because I can’t seem to focus on anything but the child I killed. I am divorcing my husband and quitting my job to move down south with a family member. I sleep with a teddy bear at night now because of the emptiness I feel inside. I had my abortion three days ago, and I regret that day. I am a young mother of three, and I am here to tell anybody who thinks that having another child is hard that nothing is as hard as reliving the image of a complete stranger taking that child from you. It’s disgusting and I hate myself every second of the day.
- Pressure, dizzy, hungry, impatient, bleeding, noises, shaking, lights, legs spread up, wide awake, thinking, why should I? I saw the whole thing happen, blood all over a small tube. That’s what my nightmare is about. Sixteen years old, crying, without a voice to be heard. Eyes watery, crying out loud, please help me. The doctor finished the procedure, and I was left alone.
- Having the abortion was easy. The mental issues that come with it are difficult. I know I’m only ever going to get over this when I have my own baby in my arms. Abortion didn’t make me ‘unpregnant.’ It made me the mother of a dead baby.
- That day I asked through tears to see the ultrasound. I was told no by the technician. I was told the only purpose was to date my pregnancy. I wasn’t allowed to see it. I asked through tears if the baby looked ok, or had a heartbeat. The technician told me she wasn’t allowed to disclose information like that. I was given a pamphlet of information about what to expect after the medical procedure and I was given some pain meds and an anti-anxiety drug. I took the medication in a haze. I wanted to scream and run out. I wanted to call my Mother. I wanted someone there to tell me there was another way to handle my pregnancy. To legitimize the life inside me. No one did. I was trusting “professionals” so I thought they knew something I didn’t. I thought they knew best.
- I vowed to myself that I would never get pregnant again, even though I wanted more children. I told myself I didn’t deserve another baby—to feel the joy and happiness of watching a child grow up. It took its toll on my marriage for many months. I blamed him and hated him for making me do it. He didn’t make me do it. He didn’t make me do anything. I was weak and chose what I thought was the easy way to making my husband happy. I didn’t take into account my feelings until it was too late. The regret still haunts me to this day.
- My baby’s due date was 10 days before my birthday. I can’t take the pain anymore. I want to die every day. The child I killed didn’t deserve what I did to it. Please don’t abort. Find help; be strong. Don’t be dumb like me.
- I don’t think any woman in this world is as disgusting and vile as I am because you see I didn’t have one abortion, I had THREE! … I was the scum of the earth—the most vile and disgusting human being, so unworthy of anything good.
It’s heartbreaking to read these women’s stories. So many of them felt they had no other choice in the moment, were pressured into it by their partners or their family members, or suffered through abusive relationships, and they’re now living in regret and pain — regret and pain that the abortion industry claims does not exist.
Sadly, these women aren’t alone; the bulk of medical literature has found that women suffer negative psychological consequences after abortion. Post-abortive women are at a higher risk for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse.
It’s vital for pro-lifers to remember what post-abortive women need. Women struggling with abortion regret need compassion, a community that will be there for them, support from organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard, or counseling. And it’s despicable that the abortion industry refuses to acknowledge the pain that these women are experiencing. It’s simply wrong to pretend that abortion almost never brings regret or emotional trauma. It clearly does — and these women deserve to have their voices heard, both for their own healing and also for any woman who might listen and avoid her own painful abortion. Women should not be silenced just because what they have to say is inconvenient to the abortion industry’s bottom line.
Note: If you are a woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion, or if you need resources to help you continue your pregnancy, go here. If you have started an abortion and have changed your mind, you can visit Abortion Pill Reversal or call the 24-hour, nurse-staffed hotline at 1-877-558-0333.