Post-abortion symptoms

People are often surprised to find that abortion can be a traumatic experience.

Generally, women are not encouraged to share their responses to or feelings about an abortion.

Often it is kept a secret and a woman is left alone with her feelings. The grief women, men, or families may experience after an abortion is seldom recognized and is often repressed or denied. Traumatic effects of an abortion commonly occur when the grieving process is not complete. Our society is just now beginning to recognize the need to grieve a miscarriage, but because abortion is considered a voluntary act, grief after an abortion is rarely understood or supported. These symptoms are an unhealthy emotional reaction experienced by some after abortion.

The symptoms will not necessarily appear at the same time, nor is it likely that a woman will experience the entire list. Some may occur immediately after an abortion and others much later. If you can identify with more than two of these symptoms, it could be that you are experiencing the after-effects of abortion. 

General post-abortion symptoms:

A woman who is experiencing PAS needs to complete the natural grieving process and realize that they are not alone. At If Not For Grace Ministries, we offer classes, Reconciliation Weekends, one-on-one support and more to help women experience restoration.  


Statistics and Information

Since 2004, If Not For Grace Ministries has helped hundreds of women, men, and extended family collectively heal from the pain and oppression of post-abortion symptoms. It is likely that 1 out of every 3 women you encounter has had an abortion [6]. There have been more than 58 million abortions performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 [5].

  • Half of pregnancies among American women were unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion [1]
  • Twenty-one percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ended in abortion.[2]
  • Seventeen percent of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant, 13% as evangelical Protestant and 24% identify as Catholic.[3]
  • In 2011, 1.7% of women aged 15–44 have an abortion [2]. Half have had at least one previous abortion.[3]
  • 59% of abortions are obtained by women who have one previous birth. [3]
  • 12% of women who have an abortion are teenagers: Those 18-19 accounted for 8% of abortions; those aged 15-17 accounted for 3%; and teenagers younger than 15 for 0.2%. [3]
  • Women in their 20s account for 60% of all abortions: Women aged 20–24 obtained 34% of all abortions, and women aged 25–29 obtained 27%.[3]
  • At 2008 abortion rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.[4]

SOURCES 

 1. Finer LB and Zolna MR. Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States 2001–2008. American Journal of Public Health. 2014, 23(3): e1-e9.
2. Jones RK and Jerman J. Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2011. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2014. 46(1):3-14
3. Jones J, Jones RK and Onda T. Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008. New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016.
4. Jones RK and Kavanaugh ML. Changes in abortion rates between 2000 and 2008 and lifetime incidence of abortion. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2011, 117(6):1358-1366.
5. National Right to Life Educational Foundation. Abortion Statistics United States Data & Trends.
6. Ramah International. Abortion Recovery.

Banner photo courtesy neu.jetzt via Flickr.