A recent, longitudinal study has found that, contrary to anti-choice rhetoric, the majority of women do not regret their abortions. The study found that 95% of the 650+ women included in the study did not regret their decision to terminate their pregnancy. Interestingly, and importantly, the study included women having first-trimester and later abortions. The latter group is often the particular focus of anti-choice discourse because of its greater emotional appeal (more developed foetus/ pregnancy).

From bust:

A recent study confirms what many feminists already knew to be true: hardly any women regret having an abortion. This conclusion comes after a three-year research period involving over 600 women of all social backgrounds, which showed that 95 percent of women who have had abortions do not regret the decision to terminate their pregnancies.

Researchers from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine carried out the study, and it was published last week in the multidisciplinary academic journal PLOS ONE.

The sample group was diverse on the matter of what the study calls “pregnancy and abortion circumstances.” 40 percent of women stated “financial considerations” as the reason for an abortion, while 36 percent decided it was “not the right time.” The study also noted that 26 percent of women found the decision very or somewhat easy, and 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.”

Source and rest: Olivia Harrison - Women Don’t Regret Their Abortions, Study Says

And abstract from the published study (journals.plos.org):

Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study


Arguments that abortion causes women emotional harm are used to regulate abortion, particularly later procedures, in the United States. However, existing research is inconclusive. We examined women’s emotions and reports of whether the abortion decision was the right one for them over the three years after having an induced abortion.


We recruited a cohort of women seeking abortions between 2008-2010 at 30 facilities across the United States, selected based on having the latest gestational age limit within 150 miles. Two groups of women (n=667) were followed prospectively for three years: women having first-trimester procedures and women terminating pregnancies within two weeks under facilities’ gestational age limits at the same facilities. Participants completed semiannual phone surveys to assess whether they felt that having the abortion was the right decision for them; negative emotions (regret, anger, guilt, sadness) about the abortion; and positive emotions (relief, happiness). Multivariable mixed-effects models were used to examine changes in each outcome over time, to compare the two groups, and to identify associated factors.


The predicted probability of reporting that abortion was the right decision was over 99% at all time points over three years. Women with more planned pregnancies and who had more difficulty deciding to terminate the pregnancy had lower odds of reporting the abortion was the right decision (aOR=0.71 [0.60, 0.85] and 0.46 [0.36, 0.64], respectively). Both negative and positive emotions declined over time, with no differences between women having procedures near gestational age limits versus first-trimester abortions. Higher perceived community abortion stigma and lower social support were associated with more negative emotions (b=0.45 [0.31, 0.58] and b=-0.61 [-0.93, -0.29], respectively).


Women experienced decreasing emotional intensity over time, and the overwhelming majority of women felt that termination was the right decision for them over three years. Emotional support may be beneficial for women having abortions who report intended pregnancies or difficulty deciding.

Full article: journals.plos.org.

Rocca, C., Kimport, K., Roberts, S., Gould, H., Neuhaus, J., & Foster, D. (2015). Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study. Plos ONE, 10 (7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128832

(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

Study: women don't regret their abortions