Study: Almost No Women Regret Their Abortions Five Years Later


A study found that almost no women regretted having an abortion five year post-operation and most felt relief.

A groundbreaking study of 667 women found that the strongest emotion almost all women felt five years after their abortions was relief, according to Yahoo News

The study was conducted between 2008 and 2016 and followed each woman from a week after her procedure until five years post-abortion to evaluate how she felt about her decision.

“I wanted to investigate if there was any evidence to the claims that abortion had negative long-lasting effect,” said epidemiologist Corrine Rocca, who conducted the study as part of UCSF’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. 

The study sought to answer questions such as: could abortions haunt women later in life and cause major feelings of regret? Could there be a basis for the waiting period 27 states require before a woman can get an abortion? Could the state-mandated abortion materials given out in eight states that claim abortion causes lasting mental health harm be correct?

The study answered no to all of the questions above.

Rocca’s study shows that one week after their abortions, 51 percent of the participants felt positive emotions, 17 percent felt negative emotions, and 20 percent felt no emotions.

After three years, 99 percent said having an abortion was the right decision, and after five, the emotional most commonly felt by 95 percent of the women was relief. 

Abortion, being a highly stigmatized medical procedure and a divisive concept to Americans, is regulated state-to-state, yet all of the laws are premised on the idea that having an abortion can cause women long-term emotional harm. The study shows that this premise is false. 

Dr. Wendy Chavkin, professor emerita at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, told Insider that she doesn’t think the current study will have much of an effect on policy despite its consistencies with past research.

“The people who are so opposed to abortion don’t care about the data,” she said. “It’s like climate change deniers. The data is irrelevant. But for women considering abortions to know that 95% of women didn’t regret it? That’s important.”

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